Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Gowling WLG

The Lex 100 verdict on Gowling WLG

Birmingham-rooted with a global outlook and network, Gowling WLG is described as a ‘true international firm’ with ‘big-ticket work’ undertaken from its offices in Birmingham and London. With ‘a strong reputation in intellectual property’, the firm is a full-service outfit which, according to current trainees, is ‘the best firm in Birmingham in terms of quality of legal work and reputation’. Trainees often have previous experience with the firm either as paralegals or through work experience. One trainee describes the firm as ‘friendly and approachable’ without the ‘pretention of a lot of international firms’. Another trainee identified his attraction to the firm, saying ‘the strong focus on a friendly and progressive culture was appealing; it seemed like a genuinely nice place to work and this has been confirmed by reality’. Through a small intake in each office of around 15 trainees, the training features ‘comparatively more support and the chance for more international work’ plus ‘more exposure to clients and more responsibility to undertake complex and senior-level work’. Highlights of the training include ‘acting for a client in a Supreme Court case’ and ‘going to a fund’s IPO at the London Stock Exchange after months of work’. Trainees cite the pay differential between London and Birmingham, plus the lack of non-alcohol-based socializing as a downside, but compliment the canteen in the Birmingham office. The firm has a strong CSR and pro-bono programme, including a day of trainee induction selling The Big Issue, working with Kids in Need of Defence and Birmingham Law Clinic. Gowling WLG is worth watching if you are interested in training at an international firm with a small intake and decent work/life balance.