The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Global firm Norton Rose Fulbright has more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. The firm is recognised for its strength in the energy, projects and natural resources sector and for its banking capabilities.
The star performers
Asset finance and leasing; Brexit; Commercial property: corporate occupiers; Corporate governance; Debt capital markets; Equity capital markets; Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory); Fintech; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Fraud: white collar crime; Infrastructure (including pfi and ppp); Insurance: insolvency and restructuring; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Listed funds; Oil and gas; Mining and minerals; Power (including electricity and renewables); Rail; Regulatory investigations and corporate crime; Trade finance
Acted for Hermes Investment Manager as part of the consortium which acquired a 61% stake in regulated gas distribution networks from National Grid; acting for a joint venture between India-based Hinduja Group and Spain’s OHL in relation to the £1bn redevelopment and conversion of The Old War Office into a luxury hotel and luxury apartments; assisted the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme, which involved the drafting and negotiation of documentation for issuance facilities and revolving credit agreements; advised Greencoat on its $340m equity offering as part of its new share issuance programme and plan to acquire several wind farms; advised CBG on the expansion of its Sangaredi bauxite mine in western Guinea which involves the construction of additional rail and port infrastructure; representing Carl Rogberg, the former financial director of Tesco, in a Serious Fraud Office prosecution connected with accounting practices at the retailer
Aspen Insurance; BP; eve Sleep; ExxonMobil; Lloyds Bank; LOT Polish Airlines; Société Générale; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Trinity Mirror
Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘international character and resulting international opportunities’ was undoubtedly a key factor in drawing in the current trainees. A ‘great reputation for projects in emerging markets’ as well as a ‘strength in financial services, especially banking’ also make the firm an attractive choice. NRF’s abundance of international secondments offer ‘lots of client contact and responsibility’ in ‘welcoming teams’, leading to a much deserved Lex 100 Winner medal in this category. An international outlook pervades the firm’s ‘incredible’ London office too. Indeed, we hear that ‘there is rarely a transaction where we do not communicate or work alongside colleagues abroad’. The large size of Norton Rose Fulbright does mean that the training can differ slightly, with some teams relying on trainees to do ‘administrative tasks’ rather than more substantive work. But, work highlights such as ‘seeing our deal being reported in the Financial Times and The Times’ and ‘closing a complex joint venture in South Asia after a year of intense problem solving’ go some way to prove that this is not the case in all departments. The seat allocation process is described as ‘tedious’, with some trainees begrudging ‘not always getting your top choice’. Similarly, ‘secondment allocation is ‘slow’ which can result in ‘delays getting visas’. But trainees laud the ‘open and inclusive culture’ where there ‘seems to be a genuine interest in matters such as diversity, mental health and work/life balance’. Moreover, there is ‘comprehensive, seat-specific training’ and ‘supervisors and other fee earners are interested in your learning and development’. To get a ‘broad experience’ at a ‘global firm’ with ‘excellent training’, apply to Norton Rose Fulbright.
A day in the life of...
Khawaja Muhammad Akbar trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright
Departments to date: Project finance and debt capital markets, energy and infrastructure disputes
University:London School of Economics
Degree:Bachelor and Master of Laws (LLB, LLM)
8.30am: I arrive to review any emails that I may have received overnight (with a large smoothie in hand, usually made at home but sometimes purchased from our canteen). Arriving earlier gives me some time to settle down before things get busier and it also allows me to review my to do-list, which I update before leaving every day.
9.30am: As my supervisor heads a regional practice of the firm, I am required to send out weekly news updaters every Tuesday morning, when the business day begins in London. This involves liaising with the library, separating relevant and irrelevant news stories, and drafting the updater for internal circulation.
10.00am: I have a catch up with the associates that I work with to get a sense of what is urgent and what they will be expecting from me during the day. I then mark items on my to do list that need to be urgently done during the morning, and then everything else in an order of priority. In a disputes seat, it is very common to find oneself involved in multiple cases as well as continuous business development activities.
10.30am: Currently, I am writing a first draft of a defence for one of the cases that I am involved in. I work on this during the morning as my mind is at its best earlier in the day. In a disputes seat, you have to constantly consider and apply the law, which is very interesting. Drafting a defence involves application of law in the form of well-structured arguments, which takes quite some time and thought, but is also equally intellectually fulfilling.
12.30pm: My supervisor is travelling for business, but stays in touch with me to ensure that everything is in order. I typically have a quick discussion with her on important meetings, any progress on the cases in her absence and updates on general business development matters.
1.00pm: I catch up with the other trainees over lunch in the canteen. This is a good time relax before getting back to work. Speaking to other trainees is always useful as it is more likely than not that they will be facing the same challenges considering the steep learning curve that any training contract offers.
1.45pm: I prepare for a weekly call with one of our clients at 2pm by circulating the agenda internally and highlighting any matters that I think we should discuss from our perspective. I take minutes of the call, which are circulated.
3.00pm: I am also assisting an associate with an article for one of our publications – this involves research, drafting and debating the subject with the associate. Writing such articles keeps me in touch with the more academic side of law.
4.00pm: I take a 5 minute break, when I go searching for chocolates and end up in the office of one my trainee colleagues usually to exchange notes on the highlights (and the occasional blunders) of the day.
I then continue working on any outstanding matters depending on the progress I have made – the defence, the article or even other discreet tasks that I get given during the day including conflicts checks, drafting engagement letters / pitches, and minor research tasks.
7.00pm: The firm does not have a face time culture, and you can leave once you are done with your work. I typically finish around 7 pm, although there are days that I leave earlier or later as well. Before leaving, I update my to-list, file all my emails and save all the time I have spent on the different matters.
Unless there are any events at work, I go home to cook, meet friends for dinner or, otherwise, go to the gym – I have realised that healthy food, socialising outside work and exercise are absolutely necessary to be productive at work and to enjoy the work itself.
About the firm
Address:3 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AQ
Telephone: 020 7444 2113
Facebook:Norton Rose Fulbright Graduates UK
Chair: Farmida Bi
Other offices: Norton Rose Fulbright is a global firm. We provide the world’s pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 4,000 lawyers and legal staff in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East.
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: An impeccable academic record and intellectual rigour are prerequisites. We expect successful candidates to have at least AAB at A level (or equivalent) and be on track for a 2(1) (or equivalent).
What you'll do:Over two years – broken into four six-month seats – you’ll hit all kinds of new firsts with us, big and small. You’ll explore new areas, for instance. Each seat will take you through different sectors and practice areas, with at least one seat in each of corporate, banking and litigation.
Perks: Benefits include private healthcare, personal pension plan, income protection, life assurance, 25 days’ annual holiday, private GP service, interest-free season ticket loan, employee assistance programme, car scheme, mortgage advisory service.
Sponsorship:We cover the cost of GDL and LPC course fees and our maintenance grants are £8,000 for the GDL and £10,000 for the LPC.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 1,180 (worldwide)
Other fee-earners: 4,000 (worldwide)
Total trainees: 106
Trainee places available for 2021: Up to 45
First year: £45,000
Second year: £49,000
Newly qualified: £77,000
How: Online application.
When to apply:1 October 2018 to 13 January 2019 (finalist and graduates from law and non-law backgrounds); 1 June 2019 to 14 July 2019 (penultimate year law undergraduates)
Easter 2019:Apply 1 October 2018 to 13 January 2019
Summer 2019:Apply 1 October 2018 to 31 January 2019
Winter 2018: Apply 1 to 31 October 2018