Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP
The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP
Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘I learn by doing and Goodwin’s informal training (getting stuck into matters) suited me’, ‘lean structure and close contact with partners’, ‘practice areas which match my career ambitions’, ‘good at private equity’, ‘small trainee intake’, ‘the values of the firm’, ‘on the vacation scheme everyone was friendly and welcoming’, ‘international brand with UK feel’
Best thing about the firm? ‘Working with thoughtful and fun people’, ‘being part of a global team with a collegiate culture’, ‘the calibre of work’, ‘the firm seems invested in your personal growth and development’, ‘Goodwin is growing rapidly and emerging as one of the standout US firms in London. During the pandemic it has gone from strength to strength’
Worst thing? ‘Long working hours during the pandemic’, ‘hours can often be exceptionally gruelling, particularly in one or two departments’, ‘the lack of initial training when entering the firm’, ‘sometimes the working hours’, ‘the work/life balance’, ‘some associates aren’t very understanding’
Best moment? ‘Completing a gruelling but pioneering transaction’, ‘working on a private equity transaction involving a theatre ticketing company from beginning to end’, ‘some very rewarding completions’, ‘finishing a matter worked on solely by myself and an associate, and receiving recognition for it from the partner’, ‘taking responsibility for a number of workstreams in a deal’
Worst moment? ’18-hour weeks during the pandemic’, ‘being parachuted into several deals with no prior knowledge and being expected to understand what is going on’, ‘doing several all-nighters in one week’, ‘limited social events, though this has been restricted due to the pandemic’, ‘working late nights from home over lockdown during busy periods’
The Lex 100 verdict on Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP
Goodwin Procter’s ‘global reputation in private equity, technology and the life sciences sectors’ helps it stand out from the crowd. The US firm is ‘always growing, which makes it an exciting place to join’ and offers trainees high levels of responsibility on ‘complex and interesting transactions’. A ‘diverse and modern firm’, Goodwin has a ‘vast array of international and domestic clients, which provides plenty of opportunities to work on matters with a cross-border element’. Teams are ‘much more lean’, with ‘fewer trainees and associates on deals’. As a result, responsibility levels are high and ‘there is an expectation to be contactable at all times, sometimes including weekends’. For some trainees, the worst thing about Goodwin are the working hours and lack of work/life balance at times. Having to ‘work late nights and manage multiple workstreams with competing deadlines’ is an example. Others would have liked ‘more training when starting at the firm, e.g. in IT and project management’. That there are ‘no secondment opportunities for trainees’ is also begrudged. But at least the firm ‘seems invested in your personal growth and development’. ‘Taking part in high-profile, complex billion-dollar deals’, ‘undertaking a private equity closing’ and ‘being allowed to communicate directly with the client to provide updates on their matter’ were unbeatable highlights. Less enjoyable were ‘an extended period of very little sleep’ and ‘starting remotely and not being able to socialise with other trainees or colleagues due to lockdown’. To work in ‘teams of a world-class standard’ along with ‘thoughtful and fun people’ and be given the opportunity to ‘project manage fast-moving deals’, consider Goodwin Procter.
The firm: Goodwin focuses on working with clients in the financial, private equity, real estate, technology and life sciences industries. It has more than 1,600 corporate and litigation lawyers worldwide. The growing London office is home to more than 150 lawyers who provide an integrated legal service offering across offices and geographies.
The clients: Moderna, KaNDy Therapeutics, Compass Pathways, Centessa, Achilles Therapeutics, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, TowerBrook Capital Partners, Inflexion, Mayfair Equity Partners, BentallGreenOak, DWS, Kennedy Wilson, Medical Properties Trust, Patron, Ares Management, Nuveen, Macquarie, Antin Infrastructure, Glennmont Partners, Investcorp, Intermediate Capital Group.
The deals: Advised leading pan-Nordic real estate investment manager NREP on the establishment of its multi-strategy real estate fund, NSF IV, which has raised €1.9bn; advised longstanding client Bregal on the structuring and fundraising of the €1.9bn Bregal Unternehmerkapital III, believed to be the largest DACH (ie Germany, Austria, Switzerland) focused fund ever raised; advised TA Associates on its definitive agreement with Genstar Capital to merge their portfolio companies, Compusoft and 2020 Technologies, respectively; advised Clarion Partners Europe in relation to the sale of a corporate structure owning a portfolio of 31 institutional quality logistics properties located across Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, for a consideration which values the properties at over €880m; advised Hopin, the fastest growing start up in Europe, on its $400m Series C funding co-led by new investors Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst, and existing investor IVP, with participation from returning investors Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global; advised Kymab, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing fully human monoclonal antibodies with a focus on immune-mediated diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics, on its sale to Sanofi for an upfront payment of approximately $1.1bn and up to $350m upon achievement of certain milestones.
A day in the life of... Jake Simons, trainee, Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP
Departments to date: Corporate, Real estate, Private equity
University: University of Warwick BPP Law School
Degree: LLB Law 2(1); LLM Legal Practice (Commendation)
8.30am: Each morning, I check my emails on my work phone to ensure there is nothing urgent that requires my immediate attention. I would normally prepare for my commute into the office but due to Covid restrictions, I make breakfast (including a cup of coffee!) in my kitchen before logging on to my laptop at my makeshift home office.
9.00am: I review all emails once more in relation to those that have come in overnight to ensure I am aware of document movement and general status updates. I then update the ‘to-do’ list I prepared the previous evening.
9.30am: I check the DocuSign status relating to the documents I sent for execution the previous day while updating the closing checklist and signature tracker in parallel. I then send a status update to the associates leading on the matter by email, and separately reach out to the client to flag any outstanding signatures so that they are aware.
10.00am: I attend a client call where we run through the document checklist and discuss action points for the next couple of days. Part of my role as a trainee is to keep the checklist up to date and circulate it to all relevant parties on a weekly basis. This is useful as it allows me to understand the nature and role of the documents in a corporate transaction, as well as improving my attention to detail and time management.
11.00am: The associates and I have a quick catch-up call before I start breaking out various ancillary documents relating to the same transaction. The associates at Goodwin always provide very helpful instructions and are available to answer any questions via email, phone and Zoom. I then send the broken-out documents to the associates to confirm they are in order before I arrange for them to be signed via DocuSign.
12.00pm: I complete a couple of ad-hoc tasks which were instructed by my supervisor in relation to a separate transaction.
1.00pm: Lunch time. If I was in the office, I would normally venture to my favourite ‘go-to’, Coco Di Mama. However, today is another homemade lunch.
1.30pm: I help with updating some schedules in the sale and purchase agreement (the SPA) relating to an upcoming completion. This is a very important task as the numbers going into the schedules are the same numbers I will use to roll-out the stock transfer forms and voting power of attorneys for this deal. This is also useful as it provides me with the opportunity to look through the SPA and familiarise myself with the completion mechanics.
3.00pm: I then begin uploading the next batch of execution documents on DocuSign before tabbing up with the relevant signatories. After double checking the documents have been tabbed up correctly, I send these out for execution.
3.30pm: I take a small break to call my colleague Anna, a fellow trainee, to have a quick catch up.
4.00pm: I spend the next couple of hours processing several Companies House filings – the majority of filings can now be made online which saves a lot of time. However, a number of them are to be made via paper filings which does not take too long as the Goodwin office services team assist with the postal side of the filings. Once completed, I review the signatures that have come in from my earlier DocuSign pack.
6.00pm: The partner, associates and I on the deal have a quick status update call to ensure we are on track for completion. I run through the documents checklist with all attendees before answering any questions.
6.30pm: Dinner time. Back to the kitchen to eat dinner before heading out on a quick walk in the sunshine.
7.30pm: I make sure the documents list is up to date and raise any queries with the associates.
8.00pm: As nothing further is required for the day, I make sure my time for the day is released and my ‘to-do’ list is updated for the following morning.
About the firm
London office co-chairs: Gemma Roberts, Paul Lyons
Other offices: 13 offices in the US, Europe and Asia.
Who we are: At Goodwin, we partner with our clients to practise law with integrity, ingenuity, agility and ambition. Our 1,400 lawyers across the US, Europe and Asia excel at complex transactions, high-stakes litigation and world-class advisory services in the technology, life sciences, real estate, private equity and financial industries. Our unique combination of deep experience serving both the innovators and investors in a rapidly changing, technology-driven economy sets us apart. To learn more, visit us at www.goodwinlaw.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
What we do: At Goodwin, we believe in providing a myriad of opportunities to all of our lawyers to ensure they have the chance to work in impactful matters that they are passionate about. In addition to our core work in the technology, life sciences, real estate, private equity and ﬁnancial industries, we strongly believe in maintaining a robust pro bono practice as we believe our work not only benefits clients, but creates lasting change for society as well.
Our deep bench of experienced lawyers provide knowledge and insights to associates that help them excel in every venue – from the courtroom to the boardroom, and everywhere in between.
What we’re looking for: We look for those with keen intellect, ambition and motivation, but also those who possess an entrepreneurial spirit. Joining Goodwin means joining a firm that can help you fulfil your potential while working in a collaborative, collegial environment.
What you’ll do: Our size and continued growth allow us to offer our trainees and associates increased responsibility and meaningful client contact from the outset. We work in small teams, which gives our lawyers the opportunity to work directly with, and be mentored by, senior colleagues, and to develop a network that will be an invaluable part of their future career development.
Perks: Private medical and dental insurance, travel insurance, virtual GP, life assurance, income protection, pension, cycle scheme, gym subsidy, fresh fruit deliveries.
Sponsorship: We offer full sponsorship of both the GDL and LPC, together with a maintenance grant of £8,000 for the GDL and £10,000 for the LPC.
Diversity and inclusion
Goodwin is committed to promoting diversity in our law firm and in the legal profession. We are also committed to an inclusive environment in which each employee can excel and thrive. Diversity, equity and inclusion are core to our business and our values, and our chairman-led inclusion advisory committee ensures that we make our efforts in this area a top priority. To see more information about diversity, equity and inclusion at Goodwin, please visit https://goodwinlaw.admin.onenorth.com/firm/diversity-and-inclusion.