The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
London-headquartered Penningtons Manches also has offices in Basingstoke, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford, Reading and San Francisco. The firm has a particularly strong reputation in private wealth, technology and real estate.
The star performers
Banking and finance; Biotechnology; Charities and not-for-profit; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Corporate and commercial; Court of protection; Education; Employment; Environment; Family; Immigration; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Pensions; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Social housing; Property litigation
Acted for Southern Housing Group on ongoing issues arising from the Bow River Village development, including the acquisition of two adjacent development sites for a total consideration of £31m; advising Veryan Holdings on its equity investment from a syndicate of institutional investors and debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank; acted for Merton College on a Tier 2 sponsor licence and on the recruitment of its first Tier 2 migrant; represented CHT Germany in oppositions to trade mark applications made for UK and EU trade mark rights by a Chinese company; acted for Industrial Chemicals Group on a £30m facility provided by Lloyds Banking Group
Banque Transatlantique; IKEA; Jimmy Choo; NSPCC; Pirbright Institute; Rennes FC; Roots Reggae Sauce; Social Justice and Human Rights Centre; Timico; Vaccitech
‘Good client exposure and high-quality work’ is the norm at Penningtons Manches. The ‘combination of seats available, from private client to commercial practices’ seemed to be the main draw, along with the opportunity to work ‘regionally but with access to a London office’. An admirable ‘attention to trainee development’ has not gone unnoticed by the current cohort, with recruits praising their ‘inclusion in the day-to-day running of matters’ and the ‘opportunity to get really involved and be very client facing’. ‘Being the point of contact with the client in a case which received national coverage’ is one such example. That’s not to say that trainees don’t have their fair share of administrative work though. Reports of ‘creating large bundles in a hurry’ and ‘looking through old paper files for a specific document’ were not uncommon. Penningtons Manches ‘genuinely has a friendly culture and appreciates an individual’s wish and need to have a work/life balance’. It is clear that there is a ‘good work ethic’ at the firm, with ‘no expectation that you work on weekends/on holiday’. Recruits feel ‘encouraged to take on a lot of responsibility’ but also feel supported by the ‘approachable people, from top to bottom’. There is, however, a consensus that the remuneration is ‘not that competitive considering the work expected of trainees’. ‘New seats being announced very late’ was also a bugbear. But, above all else, the firm ‘has a good atmosphere’, the ‘on-the-job training is great’ and the lawyers are ‘technically and commercially gifted’. If such a firm appeals to you, apply to Penningtons Manches.
A day in the life of...
Eva McHale first-year trainee, Penningtons Manches LLP
Departments to date: Family
8.30am: I arrive at the office and grab some breakfast before settling down at my desk and checking mine, and my supervising partner’s, calendar for the day. New events and client meetings are added regularly and I like to ensure that I am fully abreast of any matters before attending them.
9.00am: After finishing my all-important porridge, I peruse my emails and update my to-do list. The most pressing issue to deal with today is reverting to a client regarding the financial disclosure that her husband has provided in the run-up to the first hearing in her divorce and financial remedy proceedings. I consider the necessary documents, draft a reply to the client and send it to my supervising Partner for her comments and approval.
10.00am: The other family trainee and I catch up about the training day we had yesterday. The learning and development team invited all of the firm’s trainees to take part in a “Presentation Skills and Personal Impact” session, delivered by two theatre actresses. It was a very interesting day involving lots of preparation tips for important meetings and presentations, as well as pitching to our peers to become the next Sadiq Khan. It was extremely helpful and demonstrates Penningtons Manches’ commitment to developing its trainees as creative and confident people as well as lawyers.
10.20am: Another senior partner in the team asks if I can draft a costs estimate for a client on a child abduction case. I attended a directions hearing at the High Court on this matter a couple of months ago and it is now proceeding to a final hearing. It was extremely interesting being involved in a children case with a huge international element, and is reflective of the stimulating and challenging work that is done in this department.
12.30pm: A client calls in relation to his application to adopt his step-son. He asks me to walk him through the notification documents that he is required to send to his local council. I cannot answer one of the questions without the help of the council, and so contact them before reverting to the client.
1.30pm: Today we have a lunchtime family marketing meeting with the firm’s business development team. We speak about networking opportunities and the promotion of our department’s people, expertise and brand.
3.45pm: After taking a quick stroll in the sunshine with some of the other trainees, I get back to my desk. I have asked our head of department if I can be given a copy of a final order that she helped draft after parties settled at a two-week final hearing last week. Attending the Royal Courts of Justice to witness one of the parties being cross-examined by an esteemed female barrister has definitely been one of the highlights of my seat! I consider the order made and discuss my concluding thoughts with the partner.
5.30pm: I am attending a client meeting with an associate in 30 minutes and she asks me to remind her of a particular fact about the case. I peruse the note made of the previous meeting and report back to her. This case involves highly sensitive and confidential divorce and children elements and I am reminded of the professionalism expected of trainees. During the meeting, I ensure that I take a verbatim note of the associate’s comprehensive advice given to the client.
6.00pm: Tonight, the firm’s netball team “PennBallerz”, have a game against another city law firm in which we hope to continue our undefeated streak!
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: Bonus scheme, gym membership/subsidy, life assurance, pension scheme with company contributions, private healthcare, season ticket loan.
Sponsorship:LPC – full fees & £5,000 maintenance.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 113
Other fee-earners: 296
Total trainees: 27
Trainee places available for 2021: 16
Applications received pa: 700
First year: £36,000 (London, 2018)
Second year: £38,000 (London, 2018)
Newly qualified: £60,000 (London, 2018)
Apply to:Jenny Vine, resourcing manager.
When to apply:By 31 July 2019 for 2021 training contracts.
What's involved:Interview(s), online critical thinking test, written exercise and presentation.
Summer:Week-long placements throughout July (apply by 31 January 2019)