The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Taylor Wessing has expanded its international network over the last 12 months, entering an association in Hong Kong, merging with its former ally in Vietnam and combining with a Dutch firm to add offices in Amsterdam and Eindhoven. The firm is an authority on venture capital and real estate law, and also has a dynamic TMT practice. It earned a nomination for Private Client Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Acquisition finance; Agriculture and estates; Biotechnology; Contentious trust and probate; Corporate and commercial; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Employment: employers; Employee share schemes; Immigration: business; Intellectual property; Islamic finance; Pensions dispute resolution; Pensions (non-contentious); Personal tax, trusts and probate; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Trade finance.
Advised Amino Technologies on a secured loan facility provided by Barclays to facilitate its acquisition of Entone; acted for Lloyds Bank on a £225m letter of credit and standby facility for companies owned by Trafigura; advised Unruly Media on cross-border invoice discounting agreements; represented easyJet in tribunal litigation relating to holiday pay; advised Pan Macmillan on various employment issues arising from its demerger from Macmillan Publishers.
AlixPartners; Amadeus Capital Partners; Bank of America; CVR Global; Deutsche Bank; Google; Index Ventures; Mimecast; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Tamar Energy.
Trainees applied to Taylor Wessing because of its ‘reputation in the marketplace as being an innovator’. This reputation is in part due to the firm’s ‘focus on interesting core practice areas that are the industries of the future’. Respondents reserve acclaim for Taylor Wessing’s ‘specialist IP and media department’, and also the firm’s ‘technology/life sciences industry focus’. Such ‘varied work’ brings with it the opportunity to work on behalf of a ‘diverse range of interesting clients’, and there is ‘potential for early client contact’. Stand-out trainee moments have included ‘working on a copyright case for a high-profile music event’ and ‘leading the negotiation with the other side in an employment settlement’. There are ‘occasional late nights’ and one trainee spoke of ‘being overwhelmed with work and trying to manage expectations of clients and senior fee-earners’, but there is a ‘supportive workforce’ and one respondent says that ‘any time I have stayed late it has been noted by partners within my department and they have thanked me’. There are complaints that ‘seat allocation could potentially be a more transparent process’, and that ‘you are not guaranteed your top choice of seat during your training contract’. Trainees appreciate that the ‘offices are very modern and in a great location’, and the firm’s ‘involvement with the arts’ through its National Portrait Gallery sponsorship is a clear point of difference. Lex 100 Winner medals are secured for job satisfaction and living up to expectations. Outside of the office, trainees have undertaken ‘very rewarding’ client secondments. To train at a firm with a ‘vision for the future’ that involves ‘striving for excellence and developing its talent’, consider applying to Taylor Wessing.
A day in the life of...
Tom Connock first-year trainee, Taylor Wessing LLP
Departments to date: Finance (second seat)
8.30am: I arrive at the office early and head up to Cloud 9, our staff restaurant, to enjoy a cooked breakfast with some of the other trainees. The sun is shining so we sit on the terrace and enjoy the views across London. We all try to meet regularly to catch up and discuss our various seats.
9.15am: I head down to my office, make myself a coffee and begin making a to-do list for the day. My supervisor has scheduled a meeting with me at 9.30am to discuss a new deal and set me some tasks.
9.30am: After checking my emails, I am asked by my supervisor to produce a first draft of a legal charge for a new matter. We discuss the structure of the deal and the issues that will need to be addressed. As part of the team, trainees are given a high level of responsibility and are expected to assist in drafting important documents. I download the Taylor Wessing legal charge precedent and begin making the necessary amendments.
11.00am: I attend a short training session which is delivered by our professional support lawyer. Regular training sessions are important to ensure the team is always aware of new developments in the law.
11.45am: I continue with my drafting of the legal charge. As the deal involves some development work, I speak to an associate in the construction and engineering department for assistance. Taylor Wessing has a great collegiate atmosphere and departments often work closely with each other.
1.00pm: I head outside the office to grab some lunch in the sunshine. A large temporary screen has been installed in the square outside where I can watch Wimbledon while reclining in a deckchair!
1.45pm: I arrive back at my desk and have a voicemail message from a trainee at another firm wanting to discuss some amendments to draft board minutes. I call her back and we negotiate some wording to be inserted. I check this with the supervising associate who agrees it is appropriate. I email the trainee to confirm the board minutes are agreed.
2.30pm: On a separate matter, I attend a brief conference call with a client to discuss some outstanding points in a draft loan agreement and take detailed notes. Following the call, I assist my supervisor in incorporating these points into the document. Many of the outstanding points are commercial (rather than legal), however it is important that everyone understands the client’s concerns.
4.00pm: I sit down with my supervisor to discuss my draft legal charge. He makes some amendments to ensure the document is more favourable to our client. We then send the document to the borrower’s solicitors for their review.
5.00pm: I update the ‘CP checklist’ for another matter that I have been working on. The CP checklist records the progress of the ‘conditions precedent’. I collect updates from the various departments working on the matter. I also speak to our counterparts at a law firm in New York who are advising the client on aspects of US law. The multi-jurisdictional nature of the work can be very interesting and trainees are often the main point of contact for foreign counsel.
6.30pm: The firm is hosting a client summer drinks event and I have volunteered to assist with welcoming the guests and handing out name badges. When all of the guests have arrived, I grab a cold beer and network. Events like this are a great opportunity to meet and speak with clients in a friendly environment.
About the firm
Address:5 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3TW
Telephone: 020 7300 7000
Fax:020 7300 7100
Senior partner : Adam Marks
Managing partner : Tim Eyles
Other offices: Amsterdam, Berlin, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Cambridge, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Indonesia, Hamburg, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Jeddah, Kiev, London – Tech City, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Prague, Riyadh, Singapore, South Korea, Vienna and Warsaw. Representative offices: Beijing, Brno, Klagenfurt and Shanghai.
Who we are: Taylor Wessing is a full-service international law firm, standing at the forefront of the industries of tomorrow. Acting as legal advisors to well-known clients in progressive and cutting-edge sectors, we’re a firm for ground breakers, the smart thinkers and the trail blazers. Our spark, focus and lateral thinking make us exceptional legal advisors.
What we do: Taylor Wessing offers industry-focused advice and in-depth sector experience including: banking and finance; capital markets; copyright and media law; corporate; commercial agreements; construction and engineering; employment and pensions; EU competition, IT and telecoms; litigation and dispute resolution; patents; planning and environment; private client; projects; real estate; restructuring and corporate recovery; tax; trade marks and designs.
What we are looking for: We look for team players with a minimum of ABB grades at A-level and a 2(1) degree in any discipline. You’ll need to be confident and enthusiastic with the communication skills to build vibrant relationships with our clients. You’ll have the energy, ambition and creativity to take early responsibility and make a real impact.
What you'll do:Our award-winning training (we won lawcareers.net best trainer – larger city firm in 2014) combines our in-house Professional Skills Course with six-month seats in four different practice groups, including one contentious seat and one in our corporate or finance areas. You will get regular partner contact and will work closely with associates on high-quality work from the outset. Frequent client contact and secondment opportunities to their offices are also offered.
Perks: Private medical care, pension scheme, life assurance, season ticket loan for travel, 25 days’ holiday (with an extra day at Christmas), discounted gym membership and employee assistance programme.
Sponsorship:GDL and MA (LPC with Business) sponsored. A maintenance grant is provided.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 24
Applications received pa: 800
Percentage interviewed: 3%
First year: £40,000
Second year: £44,000
Newly qualified: £63,000
Total partners: 400
Apply to:Sarah Harte, graduate talent advisor.
When to Apply:Closing date for 2019 is 30 April 2017.
First year open day: April 2017.
June and July 2017 (40 places available (2 x 20); 2 weeks’ duration; remuneration of £275 per week). Apply by 30 January 2017.