The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Headquartered in London, Memery Crystal is a single-office firm which has strong relationships with other independent law firms around the world. The firm advises businesses and individuals and has considerable cross-border transactional and dispute resolution experience. Memery Crystal is recognised in a number of sectors, including natural resources, financial services, retail, technology and media.
The star performers
Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Employment: employers; Flotations: small and mid-cap; M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Property finance; Property litigation.
Advised The View from The Shard on a partnering agreement with Global Tours for the joint promotion of tourism events and activities; advised Z Hotels on increasing an existing facility with Santander from £7m to £25m, to finance further London property acquisitions; advises Guardian Media Group and Guardian News & Media on a range of IP and transactional matters; advised RP1 Propco on the acquisition of York Terrace East, in Regents Park; acted for Jeremy Peace on his sale of the entire share capital of West Bromwich Albion Holdings to a group of Chinese investors.
ASDA Wal-Mart; Bigballs Media; Bond International Software; Electric Word; Fairview New Homes; Pearson Group; STM Group; Seven Publishing Group; Wyndeham Press Group; Zorin Finance.
Most Memery Crystal trainees mentioned the attraction of joining a 'medium-sized firm' which would be well-placed to 'offer significant responsibility and client contact'. New recruits are 'thrown in at the deep end' by taking on a 'huge level of responsibility in the first couple of months', and there is 'exposure to a great quality of work'. The current trainee cohort's work highlights have included 'being involved in the negotiation of a development agreement', 'independently advising a client on the phone for half an hour' and 'involvement in a high-profile case for the successful application of a worldwide freezing injunction'. The main grievance is 'the way that the departments are split, as this means that you rarely see colleagues in other departments unless you specifically seek them out'. The result of this is that 'socialising across teams is challenging'. Firm-led social events 'are rare', but 'trainees and paralegals try to organise events regularly'. Colleagues are 'very approachable' and make it clear that 'they care about your progression and your development'. Each trainee has therefore been made to 'feel like a valued member of the firm' rather than 'a cog in the machine', and new recruits are 'rapidly integrated into the team'. There is 'excellent client contact' at Memery Crystal, and the client list itself impresses trainees. Charitable initiatives are taken seriously; one respondent greatly enjoyed 'reading in schools with children who have parents without English as a first language'. To 'work closely with partners' while thriving within a 'fantastic learning environment', make a note of Memery Crystal.
A day in the life of...
Rebecca Mohan-Kenny second-seat trainee, Memery Crystal
Departments to date: Dispute resolution, real estate
University:King's College London
Degree:American Studies BA (Hons) 2(1)
8.30am: I arrive at work and check my inbox. The nature of the real estate department means that as a trainee you take ownership of many of your own files, as well as assisting on larger scale transactions, so it is important to take stock each day and prioritise matters so that nothing is overlooked.
9.00am: We have work experience students with us this week so I check with my colleagues to see if there is any work that the students can assist with, or hearings that they can attend to try and gain some experience during their week at the firm.
9.45am: My supervisor asks me if I have availability later in the day to attend a planning project team meeting at the offices of one of our client's project manager and take a note in the afternoon. After confirming that I do, I prepare copies of the necessary documents to bring to the meeting so that we are not unduly delayed. I then re-visit my to-do list to reorganise my day in light of the new meeting in the afternoon.
11.00am: I attend a meeting with the finance director and a representative from Thomson Reuters regarding the firm's use of online resources such as Practical Law and Westlaw . As trainees, we spend a large amount of time using these online resources in all departments. During the meeting we discussed a number of things including which features are and are not utilised, what potential training may be of assistance firm-wide and the development and progression of the online resources themselves.
12.15pm: When I return from my meeting, having bought some lunch, I see that I have received some documents back from the solicitors on the other side in a re-financing that I am working on. I review the documents in light of the previous correspondence and then send them on to my client for instructions.
1.00pm: We are struggling to obtain contact information for one of the neighbours on a development project as the property is owned by an international company. I complete an international company search directly with the relevant corporate registry but I am told that the results can take five-seven working days. I update the client accordingly in order to manage expectations.
2.30pm: My supervisor and I leave the office and travel to the planning project team meeting. There is a lot to discuss and the meeting is long and detailed, however ultimately very productive.
5.30pm: I get back to the office after the meeting and because it is relatively quiet I dictate my attendance note while the discussion is still fresh in my mind so as to ensure that it is an accurate, contemporaneous note.
6.15pm: I receive further drafts for a matter I have been involved in relating to the ongoing negotiations for an assignment which have been progressing for a few months. I speak to the client on the telephone to discuss the developments in the latest draft and take their instructions. I then revert to the solicitors on the other side with comments.
7.00pm: I leave the office and make my way to join a few colleagues at the pub.
About the firm
Address:44 Southampton Buildings, London, WC2A 1AP
Telephone: 020 7242 5905
Fax:020 7242 2058
CEO: Nick Davies
Total partners: 27
Other fee-earners: 39
Total trainees: 8
Who we are: Memery Crystal is an international law firm, based in London. We are commercially aware, entrepreneurial in spirit, international in outlook and pragmatic in approach.
What we do: We act for a broad range of clients, from multinational companies to financial institutions, owner-managed businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
What we are looking for: We are looking for high-achieving individuals with a strong academic background, from any discipline, who are commercially minded. We welcome applications from ambitious, driven and enthusiastic candidates who demonstrate a willingness to take on responsibility.
What you'll do:Trainees will rotate seats every six months and we aim to give second-years their preference in seat choice. During their training contract trainees are given on-the-job training and mentoring and are invited to all sessions in the firm's internal training programme. Due to our partner-led service, trainees will work closely with partners from all departments, and will receive regular feedback in addition to their appraisals every three months with their supervisor and a member of HR.
Perks: 25 days' holiday (increases to 30 days with length of service), private medical insurance, life assurance, interest-free season ticket loan, subsidised gym membership, group pension scheme, travel insurance, childcare vouchers and cycle to work scheme.
Sponsorship:The firm funds the GDL and the LPC.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 8
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 15
First year: £35,000
Second year: £37,000
Newly qualified: £62,000
Apply to:Helen Seaward, human resources manager
What's involved: Two interviews following successful application.
When to Apply:
Training contracts beginning in 2020 - By 31 July 2018.
Vacation Schemes (Spring) - By 31 January 2018.
New to 2018, the firm will be running two one week vacation schemes during the month of April, week commencing 9th April and week comencing 16th April.