The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Global law firm Morgan Lewis has more than 2,200 lawyers working out of 30 offices across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm provides comprehensive litigation, corporate, regulatory, IP and employment services to clients of all sizes, ranging from global companies to start-ups.
The star performers
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Commercial litigation; Competition litigation; Corporate tax; Debt capital markets; Emerging markets; Employment: employers; EU and competition; Immigration; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; International arbitration; M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m; Oil and gas; Private equity: transactions: Mid-cap deal capability; Securitisation.
Advised the Republic of Suriname on a $550m Eurobond offering, which represented the first ever international securities offering in the country's history; assisted SK Capital Partners with its acquisition of Johnson & Johnson's global pain management active pharmaceutical ingredient division; advised the Sistema group of companies on a €383m secured facility; represented Guvera in an employment tribunal claim brought by more than 80 former employees of Blinkbox Music concerning employment liabilities; acted for UFG Asset Management on its purchase of a 31% stake in Trans-Siberian Gold from AngloGoldAshanti.
Alcuin Capital Partners; Argo Group; BP; Citibank; China Jianyin Investment Ltd; CTC Media; Morgan Stanley; Russia Partners; SUN Gold; UFG Asset Management.
A considerable draw for its 'good international profile', Morgan, Lewis & Bockius also attracts trainees because it is 'actively trying to improve its brand recognition in the London legal market'. Trainees have overwhelmingly reported having a favourable first impression as 'the interviewers were very friendly and down-to-earth'. Respondents like the fact that there is a 'small trainee intake' as this leads to 'a good level of responsibility and good quality work right from the start'. Highlight moments have included 'preparing for and attending a court trial', 'getting absorbed in a big interesting case which spanned the entirety of my first seat' and 'going to a client by myself and conducting a meeting with the head manager'. On occasion trainees have been 'overwhelmed with work' and some busy periods have required consistent late finishes, though there is a feeling that the work/life balance here still 'beats that of competing City firms'. There is a 'very nurturing culture' at Morgan Lewis. Trainees 'work closely with partners' which is fantastic for 'on-the-job learning', plus 'lawyers at all levels are always willing to have an informal chat about work'. One major complaint concerns the 'lack of communication' it is frustrating that 'the administrative side of things takes quite a long time' and that there are 'delays on information' regarding seat rotations. Those who have undertaken international secondments speak of an 'enjoyable experience', and the firm is a Lex 100 Winner in this category and also for its inclusiveness. The firm has 'good, spacious offices', and some windows provide 'a beautiful view of St Paul's Cathedral'. For a 'great amount of client exposure' at a US firm where the varied work ensures that 'no two days are the same', add Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to your shortlist.
A day in the life of...
Jack Shawdon second-year trainee, Morgan Lewis
Departments to date: Employment, antitrust (Brussels), corporate and business transactions
University:University of York
8.45am: I arrive at my office and eat breakfast while going through my to-do list, emails and the day's news. I have an email from my previous supervisor, asking for my assistance in relation to a transaction which I worked on during my secondment in Brussels.
9.15am: I check with my team that I have capacity before responding to the request. The transaction involved merger control filings in relation to an acquisition by a private equity client in a number of jurisdictions. The firm received questions from the Chinese regulator which need to be answered by the end of the week. There is a call with the target company arranged for tomorrow and I'm asked to draft the response to the questions for their review.
11.30am: Once I have sent the draft to the Brussels team, I continue with my corporate work here in London. I have been asked to draft the various resolutions required by the parties to authorise a merger and entry into ancillary documents. Before I begin, I chat to one of the associates on the matter to gain a greater understanding of the mechanics of the transaction. We operate an open door policy here, which creates a collaborative culture and great support network for trainees.
1.00pm: I attend a training lunch which focuses upon updates on summary judgments. The firm regularly arranges for speakers from the chambers we work with to come into the office and present training sessions over lunch. The sessions are a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest legal developments.
2.00pm: After lunch, I head out with a couple of other trainees to grab coffee. Our office is opposite St Paul's Cathedral and there are an abundance of cafés to choose from. After opting for one of our favourites, we return to the office for the afternoon.
2.20pm: Back at my desk, I receive a call from my supervisor who is travelling at the moment. He asks me to research a number of points of law relating to takeover bids, and to prepare an email of advice for him to send out by 4.00pm. I ask a few background questions before starting the research and prepare the email of advice.
3.45pm: I turn to a pro bono matter I am working on. The supervising associate has asked me and another trainee to take the lead on a dispute between a charity and a local council. Pro bono is a great opportunity for trainees to experience different areas of law and take on more responsibility. We put together an email on our suggested course of action and set up a call for next week to go through it with the client.
5.00pm: An associate asks me to join a conference call with our Dubai office. The call is in relation to an acquisition of a communications company, and we're joined by members of other teams within the firm to discuss the response to various amendments proposed by the other side's lawyers.
6.45pm: After the call, I write up my notes on our proposed response and send them across to the team. I then catch up with a few non-urgent tasks which I have received over the course of the day.
7.00pm: I get a call from the Brussels team, who have a few comments and points they want to clarify on the draft response I submitted this morning.
7.20pm: I update my to-do list for the week before heading out for drinks with some colleagues.
About the firm
Address:5-10 St Paul's Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AL
Telephone: 020 3201 5000
Fax:020 3201 5001
Senior partner : Jami McKeon (global)
Managing partner : Frances Murphy (London)
Other offices: Almaty, Astana, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Dallas, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hartford, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Moscow, New York, Orange County, Paris, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington DC, Wilmington.
Who we are: Morgan Lewis provides comprehensive corporate, transactional, regulatory and litigation services to clients of all sizes and across all major industries.
What we do: Antitrust, corporate, debt and equity capital markets; finance and restructuring; labour and employment, including employment litigation and immigration advice; private investment fund formation and separation; structured transactions, tax planning and structuring; international commercial disputes, arbitration, insurance recovery and white-collar matters. Morgan Lewis is also strong in various business sectors, including life sciences, financial services, energy and technology.
What we are looking for: Strong interpersonal, communication and client service skills and analytical ability, as well as a proven ability to work effectively both independently and within a team.
What you'll do:Trainees will be faced with consistently high-quality, challenging assignments, working with senior lawyers on complex and frequently cross-border matters.
Perks: 25 days' holiday p/a, life assurance, private medical and dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, season ticket loan, pension, cycle to work scheme, employee assistance programme and the option to take qualification leave at the end of the training contract.
Sponsorship:Sponsorship of LPC and GDL at BPP University in London. A maintainence grant of £8,000 will be provided.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 8
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 10%
First year: £45,000
Second year: £50,000
Newly qualified: £100,000
Total partners: 34
Apply to:Graduate recruitment team.
When to Apply:Apply by 31 July 2018.
Whats involved:Two back-to-back interviews, with two partner interviewers in each. A tour of the office by a trainee.
Summer:Apply online by 5.00pm GMT 31 January 2018.