The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
From its roots as a one-room office in Brixton in 1937, Mishcon de Reya has grown exponentially and now employs over 400 fee earners. The firm has offices in London and New York and is very well respected for its private client, TMT and litigation capabilities.
The star performers
Art and cultural property; Brand management; Commercial property: development; Competition litigation; Contentious trusts and probate; Employment: senior executives; Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory); Fraud: civil; Immigration: business; Insurance litigation: for policyholders; Intellectual property; M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m – £250m; Partnership; PATMA: trade mark attorneys; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Private equity: transactions – mid-market deals; Property finance; Property litigation; Residential property; Sport
Acting for Berkeley Group in relation to a major housing-led development at Royal Arsenal; represented Sainsbury’s against MasterCard in its claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, recovering £70m in damages for the client in relation to interchange fees; representing Iceland Foods in relation to an invalidity application filed against its EUTM registration by several Icelandic governmental bodies; acting for Capital & Counties Properties PLC on a number of opposed lease renewals at the client’s Covent Garden property portfolio; advised Walid Giahmi in a bribery and corruption case brought by the Libyan Investigation Authority (LIA), worth around $2.1bn
Bank of Singapore; Brandon Tool Hire Group Limited; Brookfield; Halcyon Gallery; Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel; Microsoft; Search Consultancy; Sky Plc; TK Maxx; World Snooker
Mishcon de Reya has an ‘entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to be different’. The firm boasts a ‘diverse range of highly-regarded practice areas’, in particular a ‘very good reputation for litigation’. Recruits praised the ‘openness and the dynamic working environment’, which some of them got to experience during their time on the vacation scheme. There is a ‘willingness for everyone to express their own personalities’ at the firm and there is an ‘appreciation of trainees as human beings’. Indeed, colleagues are described as ‘supportive people who are interested in helping you develop’. Some respondents perceived that the firm is undergoing some ‘growing pains as it moves from being a mid-sized firm into a much larger one’, although it was recognised that ‘this is an inevitability and is being addressed’. Although trainees would ‘appreciate more transparency regarding the seat move process’, they do undergo a ‘very extensive induction and a lot of training throughout’ their training contract. Examples of the work undertaken by newbies are ‘advising top sports professionals’, ‘taking the lead in a matter that involved human rights’ and ‘drafting a skeleton argument from scratch’. ‘Taking four boxes of files to the wrong court on the morning of a hearing’ and ‘being used as a courier to deliver letters across London’ were rather less exciting moments. But there are ‘lots of different (and interesting) opportunities’ to take part in CSR and pro bono work. If a firm which is ‘outward-looking, progressive and inclusive’ where ‘you can create and follow your own path as an individual’ sounds like a good fit for you, take a closer look at Mishcon de Reya.
A day in the life of...
Callum Close first-year trainee, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Departments to date: Real estate (litigation), litigation (fraud)
8.45am: I arrive at work after cycling in and first head down to the café to get some superfood eggs to start the day. Then I head up to my desk, and sort a to-do list of tasks.
9.15am: Later this afternoon we have a conference with our Counsel and client on a contractual dispute in the Commercial Court. So while the office is relatively quiet I draw up an agenda for the meeting, prepare the documents that we will need and send the partner the agenda to approve.
9.45am: Yesterday evening we received instructions on a new matter; a former employee of one of our clients has breached their restrictive covenants and we have been asked to draft letters to them and their new employer. I review the documents and am asked by the partner to prepare a first draft of the letters and undertakings. We discuss my approach to the letter, the relevant sections to include and the tone of each letter.
12.00pm: We receive an email from one of our experts on the Commercial Court dispute to have a call and discuss a recent letter from the other side, and as the managing associate running the matter is away, the partner asks me to lead the call. I prepare some questions and call the expert to discuss our evidence.
12.30pm: Once a week as part of our Academy programme, we cover new, interesting topics which impact our clients. This afternoon the topic is US and EU sanctions against Russia, and we have a guest who shall expound on how this will affect our clients. So I head down for the free lunch before grabbing a seat in our theatre to listen to the talk.
2.00pm: Our client has arrived, and the partner and I head down to meet him with counsel. We go through the recent developments in the case, the imminent next steps and I take some time to discuss some of our evidence that has been challenged by the other side. I also update the client on our call and we leave with a plan of how to respond to the other side’s recent letter.
3.00pm: I now have a meeting with the other first-year trainees to discuss our next fundraising endeavours. Our challenge this year has been to raise £11,000 for London’s Air Ambulance! So far this year we have already done sweepstakes, bake sales, dress down days, quiz nights, ‘Quingo’ (a mix of bingo and a quiz!) and are now planning a raffle for the summer party!
3.30pm: We have a potential lead on one of the fraud matters I have been working on. The managing associate leading the case has found a name of an individual which we believe funds have been dissipated to and I have been asked to run some searches of the data we hold on the Relativity platform. Bingo – I found an email we believe ties this individual to the fraud. I inform the team and we discuss the implications on the proceedings.
4.30pm: I receive a call from the LitiGate AI team, part of MDR LAB – the firm’s tech incubator programme for legal tech start-ups, who I have been working with. I update them on the tagging of documents and we discuss the progress that has been made on the AI platform, including reviewing the user interface.
5.00pm: Following our conference with counsel and the client earlier in the day, I begin drafting a response to the other side’s 11-page letter. I discuss the substance of the letter with the partner involved and review the client’s answers to the questions the other side have about our evidence.
6.30pm: One of the partners pops by – he is having a call with a new client soon and would like me to be involved. The new client has had confidential data stolen and would like us to act. I make a note of the call and to draft a retainer letter tomorrow.
About the firm
Address:Africa House, 70 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6AH
Telephone: 020 3221 7000
Managing partner: Kevin Gold
Other offices: Associated office in New York.
Who we are: With more than 900 people, Mishcon de Reya is an independent law firm with an international footprint and offices in London and New York.
What we do: We are organised internally into six different departments: corporate, dispute resolution, employment, intellectual property, 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, including 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.
Perks: While on the training contract there are core benefits including: 25 days’ holiday, income protection and life assurance. Other optional benefits include: health screening, dental insurance, private medical insurance, travel insurance, critical illness cover, gym membership, season ticket loan, group pension scheme, yoga classes, childcare vouchers, cycle scheme, in-house doctor, bonus scheme and give-as-you-earn schemes.
Sponsorship:GDL and LPC fees sponsored, plus a £7000 bursary during GDL and LPC year.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 124
Other fee-earners: 554
Total trainees: 30
Turnover in 2017: £161.3m (+8% from 2016/17). Profits per equity partner: £1.1m (10%)
Trainee places available for 2021: 12-15
Applications received pa: 1,600
Percentage interviewed: 5%
First year: £42,000
Second year: £45,000
Newly qualified: £70,000
Apply to:Charlotte Lynch, graduate and lateral recruitment manager.
What's involved:Application, online testing, video interview, case study, interview.
When to apply:
Training contracts: By 15 January 2019.
Spring vacation scheme: By 15 January 2019.
Summer vacation scheme: By 15 January 2019.