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 more than 700 staff. The firm has offices in London and New York, and is very well-respected for its private client, real estate and TMT expertise. Mischon de Reya was crowned Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2017.
The star performers
Art and cultural property; Brand management; Commercial property; Contentious trusts and probate; Employment: senior executives; Family; Financial services (contentious); Franchising; Fraud: civil; Gaming and betting; Immigration; Intellectual property; M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m; PATMA: trade mark attorneys; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Private equity: transactions: Mid-cap deal capability; Property finance; Property litigation; Sport; Tax litigation and investigations.
Representing Chelsfield Partners in litigation surrounding a development agreement with Qatari Diar relating to the development of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square; advised the Contemporary Art Society on a potential sale of Figure Study 11 by Francis Bacon worth approximately £60m by Kirklees Council; advised Cineworld Group on its £94m acquisition of five cinemas from Empire Cinemas; advised Jack Wills against House of Fraser concerning a pigeon logo on its clothing; represented four New Zealand Trustees in a well-publicised High Court litigation brought by a Russian bank and the DIA against the bank's co-founder, Sergei Pugachev.
Capital & Counties Properties; Direct Ferries; Expedia; Hydra Industries Acquisition; Lord Weymouth; Pfizer; Sir Elton John; Sky; Tesco; Warner Music.
Mishcon de Reya excels in 'both private and commercial work', and trainees rave about the firm's 'varied specialisms'. These include 'market-leading expertise in complex fraud litigation, sports law and employment law', while family law and private client also earn honourable mentions. We hear that 'responsibility is given to trainees from the beginning', and work highlights have included 'having a document that I helped draft used in the Supreme Court in the Brexit case' and 'completing a deal from start to finish along with an associate with minor partner supervision'. Respondents complain that 'the firm's decision-making can be opaque', resulting in a 'confusing seat move process' and 'uncertainty over qualifying'. Mishcon de Reya takes seriously its 'commitment to developing trainees as individuals'. There is a 'high level of pastoral care' and a 'genuine interest in training trainees to be the best junior lawyers possible'. Supervisors are quick to praise trainees. Further favourite moments to date include 'having a really good mid-seat appraisal in my third seat' and 'getting the credit in front of the client for a big piece of work that I massively contributed to'. Additionally, 'trainees are encouraged to have a voice'. Sometimes 'long hours' are required, yet even though the workload 'can be relentless' there is 'no pressure to stay unjustifiably late'. Colleagues are 'approachable at every level', and the firm fosters a 'fun and sociable' culture. Perks include 'the bar in the client lounge' and 'Mishcon-themed cocktails'. To develop a 'close relationship with clients' at a firm which takes on 'an excellent quality of work' across a variety of practice areas, remember Mishcon de Reya.
A day in the life of...
Chloe Hamilton first-year trainee, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Departments to date: Competition (litigation), intellectual property (litigation)
University:University of Reading
Degree:Politics and International Relations 2(1)
9.00am: I arrive at my desk with a stack of blueberry pancakes from our in-house cafeteria. Although we are not expected to start until 9.30am, I like to arrive slightly early to give me the opportunity to go through my emails and to review my 'to-do' list for the day.
9.30am: This morning we have a case management conference (CMC) at 10.30am, so the managing associate and I make sure we have everything we need to appear before the judge.
10.30am: The hearing is attended by solicitors and barristers on either side. I make a detailed note of the discussions, including the judge's directions, so that we can update the client on the key points and the timeline for disclosure and exchange of witness statements, as well as the substantive hearing date. After the hearing we discuss the outcome of the CMC with our counsel, and discuss next steps including getting to work on our witness statements.
12.00pm: I am back in the office and see I have a missed call from a partner who I have been working closely with on a design right infringement dispute. The matter is in the pre-action stage, and I have largely drafted the cease and desist letters and correspondence with the other side's lawyers to date. We have received a proposed settlement agreement from the other side, which the partner wants me to review and summarise for our client.
12.45pm: A former home secretary is visiting today to give a talk as part of our Academy Series, in which external speakers come into the firm, usually for an 'in conversation' event. The Academy has hosted a number of speakers since I started my training contract, discussing a huge variety of topics.
2.00pm: After attending the Academy event, a few of the other trainees and I head out to Lincoln's Inn Fields, located just behind our office! We sit in the sun with an ice cream and catch up on life inside and outside the firm.
2.30pm: Back at my desk and ready to review the settlement agreement - I make a note of any contentious points. I send this to the partner to review, and, with some small amendments, she approves my draft which I then send out to the client.
4.00pm: I have a meeting with the other first-year trainees as part of our trainee fundraising challenge each year the Mishcon first year trainees get together to raise money for charity. This year we are raising £12,000 for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. We organise firm-wide quiz nights, dress down days, bake sales, sports sweepstakes, and anything else we can think of to raise money.
4.30pm: Once back at my desk, I get to work on typing up my notes from court this morning. I draft an email to the client summarising the outcome and updating on next steps. The managing associate reviews my draft and I send it out to the client.
5.00pm: I have received an email query from another partner in the team, in respect of the assignment of European patents. He asks if I can research the point and feed back to him ahead of a call with the client at 6pm. When I present the information to the partner, he suggests that I brief the client as I have looked into the query. I sit in on the call at 6.00pm and present my findings to the client.
6.30pm: This evening we have drinks with the vacation scheme students in our client lounge. I head downstairs and find a feast of mini cheese burgers, sweet potato fries and other snacks and order a white wine from the bar. The vacation scheme students are discussing their days and I catch up with a group I had met at the Academy session earlier in the day.
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: 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 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: 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 £6000 bursary during GDL and LPC year.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2020: 12-15
Applications received pa: 1,100
Percentage interviewed: 5%
First year: £40,000
Second year: £42,000
Newly qualified: £67,000
Total partners: 115
Apply to:Charlotte Lynch, graduate and lateral recruitment manager.
When to Apply:By 15 January 2018.
Whats involved:Application, video interview, case study, interview.
Spring:3-13 April 2018 (apply by 15 January 2018).
Summer:2-13 July and 16-27 July 2018 (apply by 15 January 2018).