Address: Tower Bridge House, St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1AA

Web: www.rpc.co.uk/manifesto


Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''Unique culture' 'as relaxed as a law firm can be' 'the fact that individuals are valued' 'focus on organic growth' 'smaller intake than other London firms' 'social feel' 'open-plan offices' 'good quality work' 'international offices'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''Responsibility given to trainees' '@lifeinalawfirm twitter account' 'strong vision and leadership' 'the people are all really friendly and approachable, even the partners' 'the other trainees I get to work with are really helpful and willing to pitch in'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''The lack of clarity on our direction' 'lack of international secondments' 'the pay could be better than it is' 'Magic Circle lateral hires ruining the friendly culture' 'lack of group working space' 'general support services have been reduced which puts much more pressure on trainees and secretaries' 'no more free breakfasts'
Best moment? 
 ''Attending an interesting mediation' 'contributing to the working practices report for Sports Direct which was very high profile and published widely in the news' 'the RPC ski trip' 'attending a three-day Court of Appeal trial was great' 'being invited to voice my opinions and ideas during a strategy session with clients'
Worst moment?
 ''Feeling swamped when working late during a trial' 'having to redo a piece of work three times' 'accidentally sending an email to the wrong client' 'a late night spent redacting documents' 'unpredictability of hours in corporate''

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

Pollyanna - very friendly and relaxed, has a modern approach and is not afraid to change things

The Verdict

The firm

RPC is highly-regarded for its dispute resolution, insurance and media law capabilities. The firm has UK offices in London and Bristol, and an overseas office in Singapore. In May 2017, RPC finalised its combination with associated firm Smyth & Co in Hong Kong, formally incorporating the office into the firm's international network. 

The star performers

Banking litigation: investment and retail; Brand management; Clinical negligence: defendant; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Competition litigation; Construction; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); Education: schools; Health and safety; Insurance; IT and telecoms; M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Personal injury: defendant; Private equity: transactions; Professional negligence; Reputation management; Tax litigation and investigations; Sport.

The deals

Acted for the BBC in its marketing materials dispute with Take-Two Interactive regarding the TV drama The Gamechangers; advising Western Pacific Insurance following its insolvency as a result of the Christchurch earthquake, advising on insurance losses and possibly commutation of reinsurance liabilities; defending Times Newspapers on a privacy and data protection claim relating to an article published in the Sunday Times; advised Itochu Europe on its sale of Harro Foods to Nishimoto Trading; acted for Carter Backer Winter LLP as liquidators of Fenton Insurance Company, advising on its voluntary liquidation as an alternative to a scheme of arrangement.

The clients

ANV; Besso; Financial Times; Google; Pizza Express; RSA Group; Sports Direct; Ubisoft; YouTube; Zen-Noh International.

The Verdict

With its 'commitment to innovation' and a 'focus on organic growth', trainees were attracted by RPC's 'strong vision and leadership'. Respondents praise the 'good-quality training' and the 'helpful mentoring' provided. This is ideal preparation for taking on 'NQ-level work which helps you to build confidence and speeds up your development'. Work highlights have included 'attending an emergency injunction hearing', 'being the sole representative from RPC at a signing meeting with the managing director of one of our clients' and 'working on a high-profile international matter'. There are a 'broad range of practice areas' at the firm, but some complain of a 'lack of non-contentious seats'. One trainee 'really enjoyed the summer scheme', and this is one of four categories in which RPC is named a Lex 100 Winner, the others being work quality, client contact and social life. Trainees appreciated that 'you are valued by the firm for your input', and as an example of trainee voices being heard, 'graduate recruitment make a real effort to give you the seat choices you want'. There can be 'some long hours' and 'a few late nights and extra days', but on the whole the feedback suggests that 'you don't have to sacrifice your personal life to work at RPC'. In addition, trainees 'are allowed to work from home whenever possible'. There can be 'lots of uncertainty over seat moves', particularly as 'there are not enough seats in popular areas'. Client secondments prove to be 'an invaluable opportunity' to 'learn a lot about business and the solutions that our clients want'. To train in 'an open and friendly culture' in which you will 'have great access to other lawyers in the firm', consider applying to RPC.

 A day in the life of...

Rob Paine first-year trainee, RPC 

Departments to date:  General liability and medical malpractice, corporate insurance and financial services Next seat: Commercial disputes secondment in Hong Kong

Degree:Law with study abroad in Hong Kong, 1st 

8.45am:  I arrive at the office and nip into the café to pick up some porridge for breakfast. When I get to my desk I log in and have a quick skim of the day's headlines as I finish off my porridge.

9.00am:  I review the week's regulatory updates and industry news before compiling the corporate insurance weekly round-up - I send this out to the team each Friday.

9.45am:  I have been working on an acquisition with the corporate team that has just completed. The partner on the deal has asked me to complete the corporate filings with Companies House. Several directors are resigning and being replaced as part of the deal so I complete and submit the relevant forms online to make the changes.

11.00am:  My supervisor asks if I can join him on a call with one of the associates regarding a new matter that our regulatory team has just referred to us. I make a note of the call and circulate the action points to the team. There are a few follow-up questions for me to research so I spend the next few hours conducting some research on the FCA authorisation application process. I draft a brief note summarising my findings.

1.00pm:  It is a Friday so I head out to the weekly outdoor market on the Docks with a group of the other trainees to get some lunch and make the most of the sunshine.

2.00pm:  Having dragged myself out of the sunshine and back up to my desk, I check my emails and find a hotline query from one of our insurer clients. I spend an hour researching their query before sending them a brief email summarising the legal position.

3.30pm:  I head down to the café to grab a coffee with my mentor, a senior associate in our financial risks team. We discuss how my current seat is going among other important topics such as weekend plans and upcoming holidays.

3.50pm:  When I get back up to my desk, an associate comes over and asks me to proof read an employee incentive scheme for one of our clients. Once I have finished proof reading, I draft the letter to accompany the incentive scheme, inviting employees to participate.

5.30pm:  One of our clients is in the process of rebranding and is changing the name of several overseas branches as part of the process. My role is to co-ordinate the overseas law firms who we have instructed to advise on the local law in the relevant jurisdictions and regularly update the client on progress. The client has emailed me with questions regarding their operations in Hungary and Sweden and so I call our overseas counsel in those two jurisdictions before emailing the client with answers to their questions.

6.30pm:  I write my to-do list for Monday morning before heading down to a pub on the Docks with the rest of the corporate team for Friday night drinks.

About the firm

Address:Tower Bridge House, St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1AA

Telephone: 020 3060 6000


Twitter:@LifeinaLawFirm, @RPCLaw

Other offices: Bristol, Hong Kong, Singapore 

Who we are: If you're looking for a predictable career in a traditional firm then please stop reading now. At RPC you'll get a whole lot more. Of course clients expect their lawyers to understand the law. But what they really want is advice from smart people who get the commercial context and can spot the business implications. On this measure, it's hard to find better than RPC; the UK's leading client satisfaction report regularly recognises us for the quality of our commercial advice, and has ranked us top overall out of all law firms twice in the last four years.

What we do: Combining this commercial outlook with some of the leading lawyers in their fields and great clients, we offer a depth of knowledge and creative approach to problem solving that few firms can rival. It's no surprise, then, that we're regularly praised in the leading directories for the quality of our training programmes.

What we are looking for: Although proven academic ability is important (we require a 2(1) degree or above, not necessarily in law), we value energy, enthusiasm, business sense, commitment and the ability to relate well to others just as highly. Recruitment for our summer schemes usually takes place in January or February, and in August for our training contracts two years before the training contract begins. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an assessment day, during which they will meet our existing trainees, associates, legal directors and partners.

What you'll do:As a trainee you will receive first rate training in a supportive working environment. You will collaborate closely with a partner and will be given real responsibility as soon as you are ready to handle it. At least six months will be spent in four areas of our practice. We encourage our trainees to express preferences for the areas in which they would like to train. In addition to the Professional Skills Course, we provide a complementary programme of in-house training. When you qualify we hope you will stay with us and we always do our best to place you in the area of law that suits you most.

Perks: We offer a competitive and creative full package of benefits to all employees at RPC called Pick 'n' Mix. RPC's benefits offer choice and flexibility to employees, complementing our forward-thinking culture and our approach to rewarding everyone who works here. From health, wellbeing and family-based rewards, to firm discounts and wealth-related benefits, our package covers almost everything.

Sponsorship:GDL Funding: fees paid plus up to £7,000 maintenance. LPC Funding: fees paid plus up to £7,000 maintenance.


Facts and figures

Training contracts available for 2020 (London): 12 

Training contracts available for 2018 (Bristol): 2


First year: £38,000 (London), £35,000 (Bristol)

Second year: £41,000 (London), £36,000 (Bristol)

Newly qualified: Merit-based

Turnover in 2016: £100.6m (+7% from 2015)

Total partners: 81

Other fee-earners:86

Total trainees:37

 Application process

Apply to:Trainee recruitment team.

How: Online at www.rpc.co.uk/manifesto.

When to Apply:

Training Contract beginning in 2020 (London): By 13 July 2018.

Training Contract beginning in September 2018 (Bristol): By 3 April 2018.

Summer Vacation Scheme: By 19 January 2018.