Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Fladgate LLP

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Fladgate LLP

Why did you choose this firm over any other? ‘Size, type of work, culture’; ‘small(ish) size, big work’; ‘the atmosphere and the culture on the assessment day was unique, and much more positive than other firms I had visited’; ‘work/life balance, entrepreneurial clients, exposure to clients and vast responsibility given to trainees’; ‘non-hierarchal feel’; ‘everyone was so friendly during the application process. I loved the location as well’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The people/partners/supervisors’; ‘responsibility from day one’; ‘inclusive nature of the firm and the opportunity to get involved in interesting and exciting deals’; open-door policy – you can genuinely go and speak to anybody (regardless of who they are) about anything’; ‘you feel as if you are being listened to and valued’; ‘friendly and approachable colleagues’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Work/life balance’; ‘coffee’; ‘little flexibility in seats’; ‘salary’; ‘sometimes the hours can be a bit unpredictable, but it’s certainly not as bad as at other firms! For the most part it’s a very steady 9am-6.30pm day’

Best moment? ‘Taking responsibility and dealing with a contentious matter with little direct supervision’; ‘overseeing a transaction from start to finish – a lot of responsibility for a first seat trainee’; ‘settling a big case that we thought would go to trial’; ‘having my work complimented by one of our client’s CEOs’

Worst moment? ‘Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of urgent work’; ‘feeling way out of my depth’; ‘IT training’; ‘not knowing what I was supposed to be doing for the first six weeks’

The Lex 100 verdict on Fladgate LLP

The firm: Fladgate LLP is one of the UK’s top 100 law firms, with a strong reputation for both commercial and private client work. It delivers highly personal service for entrepreneurial, ambitious and fast-moving clients with complex needs that are often international.

The clients: 4C Group, Conde Nast; EasyGym; Formula One; iZettle; Millennium and Copthorne Hotels; Ocado; red Tiger Gaming; Rugby Football Union; Samsung.

The deals: Advised Weston Homes on its agreement with Columbia Threadneedle regarding the regeneration of Anglia Square in Norwich, involving approximately 1,300 new residential units to be built by Weston in phases; assisted Gfinity with its acquisition of RealSM for £2.4m; advising E3 Wind Limited on its acquisition of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which owns a wind farm in Scotland and benefits from the Feed-In Tariff Scheme; acting for Yoo Capital in relation to its joint venture with Astarte for the establishment of Yoo Capital Fund II, LP (YCFII), a London-focused opportunity real estate fund targeting a fund size of £400m; advising PCB Litigation on an innovative financing investment by Burford Capital, the world’s leading finance and asset management firm focused on law, which includes Burford taking a 32% equity stake in PCB.

The verdict

Fladgate LLP is described by its trainees as ‘small(ish) in size’ but with ‘big work’. The firm is praised for its ‘work/life balance’, ‘entrepreneurial clients’ and ‘non-hierarchical feel’. Covent Garden-based, with a global client list and outlook, Fladgate is a leading firm offering a wide range of sectors and experience. Trainees were impressed with the firm from their first encounter, with one saying that ‘the atmosphere and the culture on the assessment day was unique, much more positive than other firms I had visited’. Respondents also highlight that in comparison with competitors there is ‘much more opportunity to develop as a trainee, including building my network in specific areas of law that are of interest to me’. Fladgate receives Lex 100 Winner awards for overall job satisfaction and the amount of client contact; trainees add that ‘Fladgate gives us more responsibility from day one. Everybody (including partners) is very approachable’. Its ‘inclusive nature’ provides the ‘opportunity to get involved in interesting and exciting deals’. Highlights of training include ‘settling a big case that we thought would go to trial’ and ‘taking responsibility and dealing with a contentious matter with little direct supervision’. Grumbles concerned the salary and the fact there is ‘little flexibility of seat choices’ but broadly trainees are happy with their experience. If you are looking for a small-sized intake but a big-City client list, Fladgate is worth checking out.

A day in the life of… Joshua Bennett, second-year solicitor at Fladgate LLP

Joshua Bennett, Fladgate LLP

Departments to date: Dispute resolution, core property and commercial, sports and IP

University: Cardiff University

Degree: BA Religion and Philosophy

8.30-9.00am: Upon arriving at the office, I like to take some time to review emails and make a plan for the day, while also catching up with members of the team.

9.15am: I draft some responses to emails in relation to a mediation we have next week, including arranging a call with the client for later that day. I forward these on to the senior associate on the matter before being given the go ahead to send.

10.00am: Having sent out the emails, I head over to a partner’s office for a conference call with a client. On this particular matter, I am working directly for the partner, and following the call we discuss next steps, including responding to the most recent letter we have received. She asks me to draft a response and give her a first draft later in the afternoon so we can send it out before the end of the day.

11.00am: I have a pre-arranged call with a funder over a potential new matter; I have already prepared a funding note which has been reviewed by the partner. Following the call, I update the partner on what we would need to provide in order to receive funding and he asks me to email the client an update.

12.00pm: I catch up with one of the senior associates I am working with before they head to the free fitness sessions run by the firm twice a week. We agree to discuss the witness statements I have drafted on Monday morning. I return to my desk to get my head down and draft the letter for later that day.

1.00pm: I head out to lunch with some of my fellow trainees – being in Covent Garden, we always have a wide array of restaurants to pick from! Over lunch we have a good catch-up and discuss the next trainee social which we are in the process of organising.

2.00pm: Upon my return from lunch, I grab a quick coffee and finish drafting the letter I started earlier that morning. Upon completion, I check it over one more time before sending to the partner for review.

2.30pm: We receive confirmation from a client that they would like to issue a new claim today. I have already prepared the majority of the claim form, but the client has provided some new details, so I must make the relevant amendments. Having made the changes, I send them to the senior associate to review.

3.00pm: The senior associate who reviewed the claim form is happy and gives me the green light to file the claim with the court!

3.45pm: I meet the senior associate in one of the conference rooms so we can call our client about final preparations for the mediation the following week. I am then given a number of jobs, including liaising with the defendant’s lawyers, so I make sure I take notes.

5.30pm: I have a quick chat with my supervisor about my capacity as we are heading for trial in the next month, and he wants me to help with the preparation.

6.00pm: An email comes round inviting people to meet at the bundling table…for Prosecco Friday! This event is organised by one of the partners in the litigation department and occurs every couple of weeks. Initially, it was a chance for people on the 7th floor to have a catch-up and a laugh… but word spread quickly throughout the building! Now, staff from all across the firm will head upstairs for a drink. Following this, everyone heads out to one of the pubs next to the office before heading off for the weekend.

About the firm

Senior partner: Richard Reuben

Who we are: Fladgate LLP is an innovative, progressive and thriving law firm which prides itself on its friendly and professional working environment. We are based in modern, attractive offices in London’s Covent Garden.

What we do: Our corporate, dispute resolution, real estate and funds, finance and regulatory, and private wealth departments provide wide-ranging legal services to a diverse portfolio of UK and international clients.

What we’re looking for: We look for the best. We value academic ability, previous work experience and relevant extra-curricular activities. We seek candidates who demonstrate high levels of commercial awareness and business acumen, enthusiasm and leadership potential.

What you’ll do: Our two-year training programme is divided into four seats of six months and combines a first-class education programme with real hands-on experience and client contact. The nature of our business and small intake of trainees each year means you will be given exposure to high-quality work with lots of responsibility from an early stage.

Perks: A generous holiday allowance of 26 days, new business bonus, fee-earner bonus, staff introduction bonus, life assurance and access to the YuLife wellbeing app, group income protection, private medical insurance, employee assistance programme, free online GP service, contributory pension, season ticket loan, corporate gym membership loan, cycle2work, private dental, eye test vouchers and free weekly personal training and yoga sessions.

Sponsorship: GDL and LPC course fees sponsorship, maintenance loan of £6,000 (£5,000 outside London) for those studying a sponsored GDL or LPC.

Inclusivity and diversity at Fladgate

At Fladgate we run our business in ways that promote equality of opportunity and respect for diversity. Ours is a business that thrives on bringing together people with different perspectives to address our clients’ challenges, so we value and encourage diversity, both internally and externally. Furthermore, the firm recognises the importance of the health and wellbeing of all our people and that it can play a part in promoting an environment which allows everyone to flourish and reach their full potential.

Promoting inclusivity and diversity is a key element of our commitment to being a great place to work, enabling us to attract and retain the best talent, and we take our responsibility to this seriously.  We care deeply about creating an inclusive culture and are committed to the fair treatment of everyone and to ensuring that each individual is valued and respected.  The firm has an inclusion and diversity committee, formed of volunteers across the business, which is chaired by our I&D partner and which reports to our board regularly.  As signatories to The Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter, we were delighted to have scored gold in five categories and be awarded an overall ‘gold’ status.   We also received a ‘Highly Commended’ at the Legal Week Innovation Awards 2019 for our efforts with diversity and inclusion.

We are committed to broadening access to the legal profession and are part of the PRIME social inclusion initiative, which aims to provide fair access to meaningful work experience within the legal sector for school-age students from less-privileged backgrounds. Students and staff alike find these initiatives valuable and rewarding and the success of our insight days and our PRIME work experience reflect our continuing commitment to a more diverse legal sector.

We also uphold a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility, dedicating fundraising to two nominated charities per calendar year.

We care deeply about the wellbeing of our people and have a strong commitment to employee wellness. Our wellbeing programme consists of four key pillars: physical health, mental health, financial health, and social and CSR. As part of our programme we offer a range of benefits to staff and provide regular updates and seminars on health and wellbeing. Furthermore, the firm has run various mental health seminars, led by internal champions and external experts such as Mind and LawCare, encouraging staff to feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work. We were delighted to win the ‘Best Health and Wellbeing Initiative’ entry at the People in Law 2020 Awards, recognising our efforts and commitment to encouraging and supporting the wellbeing of our people.

For more information, please take a look at our website and particularly the following links:

https://www.fladgate.com/about-us/inclusivity-and-diversity/

https://www.fladgate.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility/