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Coffin Mew LLP

Coffin Mew LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Client contact
Coffin Mew ‘strives to be a workplace for the future’. A ‘big focus on tech, flexible working and a “dress for your client” policy’ is proof. Many praised the assessment centre, which was described as ‘well run’ and some trainees particularly enjoyed being ‘called the same day by the managing partner to offer me a training contract’ which made them ‘feel valued from the outset’. There is ‘client contact on offer from an early stage’, as well as ‘excellent access to quality work’ which sees trainees ‘heavily involved in files and transactions’. The firm is a Lex 100 Winner in the ...

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Financial remuneration
A firm on an ‘upward trajectory’, Cooley is ‘going from strength to strength’, and this pleased trainees no end. The US firm’s ‘focus on technology sectors’ translates to ‘super-interesting work’ for great clients. A ‘small trainee intake’ brings with it ‘the associated benefits of greater responsibility and exposure to high-quality work’, although it can also ‘result in very high-intensity periods’. It’s a good job that the work environment is ‘welcoming and unpretentious’. Supervisors are ‘approachable and willing to answer questions’, as well as ‘listen to your input on strategy’. Although ‘actual training can sometimes feel like an afterthought’, ...

Covington & Burling LLP

A ‘leading practice in life sciences’ and ‘expertise in regulatory work’ make Covington & Burling stand out. ‘The high calibre of the clients’ and a ‘strong tech focus’ were also big enticements. Training is ‘more on the job’ at the US firm and recruits are ‘frequently given substantive and interesting work’ which makes them feel very much ‘valued as a team member’. Colleagues are described as ‘exceptionally clever and nice to work with’, as well as having a ‘passion for solving problems, which is infectious’. Because ‘staffing is generally very lean’, in many departments ‘you will find yourself working directly ...

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Cripps Pemberton Greenish is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Client contact, Vacation schemes
Several Cripps Pemberton Greenish recruits had heard about the ‘fantastic opportunities on offer for trainees’ which would help them ‘develop and flourish as lawyers’. And the recently-merged Tunbridge Wells-headquartered firm certainly lives up to expectations, with reports of ‘real, hands-on work’ and ‘involvement in challenging deals and transactions’ rife. ‘I speak to clients every day. It’s not ever considered a problem and in fact it’s encouraged’ said one trainee, which is presumably the reason Cripps has won a Lex 100 Winner medal for client contact. The ‘human approach to the assessment process’ was greatly appreciated, with trainees feeling like ‘...

Crown Prosecution Service

Crown Prosecution Service is a Lex 100 Winner in 2 categories: Work/life balance, Confident of being kept on
For candidates who have ‘an interest in criminal law from the outset’, the Crown Prosecution Service is an ‘obvious choice’. Respondents cited various iterations of a ‘passion for criminal law’, a wish to ‘deliver justice’ and the ‘opportunity to gain advocacy experience’ as motivators for joining the organisation. Training can be a little ‘less structured and more ad-hoc’ than at some traditional law firms: ‘there aren’t seats as such and what you end up doing depends on what you and your supervisor decide’. Trainees therefore ‘need to be proactive in their approach’ in order to get the most out ...

DAC Beachcroft

Expertise in insurance litigation, a ‘large healthcare department’ and a ‘good regional presence’ were some of the motivations to join ‘market leader’ DAC Beachcroft. The firm offers training contracts in Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and London, and several trainees mentioned working as paralegals at the firm beforehand, during which time they were impressed by the culture and the quality of work. Indeed, the calibre of work was cited by many as the best thing about the firm, with ‘trainees really getting to participate in varied tasks’, such as ‘attending a billion-pound arbitration’ and ‘negotiating contract terms with the other side’s ...

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 4 categories: Job satisfaction, Quality of work, Confident of being kept on, Financial remuneration
Debevoise & Plimpton boasts ‘both transactional and contentious teams that operate at a very high level’. The US firm’s ‘top quality arbitration and funds work’ attracted many and the salary, which is ‘among the highest in the City’, was also an undoubtable draw. Consequently, Debevoise has amassed four Lex 100 Winner medals for job satisfaction, quality of work, confidence of being kept on and remuneration. Recruits enjoy being part of a small intake where they form a valuable part of ‘tight-knit teams’ and get to work on ‘very large deals with renowned clients’. The training contract is flexible: ‘the firm ...

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 3 categories: Vacation schemes, Financial remuneration, International secondments
Trainees at Dechert make up a modest intake, which in turn gives them ‘greater exposure to clients and partners in smaller deal teams’. The US firm has ‘strong corporate and finance departments’ and offers an unusual six-seat training contract which affords recruits the ‘opportunity to experience a diverse range of work’. The result is that trainees are able to ‘sit in key practice areas, as well as more niche departments’ and ‘get to know more of the firm’ during their training contract. Dechert has been awarded three Lex 100 Winner medals: one for its ‘excellent vacation scheme’, another for its ‘pay, ...

Devonshires Solicitors LLP

‘Property-focused’ Devonshires counts a ‘particular specialism in social housing’ and a strength in litigation among its talents. Trainees love that there is a ‘lot of crossover between departments as most work for the same clients repeatedly’. Staff at all levels are ‘incredibly welcoming’ and are ‘mostly a very sociable and friendly bunch’. At the collaborative London firm, ‘partner/trainee contact is an everyday occurrence’ and superiors ‘actually explain tasks and feedback’, which is especially useful given that recruits are ‘very involved in cases and transactions’. Hands-on work highlights, such as ‘drafting a witness statement from scratch’, ‘attending on-site meetings with ...

Farrer & Co

Farrer & Co is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Vacation schemes
‘Four things: the clients, the fascinating (and usually tricky) work, the culture and the lovely main building’ all make Farrer & Co an attractive choice. ‘The quality and uniqueness of the clients seemed to be unparalleled’ said one recruit, ‘this promised to bring with it some challenging work, which was confirmed to me when I completed the vacation scheme’. The firm is correspondingly a Lex 100 Winner in this category. A small intake of ten makes for a ‘friendly, collegiate atmosphere’ where trainees ‘feel like human beings’ rather than ‘a cog in a huge machine’. What’s more, ‘working closely with ...

Fieldfisher LLP

An ‘ambitious, growing firm’ with a ‘fantastic client base and sector expertise’, Fieldfisher ‘definitely lives up to the marketing hype’. The European firm offers training contracts in Birmingham, Manchester and London and recruits appreciate the opportunity to carry out ‘work of an incredible quality’ wherever they train. A number of respondents lauded the vacation scheme, where they met ‘friendly and approachable people’ and felt ‘welcomed and included’ by their respective departments. In fact, the people at Fieldfisher ‘are a pleasure to work with’. Moreover, there is a ‘good range of seats’ and the working hours are ‘generally manageable’. Recruits commended ...

Fladgate LLP

Fladgate LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 5 categories: Job satisfaction, Quality of work, Client contact, Work/life balance, Approachability
‘From the very first day’ Fladgate partners are ‘inclusive and take an obvious interest in the trainees’. This translates into ‘high-quality supervision and training’, as well as ‘lots of responsibility, which ensures that ‘you do develop very well as a lawyer’. Little wonder that the London firm is a Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction, quality of work, client contact, supervisor approachability and work/life balance. Elaborating on the latter, trainees report ‘better hours compared to City law firms’ which ensures that recruits ‘feel happy’. Encouragingly, ‘learning rates seem quicker’ thanks to a ‘lot of responsibility being pushed down by the ...

Forsters LLP

Forsters ‘combines the quality of work of a larger City firm with the atmosphere of a smaller, West- End practice’. The sector-focused, Mayfair-based firm is ‘excellent in commercial real estate in particular’, which pleased trainees who had an interest in property law. An impressive six Lex 100 Winner medals have been awarded to Forsters for job satisfaction, living up to expectations, work/life balance, social life, vacation scheme and salary. Recruits enjoy working with ‘very approachable and normal people’ who have ‘interests outside of just law’ and ‘get to know who you are as a person’. The partners in particular are ‘...

Gateley

Gateley is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: Confident of being kept on
Gateley’s ‘innovative and entrepreneurial’ plc status and the resulting ‘incentives provided to staff by way of shares’ enticed trainees. Respondents were impressed with the recruitment process, which made clear that the firm ‘genuinely wanted to get to know you as a person above anything else’. Training is ‘closely supervised’, particularly in certain departments, where ‘supervisors are willing to take the time to discuss your work and how it can be improved’. There are also plenty of opportunities to be ‘the direct point of contact with the client and run smaller transactions yourself’. Some examples of the latter are: ‘being ...

Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP

Goodwin Procter is renowned for its specialism in funds and private equity. The US firm’s practice areas are ‘focused and deeply integrated with one another’. A smaller trainee intake sees recruits gain ‘exposure to great work and people’, although this also means that they are ‘expected to hit the ground running straight away’. Another benefit of the modest-sized cohort is that ‘everyone knows you and you never feel like just a number on a spreadsheet’. The work on offer is ‘technically advanced’, with plenty of opportunity to ‘get involved with the type of real-life tasks you will be doing ...

HFW

HFW is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: International secondments
For trainee hopefuls with an interest in shipping and aviation, ‘global leader’ HFW is an obvious choice. The international firm’s ‘specialist sector focus’ offers recruits the ‘opportunity to work with the biggest clients in the industry’ on ‘genuinely interesting matters’. Guaranteed international secondments for all trainees is the other big draw and has earned the firm a Lex 100 Winner medal in this category. Placements to far-flung destinations, from Melbourne to Dubai to Piraeus, attracted unmitigated praise for their ‘smooth organisation’ and for the ‘high-level work’ on offer. Indeed, ‘plenty of trainees love it so much they decide to qualify ...

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP is a Lex 100 Winner in 3 categories: Job satisfaction, Firm living up to expectations, Work/life balance
An ‘international law firm with northern roots’, Hill Dickinson appealed to many because it offers training contracts in locations across England. Trainees feel that they are ‘given more legal work’ than peers at some other firms and enjoy ‘lots of responsibility and the opportunity to be client facing’ from an early stage. The northern-headquartered firm is a Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction, living up to expectations and work/life balance. Given that ‘the firm wants to retain all trainees as NQs’, trainees are also often lucky enough to enjoy the feeling of job security. There is a ‘relaxed atmosphere’ at ...

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors Limited

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors Limited is a Lex 100 Winner in 4 categories: Client contact, Work/life balance, Social life, Approachability
‘Leader in claimant work’ Hodge Jones & Allen offers the opportunity to undertake seats in areas such as civil liberties, personal injury, crime and clinical negligence. Trainees tended to agree that ‘getting some form of justice for seriously disabled clients is incredibly satisfying’. Several recruits had previously worked at the London firm as paralegals and had been won over by ‘the ethos and the work undertaken’, as well as the people, who are ‘nicer than everywhere else’. Trainees get a lot of responsibility and client contact; they ‘frequently visit or phone clients unsupervised to take witness statements’ and are given ‘...

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells is a Lex 100 Winner in 1 category: International secondments
Hogan Lovells’ esteemed reputation in all three areas of corporate, litigation and finance sets it apart: ‘most City firms only have a really great reputation in two of these areas’, noted respondents. The ‘truly international’ firm is a Lex 100 Winner for its overseas secondments, from which trainees undoubtedly return ‘more confident’. A ‘broad range of practice areas’ and ‘innovative work’ for an ‘impressive client list’ ensure that recruits ‘get excellent training even in practice areas which are otherwise considered to be niche’. What’s more, a ‘supportive and high-performing culture’ is proof that Hogan Lovells ‘genuinely cares about trainees and ...

Howard Kennedy LLP

‘A firm on the up with expanding departments’, Howard Kennedy has an ‘exceptional real estate practice’ and interesting sector focuses in energy, sports and entrepreneurs, among others. Several trainees had heard of the firm’s ‘friendly and approachable reputation’, something which was confirmed by attending open days and interviews. There is a clear ’emphasis on expressing your personality, rather than conforming to being a particular type of lawyer’, which is doubly encouraging considering that the people at Howard Kennedy are all ‘genuinely lovely, helpful, understanding and patient’. The small trainee intake ‘work very closely with supervisors’ who ‘look out for ...
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