Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Kennedys Law LLP

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

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘The firm’s reputation as a leader in the field of insurance law, whilst also offering complementary commercial services’, ‘international reach’, ‘good mix of seat options’, ‘positive feedback from previous trainees’, ‘accessible, diverse and operated in a sector I was familiar with’, ‘the values of approachability and being straightforward stood out to me’, ‘highly regarded for its insurance work and ranks highly in practically all of the insurance seats it offers’

Best thing about the firm? ‘It has a great culture’, ‘I am entrusted with complex work which really challenges me and I enjoy it immensely’, ‘the people – I’ve found everyone from secretary to partner to be very friendly and approachable. The firm also recently started a ‘buddy’ scheme, pairing trainees with NQ associates’, ‘diversity and engaging work’, ‘the success of the firm and how it has taken care of employees throughout Covid’, ‘the inclusivity; I feel very much a part of the team I work for’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Low salaries – the firm has grown exponentially in the last decade and salaries haven’t caught up with where Kennedys now sits in the ranking tables’, ‘lack of social events with trainees/other juniors, and lack of trainee cohesion’, ‘should have more international secondments for such a global firm’, ‘out-of-date technology’, ‘we don’t get paid as much as our competitors or receive the same level of benefits’

Best moment? ‘Observing a Court of Appeal hearing’, ‘helping out with a trial in the first week of my training contract’, ‘my final seat in employment, realising that I am interested in pursuing something long term, and feeling as though the supervisors recognise that and want to nurture it’, ‘going on client secondment’, ‘receiving great feedback in my final seat review’, ‘running my own cases and making executive decisions in my first seat’

Worst moment? ‘I was assigned a large disclosure task which involved thousands of documents’, ‘working from home’, ‘some late hours’, ‘having to work extremely long hours for consecutive weeks at a time for little recognition’, ‘a deadline being miscommunicated to me by a supervisor’, ‘compiling bundles’, ‘drafting something and having it completely changed with no explanation as to why’, ‘a supervisor being very rude and intimidating’

The Lex 100 verdict on Kennedys Law LLP

A Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction, Kennedys Law is a strong contender if you are insurance-minded and looking for a strong, mid-sized international firm. As a trainee puts it, ‘the firm’s reputation as a leader in the field of insurance law, whilst also offering complementary commercial services, enables me to experience a good range of seats’. The firm is known for prowess in ‘disputes work ’ which attracts trainings interested in litigation. One trainee comments that ‘I wanted to work in a firm where I would be exposed to high-value, quality work but in a friendly and supportive environment. Kennedys therefore ticked all of the boxes for me’. The firm has several regional offices, appealing to one trainee who wished to work in Birmingham, but still has the ‘global reach of an international firm and lots of opportunities to grow and develop with training’. As with many firms, the stereotype of regional offices doing only local work is a thing of the past, and Kennedys Law is no exception. The culture of the firm is praised as being ‘welcoming and a pleasant environment to work in’, with numerous trainees responding that the best thing about the firm is ‘the people’. As one comments, ‘the firm appears a lot more friendly and employee-orientated. The work/life balance appears more fair and the work undertaken is more diverse than at other firms’. The hours are not as long, but the pay reflects that according to trainees. One negative mentioned is the lack of LPC funding, but this is apparently changing for upcoming recruitment. At Kennedys Law, trainees get exposure to high-quality work, significant responsibility and involvement in headline-grabbing cases, topped off with insurance prowess and a welcoming culture.

The firm: Kennedys is a global law firm with expertise in dispute resolution and advisory services. It handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and provides claims and coverage advice to insurers and self-insureds for all lines of business worldwide.

The deals: Assisting Stagecoach South Western Trains with the employment elements of its move out of the South West Trains Rail franchise including TUPE work and redundancy issues; acting for Protector Insurance, the property and liability insurer of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and the RBKC Tenants Management Organisation (TMO), in relation to the Grenfell Tower tragedy; acted for AXA Insurance against Ted Baker in claims arising out of the theft of stock by an employee from its warehouse over a period of years; acting for British Airways and AIG on claims arising from the fire and evacuation of flight BA 2276 at Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport in 2015; represented Esure in a claim by an insurance customer for losses in connection with a motorcycle accident and consequent life-changing spinal cord injuries.

The clients: Aer Lingus; British Cycling; Chubb; Etihad Airways; Great Western Rail; Hilton Hotels; JD Wetherspoon; Ryanair; Travelers; TUI group.

A day in the life of… Sheena Purohit, trainee, Kennedys Law LLP (London)

Sheena Purohit, Kennedys Law LLP

Morning: I would usually begin my morning with my commute into the office but since working from home, I use the extra time to exercise, have breakfast and catch up on some news before heading to my desk to start the day.

9.00am: I login at around 9am and begin by looking through my diary to see what meetings I have. I then go through my emails and prepare a ‘to-do’ list setting out my tasks for the day in order of priority.

9.30am: After grabbing a cup of tea from the kitchen, I complete some background reading into a matter ahead of a call with a witness at 10.30am.

10.30am: I dial into a Teams call with an associate to virtually meet with the witness and take a detailed attendance note of his evidence to allow us to prepare a draft witness statement later on. Following the call, I have a brief catch-up with the associate to discuss the call and he asks me to prepare the first draft of the witness statement for his review in a week’s time. After the call, I check through and finalise my attendance note and send it to the associate to review.

Lunch: One of the benefits of working from home is being able to cook my own fresh lunches. I enjoy cooking so it’s a nice break away from my desk. During the summer months (weather permitting!), I take lunch outside in the garden.

2.00pm: An associate in the team has asked me to conduct some research on the Disclosure and Barring Service and to prepare a detailed note of my findings so that she may advise the client. I spend the afternoon preparing the note using the firm’s extensive research databases.

4.30pm: Every week, I have a catch up meeting with my supervisor and dial into Teams for a virtual chat. It’s very informal and allows me to talk about how my week has gone and the tasks I’ve been working on. These catch-ups are really useful, especially while working from home, to allow my supervisor to check-in with me to ensure I’m getting a variety of work from different members of the team and for me to raise any questions I may have. It’s also a good way to keep in touch while we aren’t able to meet in person.

4.45pm: I have been invited to attend an inquest hearing with counsel in a week’s time and so make a start on reading the key documents in the inquest bundle to gain a better understanding of the background and issues in the matter. This will also aid me in taking a detailed note at the hearing.

Evening: I check my diary for tomorrow and log off at around 6.00pm. I then head downstairs to catch up with family and make a start on dinner.

About the firm

Senior partner: Nick Thomas

Managing partner: Suzanne Liverside

Other offices: Auckland, Austin, Bangkok, Basking Ridge, Belfast, Bermuda, Birmingham, Bogotá, Bristol, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamilton, Hong Kong, Leeds, Lima, Lisbon, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Moscow, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Santiago, São Paulo, Sheffield, Singapore, Sydney, Taunton.

Who we are: Kennedys is a global law firm with expertise in litigation and dispute resolution, particularly in the insurance and liability industries. With over 2,200 people worldwide across 43 offices in the UK and Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America, we have some of the most respected legal minds in their fields.

We’re here to make a difference for our clients, and each other, every day. We empower our people to deliver the very best work and reach their full potential.

What we do: Kennedys’ lawyers provide a range of specialist legal services for many industries, including: insurance and reinsurance, healthcare, construction, transport, maritime and international trade, rail, and aviation.

What we’re looking for in a trainee: As Kennedys has a vibrant and supportive working environment, we’re looking for sociable and enthusiastic team players with commercial awareness. Minimum required degree grade: 2(1). Minimum UCAS points or A Levels: 120 UCAS points or equivalent.

What you’ll do: During your training contract, you’ll complete four six-month seats across our core practice areas of insurance and reinsurance, liability, healthcare and commercial. We also offer exciting client and international secondment opportunities. In addition, you’ll be given the opportunity to attend in-house and external seminars, while having access to a large array of online training through our internal systems.

Kennedys is also excited to announce our innovative training programme for graduates. Our programme will prepare you for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), the new route to qualification that is coming into effect from Autumn 2021.

The two-year-six-month training programme will involve working at Kennedys four days a week and having one day off a week to study at BBP. In addition to a dedicated supervisor at Kennedys, you will have a tutor and skills coach at BPP, to ensure that you have all the support you need at work and with your studies.

Perks: Life insurance, income protection, employee assistance programme, pension, private medical insurance, season ticket loan, gym membership, gym subsidy, eye care vouchers, corporate GP, 25 days’ holiday – increasing to 27 after five years.

Sponsorship: LPC and PGDL sponsor.

Diversity and inclusion

Please visit https://kennedyslaw.com/who-we-are/diversity/ for information.