Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Hogan Lovells

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Hogan Lovells

Why did you choose this firm over any other? ‘There was an excellent bond between the vacation scheme students and I wanted to work for a firm that aimed to recruit genuine and personable trainees’; ‘the culture of the firm and the type of work’; ‘reputation for an excellent quality of work across its practice areas’; ‘intelligent lawyers and an inclusive and collaborative culture’

Best thing about the firm? ‘Genuinely seems committed to diversity/mental health, things others usually pay lip service to’; ‘the people and the atmosphere – there is no facetime culture. If people are not as busy, there is no expectation that they should be staying late for the sake of it’; ‘the fellow trainees’; ‘non-financial perks – amazing and free Nuffield gym in the building, great restaurant’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Team ethos varies so much from department to department – which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it’; ‘the method of seat allocation’; ‘the worst thing about the firm is the inflexible seat allocation process’

Best moment? ‘A standout moment was attending court for a trial I had worked on for months and being able to see how our hard work and preparation paid off by winning the case. It was a proud moment for all of the team’; ‘attending the Court of Appeal for a case I was working on’; ‘my first IPO’

Worst moment? ‘Work flow can be unpredictable, and you can wait for work which lands late in the afternoon and is expected to be commenced that evening/night’; ‘IT crash whilst engaging with client’; ‘doing an all-nighter’; ‘making a bundle after attending a 12-hour mediation in the day’

The Lex 100 verdict on Hogan Lovells

The firm: Meet the firm changing the game. Right now, Hogan Lovells’ 2,600 lawyers are working worldwide on cases that shape legal precedent; projects that enable innovation for prestigious clients. And across 48 global locations, they’re doing it all seamlessly, as one team.

The deals:  Advising ITV plc on its joint venture with the BBC to create streaming service Britbox; secured the significant ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling for Google, with the ECJ ruling that the ‘right to be forgotten’ does not extend beyond the borders of the EU; supporting Ford in its collaboration with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days, with the ability to produce 30,000 a month thereafter as needed, to help coronavirus patients; calling for justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict, through a proposal policy, titled ’Finance for Restorative Justice’, produced in conjunction with REDRESS, an international human rights organisation; advising on Asahi buying Fuller’s beer business.

The verdict

‘Global reach and status, combined with sector experience in the life sciences’, ‘a reputation for excellent quality of work’, ‘intelligent lawyers and an inclusive and collaborative culture’ are just some of the accolades given by current trainees Hogan Lovells International. Its ‘international scale, high-calibre work and transatlantic focus’ is widely praised. One trainee adds ‘I did not know what kind of law I wanted to specialise in so I wanted to choose a global law firm that offered excellence in all departments’. The breadth of practices as well as locations in London and Birmingham attract trainees, plus the quality of its vacation scheme and the generous pay packet. Unsurprisingly, Hogan Lovells International receives three Lex 100 Winner awards: international secondment opportunities, financial remuneration, and vacation scheme. Trainees also praise the firm’s attention to pro-bono which is ‘a key part of Hogan Lovells and having volunteered from a young age this greatly appealed to me’. A current trainee says ‘the pro-bono work at Hogan Lovells is clearly the best in London. I have worked on a war crimes investigation, a criminal compensation case in relation to the family member of a terrorist attack victim and a consumer dispute’. Negatives mentioned are the seat selection process and the diversity within the firm. The firm brings its ‘transatlantic’ approach and breadth of expertise to its training programme and if you are considering a City-style training contract in London or Birmingham it should be on your shortlist.

A day in the life of… Chris Williams, fourth-seat trainee, Hogan Lovells

Chris Williams, Hogan Lovells

Departments to date: Corporate, commercial and regulatory

University: Durham University

Degree: History, 2(1)

9.15am: I run into work as much as possible, so shower in the firm’s gym and grab some breakfast from the staff cafeteria on the way up to my desk. The first thing I do is check my emails to see whether there is anything I need to urgently respond to. I have been working alongside my supervisor on the drafting of a suite of collaborative agreements between two global corporates so I pick up with him on whether there are any outstanding tasks. I then write myself a to-do list and get myself a coffee before beginning my day.

10.00am: Signing is on the horizon so my morning is spent on calls as we try to close out outstanding commercial points and finalise the collaborative agreements’ drafting. The size and technical nature of the agreements mean that we need to be careful to ensure that all provisions align, defined terms are used correctly and consistently and most importantly, the agreements reflect the parties’ agreed position. I update the agreements with notes from the morning’s calls, and provide summaries of any unresolved issues.

1.00pm: I have lunch with a group of trainees at Leather Lane street food market. I met the group while participating in one of the firm’s vacation schemes, which proved an enjoyable and insightful experience. Also, having pre-existing relationships at the outset of my training contract made the transition into the workplace all the easier.

2.00pm: Working in our commercial team has given me exposure to a broad range of work. We are working alongside our public law and policy team on the drafting and tendering of a new licence for a government public body. Having sat in the public law team in my previous seat, it has been interesting to consider the matter from two perspectives. This afternoon I join an update call with the client and afterwards I circulate a call summary.

3.00pm: I spend the rest of the afternoon reviewing and marking up a sponsorship agreement for the British Paralympic Association (one of the firm’s commercial partners). They had received a draft from their counterparty but it did not reflect their intended commercial position. I update the drafting to ensure it does comply with their requirements, and identify further information we need from the client.

5.00pm: I have a catch-up with a real estate associate and a partner in the corporate litigation, investigations, contentious insolvency and fraud team on a pro bono matter. We are assisting a victim of modern slavery with an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. I provide an update on the status of the application and propose next steps. Working on pro bono matters has allowed me to take on greater responsibility by leading correspondence and taking on more substantive drafting tasks.

5.30pm: I have a ‘flash feedback’ session with an associate, discussing a supply agreement that I drafted. Having a firm policy of encouraging feedback on an ad hoc basis has been beneficial to my progress; I don’t have to rely on a formal review at the end of a seat in order to learn how I could improve. The session is positive and I am given some helpful constructive criticism to take forward.

7.00pm: I check in with my supervisor to see whether there is anything further I can help with. We speak about the next steps on the deal and any progress that has been made during the day. He also tells me that we have been asked to write a note of advice providing an English law interpretation of a contractual clause under dispute. He provides some background so that I can begin my research first thing in the morning.

7.15pm: I head down to Vivat Bacchus, the wine bar next door, with the rest of the department for team drinks before going home to unwind.

About the firm

CEO: Miguel Zaldivar

Managing partner: Susan Bright

Other offices: Alicante, Amsterdam, Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest*, Colorado Springs, Denver, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta*, Johannesburg, Louisville, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Minneapolis, Monterrey, Moscow, Munich, New York, Northern Virginia, Paris, Perth, Philadelphia, Riyadh*, Rome, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Ulaanbaatar*, Warsaw, Washington, DC and Zagreb* (* associated offices).

Who we are: Meet the firm changing the game. Right now, Hogan Lovells’ 2,600 lawyers are working worldwide on cases that shape legal precedent; projects that enable innovation for prestigious clients. And across 48 global locations, we’re doing it all seamlessly, as one team.

What we do: When you’ve got the international reach we do, it means your work grabs headlines everywhere, and you’ll work with leading household-name clients on every continent covering corporate and finance, global regulatory and IPMT, litigation, arbitration and employment.

What we’re looking for: As a global law firm, we tackle some of the most complex legal and commercial issues for our clients. So we look to recruit smart, collaborative and determined individuals from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of experience.

What you’ll do: Each year, we take on up to 50 graduates (from law and non-law degree subjects) as trainee solicitors. Here’s how it works: on a two-year training contract, you’ll do four six-month seats across our different practice areas. Plus, for one of those seats, you’ll have the chance to apply for an international or client secondment. You’ll also have hands-on support and the expert guidance you need.

Perks: Benefits include: bonus scheme, gym membership/subsidy, life assurance, pension scheme with company contributions, private healthcare, season ticket loan, subsidied restaurant, access to a dentist, doctor and physiotherapist, and discounts at local retailers.

Sponsorship: The current maintenance grant for full-time study during the pGDL is £7,000 outside London and £8,000 within London. The current maintenance grant during the Accelerated LPC is £10,000. Maintenance grants will be available during the new City Consortium Practice programmes which will prepare future trainees for the SQE.