Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP

Why did you choose this firm over any other? ‘I value work/life balance highly and Cripps Pemberton Greenish was able to offer a great balance (unlike most City firms)’; ‘location and the firm felt welcoming during interview’; ‘work/life balance and quality of clients’; ‘I applied to Cripps because of the value they placed on people; they really wanted trainees who would fit in with the culture’

Best thing about the firm? ‘How friendly and approachable everyone is, how easy it is to fit into each team and how everyone takes time to help you’; ‘the culture and the confidence put in trainees to handle client contact and important tasks’; ‘the supervision is also really structured and I feel like I get good one-to-one training’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘The hours are often quite long and the pay does not quite match up to this’; ‘the merger has meant that trainees have to undertake a London seat which is non-negotiable’; ‘office atmosphere in certain departments’; ‘the procedure regrading NQ jobs is late compared to other firms’

Best moment? ‘Being able to lead with client contact after an initial client meeting with minimal supervision’; ‘seeing a matter through from start to finish’; ‘completed a charity bike ride through Kent, London and on to Paris with a group of colleagues including the managing partner, associates of all levels, partners, trainees and colleagues from business services and finance teams’

Worst moment? ‘Working late on urgent work and being chased for very non-urgent work at the same time’; ‘having to hot desk whilst in one of my seats – having to work out each day where I was allowed to sit within the team’

The Lex 100 verdict on Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP

The firm: Cripps Pemberton Greenish is one of the country’s leading legal practices servicing corporate, real estate and private clients. With more than 450 people across its offices in Kent and London, it focuses on delivering an exceptional service to clients.

The deals: part of Deliveroo’s real estate panel of lawyers helping them take space for delivery kitchens and restaurants in the UK and project manage their rapid expansion overseas, including members of the team being seconded to Deliveroo; providing legal services to Chapel Down on a range of matters including the acquisition and development of their brewery site in Ashford, on agricultural tenancies, corporate governance, employment matters and crowdfunding; advising Eurotunnel on a wide range of projects including real estate management, IT procurement and employment; advising The Crown Estate on prime central London real estate in relation to leasehold enfranchisement matters; advising Harrow School Enterprises Ltd (the commercial arm of Harrow School) on the launch of a new online school, ‘Harrow School Online’- online schools are a fairly new feature of the education sector and this high-profile work generated significant media attention; supporting the expansion of Brilliant Basics (part of Infosys)’ premises in London, taking four separate leases of approx. 40,000sq ft of office space at Helical’s new Old Street development, The Bower; acting for US-based technology firm Uniguest on its successful acquisition of UK headquartered Tripleplay, a market leader in the development and delivery of IPTV, digital signage and video streaming solutions.

The clients: Wates Developments; The Cadogan Estate; Hermes Real Estate; South East Water; Holiday Extras; Park Holidays UK; Chapel Down Group; Channel Tunnel Group; University of Kent; Remy Cointreau UK.

The verdict

Providing ‘both London-quality work and clients without having to be in London everyday’, Cripps Pemberton Greenish is a ‘a wide services firm away from the hustle and bustle of the City’. Based in Tunbridge Wells with a Chelsea office, Cripps is applauded for its ‘location, work/life balance and level of responsibility as a trainee’ with people at the firm described as being ‘generally pretty friendly and helpful which makes a real difference when the work itself can be quite stressful and the days are long’. Trainees rate the firm’s diverse seat offerings, quality of the client list and workload as well as its work/life balance. A trainee comments, ‘I applied to Cripps because of the value the firm placed on people, really wanting trainees who would fit in with the culture. The vacation scheme showed me that everyone worked hard but had fun while doing it’. Due to the small intake size, the primary location in Tunbridge Wells and the ‘friendly/approachable’ firm culture, trainees commend highly the training programme. Respondents comment on the ‘very inclusive and non-hierarchical culture, which I think is not the case at many firms’, and in comparison with some others ‘we get more responsibilities from the very beginning of our training contract. We run our own files and we have a lot of client contact’. Complaints focus on remuneration, ‘the hours are often quite long and the pay does not quite match up to this,’ as well as the pay scale difference between London and Kent trainees. Yet for a full-service offering in a friendly and approachable atmosphere with the ability to work in and out of London, Cripps Pemberton Greenish takes some beating.

A day in the life of… Angela Alvey, trainee, Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Angela Alvey, Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP

My day (pre-Covid) starts around 8.30am when I catch up on emails and check with fee-earners for any updates on matters which I am assisting with. My first piece of work is to draft an email advising the trustees of a charitable trust on their obligations in relation to purchasing a non-charitable company. I find a really useful GOV.UK guidance note on this, along with information on Practical Law and so along with the trust’s articles of association, and sections of the Charities Act 2011, I draft an email and send it over to the fee-earner to review.

I then assist another fee-earner whose client has entered into refinancing arrangements for the purchase of the assets of a group of companies. This is a really interesting matter with a number of borrowers and guarantors. I read the file to bring myself up to speed and then draft the refinancing ancillary documents. I then send these over to the fee-earner, with copies of the constitutional documents for each company for review.

I then receive an email from a client enclosing some pension scheme information for one of their companies which we are assisting with the sale of. In particular, I review the final salary scheme to make sure that it has been recently audited and that all funding requirements have been met. I look over the remaining documentation for the other company pension schemes and email the client with requests for outstanding information.

The location of our offices means I am able to head off to the local gym for a 30-minute exercise class with another member of the team. This is the first time I have done this class, and sure enough, two days later, I am aching and the stairs are a definite no!

Back in the office, I receive some feedback from a fee-earner on a shareholders’ agreement which I recently drafted. I make final amendments to the document and draft an email to the shareholders providing an overview of each term of this agreement.

I then complete some research for one of our partners for a potential new client. This is a great business opportunity as the client is a prominent local business. I review the Companies House records for the companies within the group, and then compare group company accounts over the last three years. I also find a recent interview with the now chief executive officer, who talks about the long history of the business and his plans for its future. I compile a report for the partner.

My last piece of work for the day is to calculate the funds raised to date for our charity of the year, CLIC Sargent. As part of the fundraising, we have a team of cyclists who have just completed a bike ride from our London office to Paris. The funds raised so far are over £12,000, and with other initiatives, including our monthly dress down day and bun run, in just over four months we have raised over £16,500. I prepare a breakdown of all the different sources of these funds ahead of the charity committee meeting tomorrow.

I then update my to do list, which includes completing a legal due diligence enquiries report for a share sale, drafting some ancillary documents for a management buyout and a disclosure letter for a share sale.

My daughter is home from university for a few days, and so I take the opportunity at about 6.00pm to close down my computer and head home… just as I’m leaving the office, she texts to let me know that she has bought her washing home with her! So we have a take away while the washing machine goes into overload, and my daughter talks about uni life. A great end to a great day!

About the firm

Senior partner: Clare Hyland

Managing partner: Gavin Tyler

Other offices: London – 45 Cadogan Gardens, London – SW3 2AQ

Who we are: Expertise and experience are not enough – how we work matters. Our lawyers care more, imagine better, enjoy their work and consistently achieve for clients.

What we do: We have one of the UK’s largest private client teams helping individuals and families to maximise their assets, making their lives easier by taking the burden out of managing their personal affairs. Our multi-award-winning corporate team supports many of the UK’s most exciting businesses from innovative start-ups to global brands, fulfilling all the legal service needs a business has during its life cycle. We have one of the largest commercial real estate teams in the UK covering every aspect of the property life cycle, working with private and institutional owners/investors, developers, lenders, private equity, landed estates and major occupiers.

What we’re looking for: Those who share our purpose, have a genuine interest in our firm, relevant work experience, and good commercial and business awareness.

What you’ll do: We offer a comprehensive induction programme and ongoing training throughout the two-year contract. Support is provided regularly through structured reviews and on-the-job coaching. We offer a four-seat training contract providing genuine hands-on experience. Levels of responsibility are high with many trainees managing their own files under supervision.

Perks: Benefits include 25 days’ holiday, pension scheme and season ticket loans. You will also receive an uplift in salary while undertaking a London-based seat as well as the associated travel costs between our Kent and London offices.

Sponsorship: We provide full funding if you study the BPP’s Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Diversity and inclusion