Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The Lex 100 verdict on Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The verdict

Described as having ‘top-level work, FTSE 100 and household name-clients,’ Herbert Smith Freehills is an international heavyweight in the City with an ‘approachable’ ethos. The firm is praised by its trainees for its ‘inclusivity and friendliness’ as well as ‘very comprehensive training’. One trainee comments that HSF ‘seems to be broadly comparable to other top-tier firms but better in the sense that associates and partners here are genuinely grateful for the work you put in and are concerned (as far as possible with workload) that you have a good work/life balance’. The firm is well known for its litigation practice as well as international work and opportunities, which leads to a Lex 100 Winner accolade for international secondments. As with most large City firms the hours can be long, depending on the department; one trainee complains of ‘staying until 3am every night, including weekends, for a month’. There are also complaints relating to ‘work/life balance’ and the firm being ‘slow to change’ policies. Yet the trainees admit that this is ‘broadly comparable to other firms’ in its peer group. Highlights of training include ‘leading a completion call with 12 jurisdictions, dealing with both financing and asset sale of a group of hotels’ and ‘attending a hearing and being given responsibility, as well as being part of the Ability Network which supports mental and physical disability’. Trainees commend the pro-bono programme, saying that ‘projects at HSF are very big and high profile’. If you are targeting a large City firm and are interested in international secondments and supportive training, Herbert Smith Freehills is a strong contender.