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Addleshaw Goddard

For Addleshaw Goddard trainees, ‘the culture of the firm really stood out at interview – it seemed pragmatic and down-to-earth’. A ‘progressive outlook and a reputation for being forward-thinking’ also attracted recruits to the firm in droves.  With offices across the UK, AG is the ‘perfect mixture of a City and regional firm, whilst still offering some opportunities to work abroad and undertake top client secondments’. The happy medium of ‘high-quality work and deep involvement in matters with a good work/life balance’ goes some way in explaining the firm’s eight Lex 100 Winner medals. On a less positive note, trainees ...

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Financial remuneration
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s stellar reputation in funds, private equity and restructuring impressed recruits. A small trainee intake and lean teams equal ‘exposure to deals and clients early on’ and working with senior colleagues, including partners, is the norm. An appealing financial package has earned the US firm a Lex 100 Winner award. There is a ‘hands-on approach to training’ with ‘trainees treated as members of the team’ but the ‘right balance is struck between the expectation that we learn by doing and an acknowledgement that we will not know how to do everything first time’. This commitment ...

BDB Pitmans LLP

BDB Pitmans has a ‘range of specialist practice areas’ but it was the infrastructure, charities, corporate and public law teams which particularly attracted trainees. Recruits ‘felt comfortable and welcome from the first time I visited the office’ and appreciated that the ‘recruitment process is different from most firms’. An ‘open-door culture’, complete with ‘approachable partners and managers’ helps ‘foster learning and collaborative working’. ‘Not being able to meet colleagues face to face’ due to remote working has been difficult, but ‘the firm has made a big effort to be inclusive of trainees’ and has ‘sent home several treats’! BDB Pitmans ...

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Inclusiveness
Bevan Brittan has offices in Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham and London. The ‘opportunity to work for public sector clients’ and to undertake ‘meaningful work’ were two of the reasons that motivated trainees to apply. Respondents were ‘particularly drawn in by the culture of the firm’ and got a sense that they would be ‘valued as individuals and not lost among a horde of other trainees’. Recruits at Bevan Brittan are given ‘a lot of responsibility’ and ‘have plenty of support, as well as a good rapport with supervisors and other senior colleagues’. The firm is praised for its inclusiveness. Ordinarily, seat ...

Blaser Mills Law

Blaser Mills Law is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Client contact, Work/life balance
Buckinghamshire’s Blaser Mills is an ‘ambitious, commercially-driven firm’ perfect for those looking to avoid the ‘London commute and the cut-throat working practices of the City’.  Some respondents had previously worked at Blaser Mills as paralegals and knew that they ‘wanted to be part of this fast-growing, progressive firm’. The ‘ability to undertake seats in many different areas’ was attractive to trainees, as were the work/life balance and client contact – two categories in which the firm has earned Lex 100 Winner awards. Elaborating on work/life balance, respondents explained that ‘it is unusual to leave the office after 6pm’. Thanks ...

Brabners LLP

Brabners is a ‘fiercely independent law firm, rooted in its region, and has a strong tradition of being a commercial partner to its clients’. With offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Preston, it seems there is very little the North West firm can’t do. Six Lex 100 Winner medals have been awarded to Brabners this year. The ‘prioritisation of a work/life balance’ and a ‘positive, inclusive culture’ where ‘staff are genuinely heard and valued’ are but some of the reasons for this feat. There is a ‘family feel’ at the firm, with ‘no real hierarchy; everyone is approachable, including senior ...

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Job satisfaction, Confident of being kept on
Burges Salmon ‘offers some of the best training in Bristol’. For the South West firm’s trainees, the prospect of ‘high-quality, varied work and good pay whilst generally retaining a work/life balance’ was just too good to ignore. Two Lex 100 Winner medals have been awarded to Burges Salmon for job satisfaction and, thanks to the ‘consistently high retention rates’, for confidence of being kept on. Recruits appreciate that the firm ‘takes a genuine interest in its trainees’ and champions an open-door policy, where ‘people make time for you; they want to get to know you and are more than ...

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys’ ‘strong private client outfit’ continues to be a draw for lawyers to be. The firm’s ‘outstanding family team’, ‘private wealth disputes work’ and ‘specialisms in sports regulatory and intellectual property’ were also big enticements. That CRS is ‘focused on still being approachable and friendly’ did not go unnoticed by trainees, who appreciate working with colleagues who ‘stem from a variety of backgrounds and experiences but are united in delivering the best service to clients and providing the best support for each other’. What’s more, ‘having a good work/life balance is actively encouraged by partners ...

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: International secondments
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton ‘operates at the top of the market in all its key practice areas’. The US firm’s reputation for ‘sovereign and public institution-related work’, as well as ‘strong contentious prowess’ make it an attractive place to train. A small trainee cohort coupled with a modest office size means ‘more learning opportunities’ and ‘increased exposure to various types of work’. Rather than wait for work to be handed to them, Cleary recruits are ‘encouraged to take the initiative’ and, thanks to a ‘flexible seat structure’, can work in different areas and with different supervisors according to ...

Clifford Chance

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance’s countless tier 1 Legal 500 rankings didn’t go unnoticed by trainees. A ‘strong reputation across practice areas, in particular litigation’ appealed to those who ‘want to see all types of work within one firm’. But Clifford Chance’s distinguishing feature is undoubtedly its ‘genuine commitment to diversity’: ‘it actually works on being actively inclusive’ and trainees are made to feel that ‘you can be who you really are – there is no stereotype’. Several respondents had sampled the vacation scheme, for which CC has earned a Lex 100 Winner award, and ‘clicked immediately with the people’ who ...

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co has ‘market-leading insurance and shipping practices’ and an ‘excellent reputation for contentious work’. The ‘ambitious’ international firm ‘has demonstrated years of strong growth’ which impressed trainees no end. Recruits really enjoy ‘working on exciting matters which are frequently in the news’. For some respondents, the ‘positive culture’ of Clyde & Co became apparent on the Lex 100 Winner-worthy vacation scheme. Four more gongs have been awarded for living up to expectations, approachability of supervisors, confidence of being kept on and work/life balance. Elaborating on the latter, one trainee commented ‘we are routinely encouraged to log off and ...

CMS

‘Future-focused’ and with a ‘reputation for innovation’, choosing CMS was a no-brainer for this year’s survey respondents. The international firm offers training contracts across England and Scotland and boasts an incredibly wide variety of practice areas. ‘High-profile international matters’ and ‘market-leading clients’ are the norm at CMS but the environment remains ‘welcoming’ and ‘down-to earth’ and ‘employees are treated well’. There is a ‘strong focus on training’ and ‘team members, including partners, are willing to get trainees involved in matters and offer feedback on your performance’. It follows that CMS has amassed eight Lex 100 Winner awards this year, with ...

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Financial remuneration
‘Forward-looking’ Cooley has an ‘exciting client base, especially when it comes to emerging companies’. A ‘relative newcomer to the London market’, the US firm has demonstrated ‘rapid international growth’ and boasts a ‘vibrant culture’ complete with ‘approachable associates and partners’. Indeed ‘no matter how busy people are, they are mindful of how they communicate with you’. The ‘quality of work given to junior lawyers’ was highly praised and the firm is a Lex 100 Winner for its impressive salary. A small intake means that trainees are ‘better known in the office’ and receive more client contact, although the training is described ...

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 4 categories: Job satisfaction, Client contact, Work/life balance, Vacation schemes
Covington & Burling’s ‘life sciences sector focus’ and ‘expertise in interesting regulatory areas’ drew trainees to the US firm. Respondents wanted to be part of the small trainee intake which leads to ‘lots of exposure’ and ‘more responsibility early on’. Training is ‘very hands on’ and recruits ‘learn by doing’, all the while receiving ‘a good deal of support from senior lawyers’. ‘You get back what you put in’, trainees explain: ‘the more responsibility you want, the more you get’. Job satisfaction, client contact and vacation scheme have earned Covington & Burling Lex 100 Winner awards this year. This can ...

Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP

Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Work/life balance, Social life
Cripps Pemberton Greenish offers ‘real and varied work’, many ‘high-net-worth clients’ and a ‘friendly office atmosphere’. Several trainees felt that the ethos of the Tunbridge Wells and London-based firm aligned with their own and chose the firm after ‘greatly enjoying the vacation scheme’. Cripps has been awarded two Lex 100 Winner awards for social life and work/life balance. Elaborating on the latter, trainees appreciate that their life outside of work is respected by colleagues but still enjoy ‘getting to work with leading individuals and interesting clients in a plush office’. ‘Everyone is approachable, regardless of their position’ and ‘excellent supervision’ ...

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Job satisfaction, Financial remuneration
Debevoise & Plimpton trainees ‘wanted experience in both transactional and litigious seats, areas in which the firm showcases great strength’. The US firm’s London office boasts several interesting practice areas and regularly undertakes ‘groundbreaking work’ in international arbitration, private equity, fund formation and public international law. ‘Trainees loved ‘attending client meetings where my research was discussed’, ‘getting to negotiate non-disclosure agreements’ and ‘receiving congratulatory calls from senior lawyers’. A small intake allows recruits to ‘build great relationships’, both with each other and with their colleagues who are ‘genuinely friendly’ and boast the enviable combination of being ‘both whip-smart and ...

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 4 categories: Job satisfaction, Quality of work, Client contact, Vacation schemes
Dechert boasts ‘high-profile financial services and private equity departments’ and ‘sophisticated work of an international nature’. A six-seat training contract ‘offers exposure to a greater variety of practice areas’ and ‘there is training almost on a bi-weekly basis for trainees to expand their knowledge’. ‘Nice, approachable and supportive people’ make for a ‘warm and friendly culture’ where ‘everyone genuinely cares about their colleagues’, which is ‘important because the job can get very pressured’. Dechert is a four-time Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction, quality of work, client contact and vacation scheme. According to its trainees, the worst things about the firm ...

Farrer & Co LLP

Farrer & Co LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Job satisfaction, Work/life balance
‘The clients, the training, the work and the culture combine to make a firm that is truly unique’. The London firm’s ‘illustrious history comprises a crucial part of who we are but at the same time there is a conscious effort to be a welcoming, diverse and forward-thinking business’. Farrer & Co is ‘full of friendly people who care deeply about your experience and progression’ and trainees love being given the ‘opportunity to run a few of the smaller matters’ as part of their training. An excellent work/life balance and very high job satisfaction levels have earned Farrer ...

Fladgate LLP

At Fladgate, a small trainee intake means ‘exposure to work you would not get until further in your career elsewhere’ plus ‘you are far more likely to get placed in the department you want. The full-service firm, which is located near London’s Covent Garden, is the ‘perfect size’ and offers ‘high-quality work and friendly people’. At Fladgate trainees are afforded ‘large amounts of responsibility when completing tasks, rather than just tagging along’. The ‘very approachable partners and associates’ have been a blessing during the pandemic as they have enabled trainees to ‘feel supported while working from home’. However, Fladgate ...

Forsters

Forsters boasts ‘excellent service, interesting work, friendly people and promotes a healthy work/life balance’. High-quality work and ‘practice areas with many accolades’, such as private client and property, enticed trainees, as did the enviable office location in London’s Mayfair. Recruits feel that they get ‘closer involvement with clients’ than they would at larger firms, feel ‘better supported’ and ‘undertake more interesting work’. The firm offers ‘varied opportunities and seat rotations – I have been able to sit in the practice area I wanted every time’. The people at Forsters are ‘amazing’; there ‘aren’t big egos’ and the firm ‘...
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