Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke

Address: One London Wall, London, EC2Y 5EB

Web: www.joinoc.com

Email: trainee.recruitment@osborneclarke.com


Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘My interview was a great experience’; ‘quality of the work’; ‘non-stuffy’; ‘its focus on technology’; ‘strong performance’; ‘exciting prospects’; ‘recommendations from other solicitors’; ‘I did a vacation scheme here, I felt very comfortable and included and loved how nice everybody was’; ‘really exciting work’; ‘big ambitions’; ‘Bristol office’; ‘supportive environment’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘How friendly everyone is’; ‘the firm is entrepreneurial and constantly growing’; ‘excellent quality of work’; ‘being given a high level of responsibility’; ‘the open-plan office really sculpts and shapes the firm’s attitude’; ‘culture and leadership’; ‘genuinely down-to-earth and friendly firm’; ‘working with some of the industry’s finest lawyers’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘There could be more flexibility around seat allocation’; ‘missing the cake trolley’; ‘would love an onsite gym’; ‘they need to bring the Bristol cookies to the London office’; ‘absence of a subsidised cafeteria’; ‘others can underrate it’; ‘trainee seat allocation needs to be readdressed’
Best moment? 
 '‘Preparing and attending a mediation for a key client’; ‘being given the opportunity to attend a business development event early on’; ‘attending an employment tribunal’; ‘being commended for work well done’; ‘working with the international offices’; ‘holding a conference call all on my own’; ‘my first completion’; ‘receiving praise from clients’
Worst moment?
 '‘Making a mistake and needing to fix it quickly’; ‘when there was little to no work’; ‘nearly missing the summer party’; ‘slightly repetitive work’; ‘completing a multi-million pound deal at 6am after an all-nighter’; ‘the morning after the Christmas party’'

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

Alfred Borden (The Prestige) – has worked its way up from humble beginnings to rival the elite

The Verdict

The firm

Osborne Clarke continues to perform impressively, and posted a 17% rise in UK revenue over the last financial year, and a 23% increase in global turnover during the same period. The firm is renowned for its TMT, infrastructure and real estate knowledge, and was nominated for Legal Technology Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016. Osborne Clarke has offices across mainland Europe as well as on both coasts of the US. 

The star performers

Asset finance and leasing; Banking and finance; Commercial litigation; Construction; Corporate and commercial; Corporate tax; EU and competition; Energy; Employment; Environment; Health and safety; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; Media and entertainment; Planning; Professional negligence; Project finance and PFI; Property litigation; TMT: IT and telecoms; Transport: rail.

The deals

Advised RWE Innogy on the sale of a 50% stake in the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm to Statkraft and the negotiation of associated joint venture agreements; represented EE on commercial disputes and procurement litigation; acted for the UK’s four leading high street banks – Barclays, RBS, Lloyds and HSBC – on a £250m loan to St James’s Place; advised Majestic Wine on restructuring its board and senior management after acquiring Naked Wines; advised InfraRed on its debt and equity investment in the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay.

The clients

Balfour Beatty Investments; Danone; Dyson; Marks & Spencer; Mulberry; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Ralph Lauren; TalkTalk; Tata Technologies; Vodafone.

The Verdict

‘Down-to-earth’ Osborne Clarke is deemed ‘an exciting place to train’, and following recent ‘international growth’ trainees tell us that the firm has ‘big ambitions’. The ‘great culture’ and ‘high-quality training’ make the firm a ‘friendly and supportive environment’ where trainees work with ‘some of the industry’s finest lawyers’. Trainees ‘dive in at the deep end’ and receive a ‘high level of responsibility from day one’. Top trainee moments include ‘settling a dispute single-handedly’, ‘working on a multi-million pound acquisition finance deal’ and ‘seeing an important deal through to completion’. There is a downside to the busy workload, with a few grumbles about ‘2am finishes’, ‘tight deadlines’ and ‘all-nighters’. Senior members of staff demonstrate an ‘investment in training’ by focusing on the ‘development of skills and mentoring’. Trainees, given the necessary support and guidance of other staff members, ‘manage their own workload’, giving them ‘greater independence’. Osborne Clarke has secured eight Lex 100 Winner gongs, including in the job satisfaction and work quality categories. Colleagues are ‘friendly and welcoming’ here, which creates an ‘open atmosphere’ in which trainees feel that they can ‘approach more senior lawyers’ and ‘learn a lot from colleagues through getting involved in a wide variety of work’. Also, trainees praise the ‘range of top-quality clients’. There is a regrettable ‘lack of international secondment opportunities’ though one trainee reports being ‘fortunate’ to go on a client secondment to Microsoft. The firm is a ‘great environment to work in’ as it is ‘entrepreneurial and constantly growing’, so ambitious, aspiring trainees should take a closer look at Osborne Clarke.

 A day in the life of...

Kiera Taylor trainee, Osborne Clarke LLP 
Departments to date:  Corporate tax and incentives, real estate, projects, commercial litigation, competition
University:University of Kent (Canterbury) 
Degree:Law (first class) 

8.40am:  Coffee stop! After my train journey to work this is always a welcome treat – and it’s en route to the office front door.

8.50am:  I make a quick dash past the office café to pick up some breakfast before heading to my desk to start the day (on Fridays we have the Trainee Breakfast Club).

9.00am:  The first thing I do after logging in (and starting my timer) is check my calendar. As trainees are so heavily involved in all areas of the firm it’s really important to keep up-to-date with meetings, training sessions and work from your team. An average day is likely to include charity committee or team meetings and there are often lunch-time training sessions from various departments across the firm.

9.15am:  The partner in my team asks for an update on our client’s draft merger form which we need to submit as part of a merger filing. We have been working closely with the lawyers on the other side to complete the form which is incredibly detailed and requires very specific information from both entities. We set up a call with the other side for 11.15am so that we can talk through the highlighted queries.

10.00am:  International competition team meeting by VC. This is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and discuss work in progress and in the pipeline. Working in the competition team gives me great exposure to the wider OCI community. The teams from Cologne, Paris, Brussels, Rome, London, Madrid and Bristol work closely together, both on cross-jurisdictional matters and the monthly OCI competition newsletter, a publication of recent competition issues for clients. I am responsible for co-ordinating the newsletter articles from all offices and I liaise with our international lawyers on their blog posts.

11.15am:  I brief the team’s partner ahead of our call with the other side’s lawyers. During the call my chief task is to manually mark up our draft merger form in accordance with the new information being provided to us. I also note down additional queries which are raised and which we will need to revert to our client on. After the call I quickly draft a telephone attendance note for the file and email our client with the updated draft and new queries.

12.30pm:  Summer is definitely here today and I am joining the rest of the trainees for lunch in the park across the road. We have some vacation scheme students with us this week and would like to show them a little of what the area around the office has to offer.

1.30pm:  My supervisor emails me about a new matter with a longstanding client which concerns parallel trade. As this matter concerns both competition and IP issues we will work closely with our IP litigation team. I am asked to do some research on the company which is importing our client’s products and to put together a note for my supervisor, which includes a summary of the relationship between exhaustion of trade mark rights and abuse of dominance.

4.00pm:  Our health and wellbeing team has announced the weekly arrival of free fruit for the office! I head over to the first-floor kitchen and collect some for the team.

4.30pm:  Newsletter articles come in from our Paris and Madrid offices. I make a start on proof-reading and marking up the articles in line with OC house-style and to ensure there have been no glitches in translation (a task which sometimes involves amusing calls to my international colleagues).

6.00pm:  Pens down and PCs off – it’s time to join the other juniors in our first softball game of the season. We’ve teamed up with a local property firm for the annual league.

About the firm

Address:One London Wall, London, EC2Y 5EB

Telephone: 0117 917 3484

Fax:0117 917 3485




Senior partner : Andrew Saul

Managing partner : Ray Berg

Other offices: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brescia, Bristol, Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Padua, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Thames Valley. 

Who we are: Osborne Clarke is an award-winning multinational law firm. We’ve grown rapidly, and with 19 global offices we’re proud to say that our influence and impact can now be applied almost anywhere.

What we do: We think sector first, organising ourselves around the current affairs and future challenges of the industries we serve, rather than traditional legal practice areas. It helps keep us one step ahead. Our core services all thrive on innovation: digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, recruitment and transport.

What we are looking for: Candidates who can: comunicate effectively; think commercially and practically; solve problems creatively; build effective relationships; and demonstrate initiative. Foreign language skills are also an advantage.

What you'll do:Trainees complete four six-month seats, typically in corporate or banking, real estate, litigation and one other area.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday (plus a Christmas shopping day), pension, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance, life assurance and season ticket loan.

Sponsorship:We pay candidates’ GDL and LPC tuition fees, provided that they are no more than half way through either course when they are recruited, along with a maintenance grant.


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2019: 20

Applications received pa: approx 1,200  

Percentage interviewed: approx 10% 


First year: £34,750 - £40,000 (varies on location)

Second year: £36,750 - £42,000 (varies on location)

Newly qualified: £48,000 - £65,000 (varies on location)

Total partners: 213

Other fee-earners:536

 Application process

Apply to:Zoe Reid, recruitment officer.

How: Online application form.

When to Apply:By 15 January 2017 for 2019 contract.

 Vacation schemes

July 2017 (apply by 15 January 2017).