The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
With offices in London and New York, Mishcon de Reya is an independent firm with a strategic international presence. The top 40 LB100 firm is well-respected for its private client, real estate and TMT prowess, and was nominated for both Dispute Resolution Team of the Year and Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Art and cultural property; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial litigation; Competition litigation; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); Employment: employers; Employment: senior executives; Family; Financial services (contentious); Flotations: small and mid-cap; Fraud: white-collar crime; Gaming and betting; Immigration: business; Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay; M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Private equity: transactions: Mid-cap deal capability; Reputation management; Tax litigation and investigations.
Advised the management team of Morgan Stanley on its exit from the company; represented Pimlico Plumbers in a dispute regarding employment status; advised Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on state aid issues relating to its proposed new stadium; acted for Woodford Investment Management in an investment into life sciences company Immunocore; acted for RBS Action Group members in litigation against RBS.
Arden Partners; Badoo; Bidvest Foodservice International; CBRE; Fox International; Gagosian Gallery; Hewlett-Packard; Microsoft; Sainsbury’s; Woodford Investment Management.
Mishcon de Reya is a ‘creative firm’ where trainees are offered the chance to ‘experience high-powered corporate deals’. The ‘small trainee intake’ results in ‘exposure to particularly high-quality work’ and a ‘good calibre of cases to get involved in’. Trainees are ‘fully integrated’ into teams and are ‘exposed to lots of opportunities to be involved with the best deals’. Additionally, the firm encourages trainees to share ‘ideas and suggestions’, and these are then ‘taken seriously’. Current trainees have built up a ‘great working and socialising relationship’, enjoying the ‘ambitious ethos and spirit’ as the ‘forward-thinking’ firm is ‘getting larger’. You can expect a ‘wide variety of seats in different departments’ plus the ‘niche offerings’ work well alongside the ‘strong core litigation practice’. The senior fee-earners understand ‘you have a life outside of work and encourage you to live it’, as everyone at the firm has a ‘passion outside law’. That said, trainees complain about ‘late-night bundling’ and ‘completing deals at 4am’ when the firm is ‘very busy’ and employees keep ‘very long hours’. But trainees report a ‘satisfactory work/life balance’ as although it is ‘hard work at times’ they are ‘generally looked after’. Top trainee moments include ‘having a co-authored article published externally’, ‘successfully reducing a sport player’s ban for doping from four years to two’, and ‘obtaining a freezing injunction and search order without notice to the defendant’. Those looking for an ‘innovative firm’ which provides plenty of ‘hands-on experience’ should take a closer look at Mishcon de Reya.
A day in the life of...
Stephanie Silverston first-year trainee, Mishcon de Reya
Departments to date: Fraud defence and corporate, funds and financial services
University:University College London
Degree:Ancient World Studies
8.45am: I check my emails on the way in to work. I add any new tasks to my to-do list as soon as I get in and I briefly catch up with an associate in my team on the day ahead.
9.00am: I head to my contracts class with our training principal. These sessions are run for the benefit of my intake. They are fast-paced and interactive, testing our knowledge of the week's topic, as part of a wider initiative to ensure we become fully rounded junior lawyers. At the end of the term we, the trainees, will deliver the syllabus back to our respective departments and so, at the end of the session, I chair a discussion on the interesting points we are going to draw out.
10.00am: I attend the weekly catch-up call with the clients on a complex matter involving the restructuring of a high net worth individual's corporate and private wealth interests. The internal team is made up of associates from the private, corporate and tax teams. I give the clients my update on progress made regarding instructing a number of offshore advisers to assist. This requires strong organisational skills given the large number of external parties and offshore jurisdictions involved, with varying requirements.
11.00am: I get back to my desk to work on drafting a memo analysing whether our client's proposed new business will require him to be authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. I discuss a few queries with the partner on the matter, before finalising and sending out our advice.
12.30pm: I finalise and circulate minutes of the last Pride Network steering committee meeting. The Pride Network was established with the aim of providing mutual friendship and support, opportunities for cross referrals and business development. We are currently organising our next event, called 'Love, Death and Taxes: LGBT Families and the Law', a legal update on recent developments followed by networking drinks.
12.45pm: I head down to the canteen with my other trainees to catch up on how our seats are going before stopping by the social impact fair to find out what exciting initiatives the firm is involved with for the year ahead. I put my name down for Inspiring Women, a nationwide campaign which supports girls on the additional challenges they face regarding gender stereotypes and careers.
2.00pm: I am working with the fraud defence group on a cross-departmental matter for a corporate client that invested in a Cayman fund which is being placed into liquidation. I attend a conference with counsel to discuss the various options available to our client to seek to recover its investment. Trainees are encouraged to have client contact as soon as we start, so I record a detailed note and draft the email of advice to the client.
4.00pm: Next, I head down to a Q&A session with the human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, who is coming in to talk to the firm about the NUS no platform policy. This is a session run as part of the new thinking strand of the Academy, which was created to improve how we capture, develop and disseminate our institutional knowledge as a firm. The session has a great turn out, as everyone in the firm is encouraged to attend. After lively questioning from the audience, post Brexit, I head back to my desk to send out a few emails.
5.00pm: I receive an email from a client who is general counsel for an investment management firm. We are often called upon to give ad hoc regulatory advice and assistance. I do some research into whether a particular exclusion will apply and have a lively debate with my team to determine the position. I draft a short email setting out our advice.
6.30pm: I head down to the monthly networking drinks in our client lounge, which has a bar! These monthly get-togethers are hosted by the partners to give all the firm's employees the opportunity to mingle internally and catch up with friends over a couple of drinks.
About the firm
Address:Africa House, 70 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6AH
Telephone: 020 3221 7000
Fax: 020 7404 5982
Managing partner : Kevin Gold
Other offices: Associated office in New York.
Who we are: Mishcon de Reya LLP is a law firm with offices in London and New York. Founded by Victor Mishcon in a one-room office in Brixton in 1937, it now employs more than 700 people, with over 400 lawyers offering a wide range of legal services to companies and individuals. Its international footprint extends far beyond its offices in London and New York with approximately two thirds of its revenue sourced from outside of the UK.
What we do: We are organised internally into six different departments: corporate, employment, dispute resolution, family, Mishcon Private and real estate.
What we are looking for: Our trainees are typically high-achieving and intelligent individuals with good interpersonal skills and outgoing personalities. Strength of character and the ability to think laterally are key.
What you'll do:Trainees gain experience, skills and knowledge from across the firm in four six-month seats. These include both contentious and non-contentious work. Because of the relatively few training contracts offered, trainees can be exposed to high-quality work with early responsibility. Trainees are supported with a training and development programme and extensive internal training, in addition to the professional skills course. Trainee performance is monitored closely and trainees can expect to receive regular feedback in addition to mid- and end-of-seat appraisals.
Perks: 25 days’ holiday, health screening, life assurance, dental insurance, group income protection, private medical insurance, travel insurance, critical illness cover, gym membership, season ticket loan, group pension scheme, yoga classes, child care vouchers, cycle scheme, in-house doctor, bonus scheme and give-as-you-earn schemes.
Sponsorship:The firm provides full LPC and GDL funding, and a maintenance grant of £6,000 payable in the GDL and LPC year.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 15
Applications received pa: 1,100
Percentage interviewed: 5%
First year: £38,000
Second year: £40,000
Newly qualified: £63,000
Total partners: 102
Apply to:Charlotte Lynch, graduate recruitment and development manager.
When to apply:By 15 January 2017.
Spring Application deadline 15 January 2017.
Summer Application deadline 15 January 2017.