Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Cripps Pemberton Greenish

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

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Work/life balance’, ‘quality of work at junior level’, ‘location’, ‘size of firm’, ‘high levels of responsibility’, ‘varied seat options’, ‘Cripps was a major sponsor of my law society at university and we had organised many events with them’, ‘I was interviewed by the managing partner which shows that they wish to invest in their trainees for the long-term’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The culture is collaborative as opposed to competitive’, ‘the training is extremely thorough’, ‘work/life balance (although this varies between teams’, ‘I have closer supervision, one-to-one training and more client contact’, ‘the people’, ‘the approachability of colleagues’, ‘there is little to no hierarchy and it is a wonderful place to learn and train’, ‘flexible working is encouraged, even as a trainee’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘That the salary is lower compared to London even though the cost of living is still high in Tunbridge Wells’, ‘sometimes we are underrated because we are not based in London’, ‘we work longer hours than some other regional firms and a lot is expected of us for a relatively low salary’, ‘the “extra-curricular” jobs which are made to seem compulsory and which we are told will help us be kept on’

Best moment? ‘Good feedback from a client’, ‘I really look forward to going into work (almost!) every day’, ‘being given responsibility to be the lead contact for clients on smaller matters’, ‘interacting and advising clients without too much supervision’, ‘being commended by a partner in the team for the quality of work and my input generally during the seat’, ‘my client secondment’

Worst moment? ‘Not having a permanent desk – I hot desk so there is a lot of moving around’, ‘getting stuck on a task and not accepting help for fear of seeming incompetent’, ‘drafting lots of blogs’, ‘the time I had to stay in the office past 9pm due to a series of matters all occurring at the same time’, ‘not having certainty on the qualification process – it was left very late’

The Lex 100 verdict on Cripps Pemberton Greenish

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

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

The deals: Represented the Crown Estate Commissioners in the Court of Appeal relating to the scope of the assumption that a lease’s open market valuation is not reduced by tenants’ legal rights under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993; provided Electroneum, a developer of a cryptocurrency, with strategic legal advice on how to roll out updates to the blockchain and supporting application platform which underpin the ETN cryptocurrency; advised the English National Ballet in relation to its high-profile relocation of its main headquarters to London City Island; acted for the joint owners of the centre:mk in Milton Keynes, Hermes and AusSuper as sole legal adviser, dealing with all lettings, asset management, construction and property dispute resolution work for over 240 stores, restaurants and cafes; advised longstanding French client Safic-Alcan on its acquisition of UK-based Langley-Smith & Company.


The verdict

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 ‘the firm really wanted to get to know the person they were interviewing’. Another Lex 100 Winner medal has been awarded for the vacation scheme. Despite being outside of London, the firm ‘has large clients’ and a ‘broad reach’ and you ‘get a great work/life balance whilst acting opposite City firms on quality work’. The main complaint was trainee remuneration, which it was felt ‘could be slightly improved for a firm of its size and reputation’. ‘Losing cases’ and ‘dealing with difficult and emotional clients’ were singled out as worst moments. On a more positive note, ‘exchanging contracts on a complex sale’, ‘going to court for the first time’ and ‘bringing in a large piece of work for the firm’ were clear highlights. The culture is collaborative and one respondent described Cripps as ‘the friendliest firm I have ever encountered’. For a firm with an ‘excellent reputation’ where, even as a trainee, ‘you will be involved in challenging deals and transactions’, take a closer look at Cripps Pemberton Greenish.

A day in the life of… Zoe Cartner , first-year trainee, Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Zoe Cartner , Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Departments to date: Commercial property, property dispute resolution

University: University of Kent

Degree: Law 2(1)

8.15am: I arrive into our Tunbridge Wells office early, make myself a coffee and head to my desk, chatting to various colleagues from other departments on the way. We have an open-plan office which gives ample opportunity to interact with colleagues and work collaboratively between teams.

8.45am: I check my emails, review my calendar and list my tasks for the day in order of priority.

9.00am: I have an informal catch up with my supervisor who checks that my workload is manageable and to check in generally with my workload. I confirm that I am on top of my matters (although very busy!) and provide an update on a matter that we are working on together.

9.15am: My ‘to-do list’ is interrupted as I receive news of a potential delayed lease completion in relation to one of my lease renewal matters. Today is also the deadline for making an application to the court to issue protective proceedings and if this deadline is missed our client’s tenancy will come to an end at midnight. I call the client, explain the situation and take instructions. I make a start drafting a claim form just in case the lease does not complete as expected.

11.45am: I have signed up for a cycle ride – ‘le tour’ – which sets off from our Chelsea office heading to Paris via Tunbridge Wells and Kings Hill to raise money for our charity of the year, CLIC Sargent. I take a quick break to check our Cripps Pemberton Greenish just giving page to see how our fundraising is progressing.

12.00pm: I have a conference call at 12.15 with another member of the team and a developer client. I meet with my colleague to discuss the agenda before the call.

12.15pm: I gather my notes, and we head to the meeting room and dial in. I take detailed notes throughout the call and offer my opinion where appropriate. After the call I prepare an attendance note and save it to the file.

1.00pm: I have arranged to have a catch up with a colleague from another team for lunch; we meet in reception and head across the road to a local pub for a bite to eat.

2.00pm: I return to the office, make myself a cup of tea and check my to-do list. I have been asked by a member of our team to research the law relating to the removal/destruction of river canal boats after the expiry of a mooring agreement and any legal protections afforded to boat tenants. It is an interesting area of law and I prepare a note of advice and send to my colleague.

4.00pm: We have been asked to instruct counsel to draft a defence in respect of a lease renewal on behalf of a client. I check our list of approved counsel and discuss with the team which level of barrister would be most appropriate. Given the potential value of the claim, we decide it would be best to instruct a QC. I call two separate chambers and speak to the clerks regarding the availability and fees for various barristers.

5.00pm: I change into my gym gear and meet a group of colleagues in our reception area. We have arranged an evening of rounders, prosecco and pizza with a group of local agents and we head to the nearby common to meet them for our match.

7.00pm: We return to the office as a group and head up to the sky-lounge to enjoy the warm evening on the terrace with a glass of prosecco and a few slices of pizza!

About the firm

Senior partner: Clare Hyland

Managing partner: Gavin Tyler

Other offices: London

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:  25 days’ holiday, pension scheme, season ticket loan.

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