Address: Warwick Court, 5 Paternoster Square, London, EC4M 7DX

Web: www.omm.com

Email: graduate-recruitment@omm.com


Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘I wanted to work for a US firm’; ‘small intake and overall office size’; ‘the culture’; ‘opportunities for early responsibility’; ‘inclusive and friendly environment’; ‘generally good work/life balance’; ‘it’s a small firm so I knew I would get lots of responsibility’; ‘good reputation’; ‘I was interested in the area of private equity’; ‘the approachability of the people’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘Its small size’; ‘the collaborative atmosphere’; ‘the culture’; ‘the friendly atmosphere’; ‘the quality of the work and the quality of my colleagues’; ‘the good working hours and the chilled environment’; ‘the people’; ‘the ability to take the lead of certain work streams within matters’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘The workload can be extremely variable’; ‘the training lacks structure’; ‘the workflow is uneven which makes it difficult to make plans’; ‘when it is busy, it tends to be very busy’; ‘the small trainee intake – I think I would prefer it if there were more people my age here’; ‘not as much structure in terms of the training contract/seats compared to bigger firms’
Best moment? 
 '‘Closing a deal entirely alone’; ‘my six-month secondment to the Hong Kong office’; ‘being given a lot of responsibility in an Anti-Money Laundering sign off – stressful but rewarding!’; ‘helping to close a £500m private equity deal’; ‘being given the responsibility of managing the closing process for a transaction in my first year largely independently’
Worst moment?
 '‘Busy weeks followed by periods of very little work’; ‘the lead up to a closing’; ‘early-morning bundling’; ‘feeling stressed out during December – a lot was going on’; ‘being given a task I did not understand’; ‘having very little to do between deals’; ‘having too many things to do at the same time’'

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

Jigglypuff (Pokémon) – nice, yet fierce

The verdict

The firm

O’Melveny’s London office is part of an international footprint of 15 offices across the US, Europe and Asia. The UK team advises private equity houses, financial institutions and corporate clients on M&A, investment transactions, fund raising and structuring, corporate finance and dispute resolution. 

The star performers

Debt capital markets; International arbitration; Private funds

The deals

Acted for Goshawk Aviation in the largest ever US private placement issuance by an aircraft lessor. The deal raised $566.5m from ten US institutional investors; acted for REIT Segro plc in a €650m deal to refinance the company’s existing bonds and secured debt; advised Adelis Equity Partners on forming its second private equity fund, which was structured as a Swedish company; handled deals for testing and inspection company Bureau Veritas and cosmetics company Oriflame; assisted Egeria Capital with forming its fifth fund, which raised €800m after one month of document negotiation

The clients

CDC Group; GIC; Harbour Litigation Funding; Livingbridge; Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners

The verdict

Trainees at US firm O’Melveny get ‘greater responsibility at an earlier stage’ thanks to being part of a small intake. Work highlights such as ‘managing closing processes for several transactions involving multiple overseas counsel’ and ‘closing a deal entirely alone’ go some way to illustrate the degree of responsibility afforded to new recruits. As members of ‘smaller deal teams’, trainees benefit from ‘close supervision’ from ‘approachable supervisors’. The workflow was described as ‘uneven’ and ‘variable’: ‘when it’s busy, it’s very busy’, said one respondent, but this can be ‘followed by quieter periods’. Despite the occasional stint of ‘very long hours of document review’ however, we hear that the ‘hours are generally good’ and the ‘work/life balance is much better than that of peers at similar-level US law firms’. An ‘inclusive and friendly environment’ has led to O’Melveny scooping up a Lex 100 Winner medal for inclusiveness, as well as for its ‘great pay’. ‘Incredible experiences’ of overseas work placements has also elevated the firm to Lex 100 Winner status in the international secondments category. Respondents felt that there was ‘not as much structure’ in terms of training but perhaps this is a trade-off for being at the coalface on deals. Praise abounded for the firm’s pro bono initiatives, which are ‘actively encouraged by partners’ so that a ‘significant proportion of the office gets involved’. These range ‘from legal advice clinics to research projects from the firm’s US pro bono partners’. If working with ‘high-quality lawyers’ in a ‘collaborative atmosphere’ whilst keeping busy with ‘great work’ appeals to you, keep O’Melveny in mind.

 A day in the life of...

vanessa chukwukelu

Vanessa Chukwukelu first-year trainee solicitor, O’Melveny 

Departments to date:  Investment funds, corporate

University:University of Kent, King’s College London 
Degree:LLB, 2(1), LLM, 1st 

9.00am:  On my way into the office, I quickly check my IPhone to see if any emails have come in while on the tube. I notice that we received a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) from one of our clients, with instructions to review the document; I therefore quickly make a mental note to add this to my to-do list and head into the office.

9.15am:  I add the NDA to my list and organise the tasks by way of priority. Then my supervisor arrives and we discuss the various tasks for the day. We have received instructions from one of our clients to help with a note transfer for a private company, so I start reviewing the note register which outlines the new and old noteholders. I then begin to draft the new notes in accordance with the transfer instructions which we have received from the client.

10.30am:  Once a week we have our corporate team meeting. I find this meeting very helpful as it gives everyone in the corporate team the opportunity to see what matters other people at the office are involved in. It provides a good overview of the matters that are time pressured and the projects that might require my help. I offer my help to one of the associates who is working on a private debt placement which is closing at the end of the week. She tells me to come to her office tomorrow morning to discuss further steps.

11.00am:  The NDA process is a very common task for the trainees at our office. After I have completed the mark-up, I send a redline against the original version to one of the associates for her review and comments. She gets back to me straight away and I head to her office to discuss any outstanding points. After discussing the guidelines for the NDA, I go back to my desk to incorporate her comments and send out the final mark-up of the NDA to the client.

12.30pm:  Lunch time! I email some of the other trainees to arrange lunch on the terrace (our ‘go-to’ place during the summer).

1.30pm:  My supervisor and I have a call with a client this afternoon who wants to set up an English private limited company, as a subsidiary to his German start-up business. Prior to the call, I decide to refresh my mind on the relevant forms to file at Companies House and the necessary requirements to incorporate a private limited company in the UK. I then draft a quick memo and send this across to my supervisor, ahead of the call. After the call, I write up an attendance note so we have a record of what the client has told us in case we are asked to assist further.

3.30pm:  I am meeting one of the associates for a coffee in the breakout room. We discuss the areas we are working on and one of the pro bono cases that we are both supervising. Pro bono is an integral part of the work in the London office and everyone takes it very seriously. It is a great opportunity to get experience in different areas of law and I personally find it very rewarding. I also check if the associate will be attending the external training on ‘The Fundraising Process’ tomorrow in Canary Wharf; she confirms she will be. Offering training sessions for junior lawyers is a big priority to the firm and the partners actively encourage everyone to attend these.

5.30pm:  The client due diligence process is taking longer than I expected due to the complex holding structure of the company. I put together a file note and head to see a senior lawyer to discuss the ownership structure of the client and next steps to take. We decide to contact the client directly and ask for some information regarding the holding structure of the company, thus I go back to my desk and send out the email.

6.30pm:  I go through my diary and update my to-do list for tomorrow.

About the firm

Address:Warwick Court, 5 Paternoster Square, London, EC4M 7DX

Telephone: 020 7088 0000

Fax:020 7088 0001




Managing partner:  Jan Birtwell

Other offices: Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Washington DC. 

Who we are: O’Melveny is a leading international law firm with approximately 750 lawyers practising in 14 offices in the key US, Asian and European economic and political centres.

What we do: In London, we have both a transactions department – which advises on private equity, corporate finance, M&A and investment fund matters – as well as an international litigation department, with antitrust and competition services support provided through the Brussels office. London also has the key transitional support functions which are essential to a leading corporate practice, such as tax and regulatory.

What we are looking for: New recruits must have proven academic ability, sound commercial awareness, be keen team players and have the ability to carry real responsibility from the outset.

What you'll do:Trainees complete seats with partners/senior associates in each of our core practice areas. They receive regular formal and informal feedback, as well as legal and non-legal skills training. Trainees are also frequently seconded overseas to our Hong Kong, Singapore and Brussels offices.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday, pension, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, private health insurance, travel insurance, interest-free season ticket loan, corporate rate gym membership.

Sponsorship:We sponsor GDL/LPC fees incurred post-recruitment and award a maintenance grant (currently £8,000 per annum).


Facts and figures

Total partners: 7

Other fee-earners: 19

Total trainees: 6

Trainee places available for 2021: Up to four

Applications received pa: Approximately 200 

Percentage interviewed: 5-10% 


First year: £44,000

Second year: £48,000

Newly qualified: Competitive

 Application process

Apply to:Natalie Beacroft.

How: Apply online via www.apply4law.com/omm.

What's involved:Online application; interview with partners/senior associates, presentation, written exercise.

When to apply:

Training contract commencing in 2021: By 30 June 2019.

Summer vacation scheme: By 31 January 2019.