The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Global law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius boasts 29 offices across the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm provides comprehensive corporate and finance counsel to its international clients, who range in size and can be found across all major industries.
The star performers
Bank lending – investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Commercial litigation; Competition litigation; Corporate tax; Debt capital markets; EU and competition; Emerging markets; Employment: employers; Equity capital markets; Immigration: business; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; International arbitration; M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m; Oil and gas; Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; Private equity: transactions: Mid-cap deal capability; Securitisation.
Advised Natixis on a $750m pre-export finance syndicated facility to EuroChem; advised Pearson plc on its €500m issuance; acted for Russia’s VTB Bank on tender offers for $3.9bn in bonds; advised Actavis on the reduction of its workforce across 70 countries following the client’s acquisition of Allergan; advised BG Group as one of the lead sponsors on the development of a major LNG project in Tanzania.
AstraZeneca; Auden Mckenzie Holdings; Beazley Underwriting; Citigroup; Google; London Metal Exchange; Pantheon Ventures; Perrigo; Platinum Equity; Sanofi-Aventis.
‘Down-to-earth’ Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is an ‘up-and-coming firm’ that offers its trainees ‘high-profile cross-border work’. It is known as a ‘reputable international firm’ and current trainees loved their international secondments from which they ‘learnt a lot’. The firm is a Lex 100 Winner for its international secondments, and for salary satisfaction. There is a ‘nurturing environment’ as the ‘friendly firm encourages people to talk to each other’ and this helps ‘in terms of professional and personal development’. Trainees love the ‘firm socials’ because it is great fun ‘hanging out with associates and other trainees’. The firm has US-based offices and global clients so trainees ‘regularly work to other people’s time-zones’ which can result in ‘long hours’ and ‘stressful days’. But trainees are ‘rewarded with interesting work, early responsibility and hands-on experience’, a winning combination that ‘prepares us for becoming successful qualified lawyers’. Top trainee moments include ‘working in Dubai on a project finance deal including a site visit and drafting documentation’ and ‘acting as first point of contact on an M&A transaction’. Although the ‘training contract is new’, there are ‘weekly lunchtime training sessions presented by various practice groups of the firm’, plus the great opportunity to work within a ‘diverse workforce’ where every employee is ‘different in their own way’ with no set ‘Morgan Lewis type’. The ‘flexible firm’ listens to its trainees and does its best to ‘work around seat preferences’ to ensure everyone is happy. Those looking for secondments abroad and the chance to tailor your seat choices should check out Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
A day in the life of...
George Crosse first-year trainee, Morgan Lewis
Departments to date: Corporate and business transactions
University:University of Nottingham
8.15am: I arrive at my desk a little earlier than usual, as I received an email overnight from a New Zealand-based client, requesting a copy of the company shareholder register which I had updated post-completion of a deal. I send a copy across, then review my inbox and quickly update my to-do list.
9.00am: I make my way to the monthly trainee breakfast meeting. It’s a great opportunity to informally discuss our training contract and the different experiences we’ve had within our seats.
9.45am: I head back to my desk and catch up with my supervisor on the current matters we are working on and any impending work deadlines. We are currently assisting a large Australian media company on its planned initial public offering (IPO). This includes undertaking due-diligence of the company’s material contracts which are governed by English law; and co-ordinating with our other global offices, when the governing law is from their respective jurisdiction.
1.00pm: I grab a quick lunch with one of the associates. Our office is based in St Paul’s and there are many quirky independent cafes right behind our building. Today I buy a Vietnamese inspired salad and we decide to eat on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
1.30pm: When I get back from lunch, I have an email from an associate in my team asking if I could pop into her office. She is drafting a share purchase agreement (SPA) in relation to the acquisition of a telecommunications company and explains that the other side’s lawyers are attempting to remove a clause in the SPA that would negatively impact our client.
3.00pm: I sit down with the associate and go over some of my findings. I highlight the relevant case law where a seller had succeeded in removing a clause of the SPA and the repercussions that ensued. The associate then invites me to join the conference call.
4.00pm: I attend the conference call and listen to the negotiations where it is decided that the clause will be left in the SPA. Listening in is a great way to experience first-hand how a lawyer can successfully negotiate.
5.00pm: Our labour and employment practice group is hosting a presentation for clients on recent developments in employment law. I ask the partner hosting the event if I could come along – he is more than happy for me to join. The collegiate atmosphere in the office encourages trainees to network amongst different practice groups. Getting involved with the various events and initiatives that are held here is a great learning experience.
6.00pm: I come back to my desk to find an email from a pro bono client, who is having some difficulty understanding a consultancy agreement that I helped draft for her new business venture.
6.30pm: I finish some non-urgent tasks that I need to complete this week, such as Companies House filings. As a trainee, I have to take responsibility for managing my tasks for the deals I am working on. Being given responsibility at such an early stage in my career helps me prepare for life as an associate.
7.30pm: Once I have checked there is nothing further I can assist my supervisor with, I leave the office. My next seat is on secondment to our Singapore office, so I head to a pub in Bank for a ‘meet and greet’ networking event with other Singapore-bound trainees from different firms in the City.
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, Chicago, Dallas, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hartford, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Moscow, New York, Orange County, Paris, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington DC and 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 operation; structured transactions, tax planning and structuring; international commercial disputes, arbitration, insurance recovery and white-collar matters. Morgan Lewis is also strong in certain 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, health and travel insurance, dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, option to take up to four weeks qualification leave at the end of training contract, season ticket loan and pension.
Sponsorship:Sponsorship of LPC and GDL at BPP University in London. A maintainence grant of £8,000 will be provided.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 8 vacancies
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 10-15%
First year: £45,000
Second year: £50,000
Newly qualified: £100,000
Total partners: 32
Apply to:Graduate recruitment team.
When to Apply:Apply by 31 July 2017 for 2019 contract.
Apply by 31 January 2017.