Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright

Address: 3 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AQ




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘Good culture’; the international secondment opportunities’; ‘friendly ethos’; ‘breadth of training’; ‘really good client focus’; ‘established firm with a long history’; ‘its reputation in the City’; ‘a lot of my fellow trainees have studied abroad and speak different languages’; ‘I wanted to be a part of a trailblazing international law firm’; ‘culture of the firm’; ‘friendly and social’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘You are really encouraged to seize secondment opportunities’; ‘very broad spectrum of highly-regarded practices’; ‘the location is lovely’; ‘biscuit bars on the client floor’; ‘location at London Bridge’; ‘the personable people’; ‘the emphasis on excellence’; ‘the inclusive environment’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘Not enough space in offices’; ‘there is currently no canteen’; ‘the hours in certain teams’; ‘the opacity of the seat selection process’; ‘the wifi password requests’; ‘it’s a long way from the RCJ if you’re on a court run’; ‘the lack of a gym on site’; ‘it would be nice if they offered language courses’
Best moment? 
 '‘Seeing improvement in my abilities’; ‘going to meet a CEO of a client on my own’; ‘having an argument with opposing counsel on the telephone’; ‘having a client say how impressed they were’; ‘secondment to the Sydney office’; ‘running a signing on my own and doing a good job’; ‘going to New York for a month-long business trip’
Worst moment?
 '‘Not being able to handle my first real criticism’; ‘working 30 hours straight on a corporate deal during closing’; ‘spending three weeks with no work’; ‘due diligence tasks’; ‘client secondment to Citibank’; ‘a very hard week working on a deal only to have it postponed’; ‘being asked to make tea’; ‘working all night three times in one week’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Mr Wemmick (Great Expectations) – very professional and busy during working hours, but friendly afterwards

The Verdict

The firm

Norton Rose Fulbright is a prominent City firm with more than 3,800 lawyers based in over 50 cities across the globe, and in June 2016 the firm set up a second base in California by opening a San Francisco office. The firm has one of the world’s foremost projects, energy and natural resources groups, and the London office is particularly regarded for its work in this area. 

The star performers

Asset based lending; Asset finance and leasing; Aviation; Commodities: physicals; Debt capital markets; Derivatives and structured products; Emerging markets; Employee share schemes; Health and safety; Infrastructure (PFI and PPP); Islamic finance; Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Pensions dispute resolution; Pensions (non-contentious); Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Rail; Securitisation; Shipping; Trade finance.

The deals

Advised Bank of America as arranger on a $150m cross-border ABL facility for the Panavision group; advised Saga Cruises on the acquisition of a new 236-metre luxury cruise vessel; represented Citibank in a dispute over metals stored in Qingdao; advised Emirates Airlines on its $913m ECA-backed sukuk to fund the acquisition of four Airbus A380s; advised Amni International Petroleum Development Company on its $31m acquisition of Afren’s interest in the Okoro oil field offshore Nigeria.

The clients

BMW; BP; Crown Estate Commissioners; Macquarie Group; Natixis; Pension Protection Fund; the Republic of Angola; Standard Chartered Bank; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Wells Fargo.

The Verdict

The ‘global prestige’ and ‘ambitious international outlook’ of Norton Rose Fulbright is acclaimed by its trainees. There is an ‘overwhelming international emphasis to the work’, and the ‘opportunity to go abroad’ is a huge draw as an international seat ‘is almost guaranteed’. Trainees praise the overseas secondments as ‘extremely rewarding’, which helped to secure a Lex 100 Winner title. Another common theme in the feedback is the ‘industry group’ approach at NRF, which allows trainees ‘to become an expert in a business sector as well as a legal expert’. Recent trainee highlights include ‘preparing witness statements for the High Court for a cross-border merger’ and ‘working on a complex arbitration’. Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘the hours could be better’, and there are instances of ‘staying up all night proofreading’ and ‘not leaving before midnight’. There is said to be a ‘supportive atmosphere’ on the vacation scheme, where the ‘friendly nature of colleagues’ is appreciated. There are some complaints about the structure of the training contract and a few respondents lament the ‘loss of the six-seat rotation’, while others refer to ‘the lack of flexibility in seat rotations as we have to complete three compulsory seats’. NRF takes its pro bono work seriously, and as such ‘it’s obligatory for trainees to act as volunteer advisers at the Croydon and Tower Hamlets law centres’. Another plus point is that ‘a great emphasis is placed on trainee development by team members of all levels’, and the ‘intellectual calibre of the associates and partners’ certainly sets a good example. To train at a ‘pre-eminent City firm’ with an ‘international outlook’ and ‘clear ambitions’, apply to Norton Rose Fulbright.

 A day in the life of...

Constantine Markides trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright  
Departments to date:  Environment, safety and planning
University:University of Cambridge 
Degree:Land economy 

8.30am:  I arrive before 9.30am to give myself time to plan my day and deal with any outstanding matters. Trainees in the environment, safety and planning team have to be organised. A typical day will involve a variety of tasks ranging from stand-alone work to banking, corporate and property support work. I head to my desk where I separate my work into two lists, namely ‘urgent’ and ‘less urgent’.

9.30am:  I send a news bulletin to everyone in the real estate department, highlighting the most recent commercial property news.

10.00am:  An associate is preparing a planning report for a property development in London and has asked me to review a new local land charges search sent by the Land Registry. This search indicates any changes in the planning conditions affecting the proposed use of a property. I compare the new search with the previous one, noting any differences and discussing these with the associate.

10.30am:  I attend the weekly team meeting where each person summarises the projects they are working on, any developments since the last meeting, the training sessions they have attended and any marketing opportunities.

11.00am:  I update the planning report to reflect my review of the local land charges search, which the associate then checks.

11.30am:  I receive an email from an associate asking me to suggest topics for articles to be included in Practical Law Company’s (PLC) monthly environmental bulletin, which provides environmental law know-how and market information for lawyers. I spend the next hour compiling a list of important topics and send these to the associate.

12.30pm:  I have volunteered to help organise Norton Rose Fulbright’s seven-a-side football tournament. I meet up with the football team’s captain for lunch at the canteen downstairs to discuss what needs to be done. The canteen has recently been refurbished and provides a different range of food choices daily. The firm also regularly organises lunchtime training sessions and seminars which are generally very informative and well-attended.

2.00pm:  I head back to my desk to continue working. I have volunteered to be a trainee buddy for one of the vacation scheme students, so I send her an email appointment to meet up for a coffee to discuss her experience at Norton Rose Fulbright so far. There is an extensive pastoral support system at the firm.

2.15pm:  I am asked by an associate to provide a summary planning report for the refinancing of solar farms. I find the information in the planning decisions on various planning authority websites and send the complete summary to the associate for her to check.

3.15pm:  The team has been involved with an environment deed apportioning liability for land contamination regarding the acquisition of a brownfield site by one of our major clients. My supervisor asks me to help manage the transaction by preparing the schedules to the environment deed that will be signed on completion. I start reading the environment deed to familiarise myself with the details.

4.30pm:  I head downstairs to catch up with the vacation scheme student over a coffee.

5.00pm:  My supervisor asks me to research the grounds for which an interested party to a contentious dispute can apply for an expedited hearing and the process for this. I finish the research and send it to my supervisor.

6.30pm:  I occasionally attend formal and informal social events which provide a great chance to meet other staff.

About the firm

Address:3 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AQ

Telephone: 020 7444 2113

Fax:020 7283 6500

Facebook:Norton Rose Fulbright Graduates UK


Managing partner : Martin Scott

Other offices: We have more than 3,800 lawyers and legal staff based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. 

Who we are: Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal firm. We provide the world’s pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service.

What we do: Recognised for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; as well as life sciences and healthcare.

What we are looking for: All applicants must have achieved at least AAB in their A levels or equivalent and be on course to achieve (or to have achieved already) a 2(1) degree or above.

What you'll do:Our four-seat training contract gives trainees an insight into our core practice areas and industry sectors. Trainees also have the opportunity to spend six months on international or client secondment.

Perks: Gym membership/subsidy, life assurance, pension scheme with company contributions, private healthcare, season ticket loan, subsidised restaurant, cycle-to-work scheme, private GP service, subsidised music programme.

Sponsorship:Financial support is provided for both GDL and LPC students. We will pay course fees and a maintenance grant to successful training contract applicants. We do not, however, offer retrospective funding if you have commenced the GDL or LPC prior to our offer. Our maintenance grants are £8,000 for GDL students and £7,000 for LPC students.


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2019: Up to 50


First year: £42,000

Second year: £47,000

Newly qualified: £72,000

Total partners: 1,100 (worldwide)

Other fee-earners:3,800+ (worldwide)

Total trainees:100+

 Application process

How: Online application.

When to Apply:Finalists and graduates: 1 October 2016–29 January 2017. Penultimate-year undergraduates (law), finalists, graduates (law and non-law): 1 June–16 July 2017.

 Vacation schemes

Applications open: 1 October 2016–8 January 2017 (penultimate-year undergraduates and finalists).

 Applications open: 1-30 October 2016 (finalists and graduates).