The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Penningtons Manches has established a strong UK presence with offices in London, Basingstoke, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford and Reading. In addition to this nationwide coverage, the firm opened an office in San Francisco in December 2014 through which it offers English law advice to established clients. M&A, personal injury and private client are three of the firm’s well-known practices, with the latter earning a Private Client Team of the Year nomination at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Banking and finance; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Corporate and commercial; Education; Employment; Environment; Family; IT and telecoms; Immigration; Intellectual property; Pensions; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Property litigation; Social housing.
Acted for Bush & Co Rehabilitation on the £28m sale of share capital to NAHL Group; advised Veryan Holdings on an £18m fundraising by a syndicate of international investors; advised LG Motion on its acquisition of a 65% controlling interest in Precision Acoustics; advised Sun Life of Canada on the operation of its historic pension products; instructed by Frontier Estates in connection with the £40m redevelopment of Epping Town Centre.
BBC Worldwide; Bell Educational Services; EDF Energy Nuclear Generation; Facenda Group; Handelsbanken; Manx Tidal Energy; Oxera Consulting; Oxford University Press; PRP Architects; Santander UK.
‘Individual training and great responsibility’ are stand-out factors for Penningtons Manches’ current trainees. This ‘social firm’ offers trainees a ‘good amount of client contact and lots of supervision’ in a ‘friendly environment’, and is named a Lex 100 Winner for its impressive client contact levels. Some respondents found the ‘great vacation scheme’ an invaluable insight into how the firm operates. The ‘small intake of trainees’ and ‘hands-on experience’ result in a ‘high level of responsibility’ and ‘good work’ being distributed to trainees. Colleagues are ‘extremely approachable, friendly and supportive’, and the ‘work/life balance’ is good. Senior colleagues ‘care about the training’ the firm offers, resulting in trainees getting their hands on ‘challenging and important work’. Although the pay ‘could be higher’, one of the best things about the firm is its ‘upwards trajectory in the market’. Top trainee moments include ‘settling part of a small case’, ‘securing payment of the client’s costs’ and ‘attending a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice’. Rookie mistakes, ‘late nights with little warning’ and ‘juggling the workload’ appear to be the most common problems for the firm’s trainees. There are mixed responses about the ‘social events’; one trainee reports a ‘lack of sporting events for women’ while another says that they love ‘getting involved’. Sometimes the ‘seat availability can be quite hit-and-miss’, but trainees enthuse about the scope and the ‘wide range of practice areas’, with specialisms ranging from M&A to personal injury. Penningtons Manches provides a ‘very rewarding’ training contract; if this sounds appealing, look no further.
A day in the life of...
Katie-Claire Lloyd second-year trainee, Penningtons Manches LLP
Departments to date: Commercial dispute resolution, clinical negligence, family, commercial, IP and IT
8.30am: I arrive at the office and grab a coffee and some breakfast on my way past the kitchen. I prefer to arrive when it’s still quiet to give myself some time to review my task list for the day and work out what I need to prioritise. It also helps to have an idea of what meetings and appointments the partners and associates that I am working with have scheduled, so I find it useful to quickly check our calendars.
9.00am: I take a look through my emails and deal with any urgent matters that I am able to attend to straight away. Today, a client has emailed requesting clarity on a competition law query. Before my supervising partner arrives, I consider the position and prepare a draft response. I am mindful to run all advice and decisions past those supervising me to ensure they are legally and commercially sound. The team gives me as much support as I need and, as I develop, I am given more responsibility.
10.00am: The commercial, IP and IT team has a weekly telephone conference call across all of the firm’s offices on a Monday morning in which we discuss the work that we anticipate being involved in that week and allocate tasks accordingly. It’s a good opportunity to learn more about the matters that other members of the team are working on and to offer assistance where it is needed.
10.20am: After the team call, a partner asks if I would mind assisting him with an urgent commercial matter. I grab my notepad and head into a client meeting with him. Following the meeting, the partner and I discuss the matter further and consider what steps we should take next. As this is a relatively new area for me, I ask the partner to clarify any points that were raised in the meeting that I was unsure of.
12.30pm: Today we have a lunchtime drafting workshop which is run by one of our partners. It’s an interactive session and so as a group (over sandwiches and cake!) we consider a draft agreement and discuss modifications and improvements that can be made to a number of the clauses.
1.30pm: After catching up with a few of the trainees on my way back to my desk, I check my emails and get back to my task list for the day. I have been asked to consider whether our client’s trade mark is potentially being infringed by a third party and if it is, to draft a cease and desist letter accordingly.
3.45pm: An associate asks if I can help her with a research task on a specific tech query. I have a chat with our knowledge lawyer to get some background in the area and to ensure that I can focus my research. In light of my research findings, I have a discussion with the associate and draft an advice note to the client. We have a team ‘know how’ session in a couple of days and I will use my research to form the basis of my presentation, which will be a great opportunity to practise my advocacy skills and raise my profile.
5.30pm: I dictate my meeting notes from the client meeting earlier today, in case we need to refer to them later.
6.00pm: Tonight, the employment department has challenged the commercial, IP and IT team to a game of ping pong. The firm encourages a good work/life balance to help build our professional networks. Before I log off, I update my task list and ensure that my time recording for the day is complete.
About the firm
Address:125 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7AW
Telephone: 020 7457 3000
Fax:020 7457 3240
Chief executive : David Raine
Other offices: Basingstoke, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford, Reading and San Francisco.
Who we are: Penningtons Manches LLP is a leading UK law firm which provides high-quality legal advice tailored to both businesses and individuals.
What we do: We offer a broad range of legal advice including dispute resolution, corporate, commercial/IP/IT, real estate, employment, private client and family. We also have some highly respected niche practice areas such as professional regulation, immigration and clinical negligence.
What we are looking for: A high standard of academic achievement is expected. Clarity of expression, written and oral, and reliability in research are important to us. There should be mental flair and flexibility, and on the personal side, we look for self-confidence without arrogance, good humour, openness with discretion, a good team spirit and integrity.
What you'll do:Our trainees complete four six-month seats across the firm’s three divisions and receive high levels of responsiblity and client contact. On a quarterly basis, trainees attend a day-long training session.
Perks: Flexible benefits including health insurance, travel loan and flexible holidays.
Sponsorship:We sponsor the LPC and provide a maintenance grant of £5,000.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: Approx 12-14
Applications received pa: 700
Percentage interviewed: 5%
First year: £33,500 (London)
Second year: £35,500 (London)
Newly qualified: £55,000 (London)
Total partners: 108
Apply to:Helen Lewis, graduate recruitment manager.
When to Apply:By 31 July 2017 for 2019 training contracts.
Week-long placements throughout July, (apply by 31 January 2017)