Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Addleshaw Goddard
The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Addleshaw Goddard
Why did you choose this firm over any other?
‘This firm appealed to me because of its ‘friendly’ and ‘inclusive’ culture. It is also one of the best firms in Leeds with a great reputation’; ‘same quality of work as trainees in the London office’; ‘the people are genuinely friendly and approachable. They are diverse, grounded and generous with their time’; ‘good amount of client contact, given responsibility quickly’
Best thing about the firm?
‘The people and its culture – particularly its commitment to encouraging mindfulness at work, whilst still providing an outstanding service to clients’; ‘the culture across all offices. The supportive nature of the people that work here. If you work hard, the firm will recognise this and reward you’
Worst thing about the firm?
‘There have been clear efforts to incorporate the Scottish offices following the merger, but it feels like there’s still a bit more work to be done to close the gap between the offices in Scotland and those in England’; ‘the worst thing about the firm is the seat move process’; ‘it is quite slow to the uptake of flexible working’
‘Doing completions entirely on my own’; ‘receiving an AG Excellence Award for organising a CSR Event’; ‘my international secondment. The team abroad provided me with high quality work but also gave me time to explore the city and take in new cultures’; ‘gaining confidence through a client secondment’; ‘leading on a client call’; ‘completing over £2 billion in deals during my banking seat’
‘Sending an erroneous email to a client’; ‘staying until 1pm to sort through boxes of deeds’; ‘lack of certainty about when I will finish work for the day’; ‘having to work from home before properly integrating with the team’; ‘feeling overwhelmed by workload at points and lack of sleep, although this was quite short term during a particularly busy spell’
The Lex 100 verdict on Addleshaw Goddard
The firm: Addleshaw Goddard is a premium international law firm with an exceptional breadth of services. The firm is an FT Innovative Lawyers Award winner, which recognises its pioneering approach to legal services. The firm is a leading advisor to FTSE 100 companies and a market leader across its corporate, commercial, finance and projects, real estate and litigation business divisions; specialist fields such as private capital; and the energy, financial services, health and life sciences, real estate, retail and consumer, and transport sectors.
The deals: A third of all UK AIM IPOs in 2019, including the largest AIM IPO fundraise of the year, on The Pebble Group’s £135m flotation; advising Battersea Phase 3 Holding Company Limited on the real estate aspects associated with the £600m financing of phase 3 of the new 42 acre development, creating London’s newest high street; advising China State Grid on US$1bn acquisition of 49% of the share capital of Oman Electricity Transmission Company, a part of the partial privatisation of the electricity sector in Oman; advising Co-Op on renewal of its £400m banking facilities with a groundbreaking sustainable revolving credit facility; advising Department for Transport on flagship West Coast Partnership rail franchise to a FirstGroup/Trenitalia consortium and successfully advising on claims arising from West Coast Trains Partnership’s disqualification from the procurement competition; advising on launch of HSBC Kinetic, a new mobile business banking service; advising VW on creating with Ford the world’s largest global alliance, for the development and supply of vehicles globally.
The clients: BNP Paribas, British Land, Department for Transport, Emirates, GlaxoSmithKline, NHS, RBS and Sainsbury’s.
Trainees looking for a ‘friendly and inclusive culture’ with a solid and growing ‘regional reputation for excellence’ are drawn to Addleshaw Goddard. With a strong UK-wide reputation, particularly in the North of England and Scotland, the firm impresses trainees with its ‘international outlook, high quality of work, but ultimately approachable and down-to-earth people’. Addleshaw Goddard trainees see lots of quality work as well as ‘direct client contact’ resulting in a ‘hand-on experience’. Trainees ‘are given more opportunities, both in terms of legal work and soft skills development’. Current trainees praise the firm for its ‘flexible working, diversity and collaboration’ and say ‘the firm is dynamic and forward-thinking, especially in its use of legal technologies’. They commonly identified approachability of partners and senior staff, noting that the firm has ‘a real collegiate culture where people talk in the lifts’ and a great social life, where highlights are ‘fizz Fridays’ and ‘very swanky socials’. Trainees rate the quality of the ‘excellent technical training and supervision’ and having a ‘really good support network.’ Respondents praised the firm’s involvement in pro-bono opportunities and often get ‘involved in a lot of charity work for AG and external activities’. Some respondents identify a difference between the firm’s English and Scottish offices, particularly in terms of pay and diversity, but praised the firm’s international secondments, its legal access scheme and opportunity for career changers. If you are looking for City-quality work with Northern friendliness and ‘a firm that cares about diversity and giving people the chance to succeed’ consider Addleshaw Goddard.
A day in the life of… Jawad Ilyas, trainee, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Departments to date: Construction, environment and engineering; employment
University: University of Manchester
Degree: Law, first class
8.50am: I arrive in the office and head to the canteen to grab coffee and breakfast. We have a fantastic canteen so it can sometimes be a struggle to decide which option to have.
9.00am: I head back to my desk, look through my emails and check my calendar for today. I update my weekly/daily to-do list and try to broadly plan my day so that I know what to prioritise. I quickly check in with my supervisor to discuss my capacity and see if there is anything I can assist her with.
9.30am: My day officially starts. One of the matters I am assisting on is a complex disability discrimination claim in the Employment Tribunal in which we act for the respondent. Earlier on in the week I was involved in a call with a witness where we took their statement. I review my notes from the call and make a quick plan on how to proceed.
10.00am: I make a start on the witness statement. I have drafted a few during my time in the employment team but this matter is particularly complex. In between drafting, I review and respond to emails which come in and update my to-do list.
11.20am: I grab a cup of tea and biscuit from the kitchen. When I come back I review my drafting so far against the notes I took from the call. Where I am unsure of anything or think of any further questions we may need to ask the witness, I make a note so that I can discuss this with my supervisor.
12.30pm: I head down to the canteen; today is Thursday which means chicken shawarma is on the menu. I grab my food and catch up with my friends to talk about how work is going and the type of work we have on at the moment and ideas for after work socials.
1.30pm: I arrive back at my desk. I see an email has come in from my colleague who requires some help with due diligence on a corporate deal. One of the things I have really enjoyed about my seat in employment is that there is a good mixture of contentious and non-contentious work.
1.45pm: I have a quick chat with my colleague who explains we are acting for a purchaser who is acquiring the entire issued share capital of a target company. My colleague asks if I can review the employment contracts of senior employees at the target company and draft a summary of the key terms of the contracts.
2.00pm: I make a start on the review. My colleague has very kindly sent me a template so I know what sort of specific terms and clauses to look out for. I review the contracts and draft the summary. It is very interesting to see how employment contracts vary depending on the employee’s seniority level and role in the business, and the use of restrictive covenants in practice, as I studied employment law at university and on the LPC.Once finished, I send it to my colleague for her review, flagging any points of note.
4.20pm: I pick up the witness statement I was working on from earlier and carry on drafting. I review my notes from the call to make sure I’ve covered everything we discussed. Once I am satisfied with my work I send my draft over to my supervisor. We agree to catch up tomorrow to review my work and discuss.
5.45pm: The firm does five-a-side football on a Thursday after work. One of our paralegals organises the teams and comes up with the team names. This week we have Buyer Munich v Contractington Stanley… I will let you be the judge of the team names. We walk down to the pitches and have a run around for an hour; things are always competitive but friendly and it is a great chance to meet people from other departments.
About the firm
Senior partner: Charles Penney
Managing partner: John Joyce
Other offices: Aberdeen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Leeds, Manchester, Oman, Qatar and Singapore. The firm also has a formal alliance with Tokyo-based Hashidate Law Office, and a worldwide network of strong relationships with chosen firms in North America, Europe and other emerging jurisdictions.
Who we are: We are a premium international law firm with an exceptional breadth of services. Our reputation for outstanding quality is built upon long-term relationship investment and a deep understanding of client markets.
What we do: We have a broad client portfolio, which is testament to the strength and expertise of our people. It includes financial institutions, public sector bodies, successful businesses and private individuals.
What we’re looking for: We require a 2(1) honours degree (or equivalent). But what will really open doors to an outstanding career here is the real you. At Addleshaw Goddard, we’re looking for original minds and collaborative spirits alongside motivation, drive and commercial awareness. We’re constantly delighted by the diverse backgrounds of our best lawyers, and we’re open to law and non-law graduates alike, as well as those looking to change career.
What you’ll do: As a trainee, important cases will come your way from the get-go. You will work on everything from multimillion-pound deals to high-profile fraud cases, employment disputes to complex technology contracts. Our success is intrinsically linked to yours, so we’ll always have your back and help you realise your potential.
Perks: We provide all trainees with a substantial and competitive range of benefits. These include: dental cover, gym allowance, season ticket loan, interest-free loan, bonus scheme, group pension membership with matched contributions at 3-5%, life insurance, permanent health insurance and private medical insurance.
Sponsorship: GDL/LPC and maintenance grant of £7,000 (London), £4,500 (other UK locations).