Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Osborne Clarke LLP

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Osborne Clarke LLP

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘The friendly culture’; ‘because I wanted to work in a top London firm that treated me as an individual’; ‘quality of work and location’; ‘I attended a presentation evening at the firm and everyone was really friendly, open, willing to talk and it felt like a really great and inclusive environment’; ‘top firm yet small and intimate feel’; ‘tech focused’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The approachability of the partners’; ‘the emphasis on learning’; ‘I like the hands-on nature of the role and the fact that I am often doing a new task in a different area’; ‘everyone is happy to help and answer questions which makes you feel valued’; ‘trainees are friends and not in competition with each other’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Toilets’; ‘the perks and benefits aren’t the best’; ‘there aren’t many opportunities to visit the international offices’; ‘there is little interaction (on a social level) between teams’; ‘the Reading office is rather small and the variety of seats and NQ positions are limited’; ‘depending on the team, the hours can be the same as London, without the corresponding pay’

Best moment? ‘Completing a transaction that took several months’; ‘being able to take the lead on transactions whilst feeling well supported by more senior colleagues’; ‘being trusted to go the client’s office on my own’; ‘attending a two-day examination hearing, which involved supporting my supervisor, a project team and Queens Counsel’; ‘my three-month secondment’

Worst moment? ‘Back-to-back late nights on a transaction towards the end of the tax year’; ‘a particularly gruelling 4am finish although it was only one time!’; ‘commuting to a secondment having chosen a flat near to the office’; ‘redacting documents for disclosure’; ‘getting to grips with the e-filing system and thinking that I had lost various documents’

The Lex 100 verdict on Osborne Clarke LLP

The firm: “Osborne Clarke is an award-winning multinational law firm. With 24 offices around the world we’re proud to say that our influence and impact can be applied almost anywhere. The core sectors we work in all thrive on innovation; digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, recruitment and transport. Our sector teams include lawyers from all legal disciplines, effortlessly blending expertise, insight and enthusiasm.”

The deals: Advised InReach Ventures on new €53m fund for early stage European tech start-ups, powered by Artificial Intelligence; advised the owners of MediaMonks on its sale to S4 Capital; acted for premium activewear brand LNDR in an expedited trade mark battle against Nike; advised InfraRed on the sale of £320m industrial portfolio to Blackstone/M7; advised long-standing client NewVoiceMedia on $350m Vonage acquisition.

The clients: Gazeley; Investec; Square Enix; QinetiQ; Silicon Valley Bank; Western Power Distribution.

The star performers:
(Top-ranking departments according to The Legal 500 – see legal500.com for more details) Banking and finance; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Corporate and commercial; Corporate tax; Employment; Energy; Environment; EU and competition; Flotations: (small and mid-cap); Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Pensions; Planning; Professional negligence; Project finance and PFI; Property litigation; Rail; Venture capital

The verdict

Osborne Clarke is described as ‘approachable but ambitious’, with a distinctively modern outlook. Trainees claim the ‘firm is invested in you as an individual’ which is demonstrated by the ‘proactivity of supervisors’, in a place where ‘everyone is as nice as the firm claims’. Many recruits feel they have a ‘much better respected work/life balance’ than peers and benefit from ‘open communication with senior colleagues’. The location of the offices was also appreciated by newbies; one trainee relished the ‘opportunity to live and work in Bristol without compromising on the quality of work’. Contrastingly, the ‘lack of international secondments’ disgruntled respondents, while others were less pleased about not having a canteen in the London office. Although trainees benefit from working with ‘high-profile, international clients’, respondents would like to see ‘more opportunities to visit the international offices’. Moreover, despite ‘trainee pay being top notch’, some feel that ‘NQ pay fails to keep pace with peers in regional offices’. Nevertheless, ‘running a small deal with minimal supervision’, ‘leading a completion’ and experiencing ‘lots of direct client contact’ were but a few favourite moments where respondents realised ‘if the team treats you as one of them, the clients do too’. Consequently, inclusiveness at Osborne Clarke is rated very highly, with many appreciating that ‘there is a real sense that everyone is on the same team working towards the same goal’. No wonder that Osborne Clarke has won eleven out of a possible twelve Lex 100 Winner medals this year. If you like the sound of a ‘progressive firm with a future-focused feel’ where input from new recruits is ‘always valued’, apply to Osborne Clarke.

A day in the life of… Emma Hands, trainee solicitor, Osborne Clarke LLP

Emma Hands, Osborne Clarke LLP

Departments to date: Corporate, commercial litigation

University: University of Exeter

Degree: English

9.00am: I arrive at the office and log on. Before I start work, I check the OC intranet, the FT and LinkedIn – sharing and engaging with news about clients, events or ongoing matters on our intranet site is a good way to build connections with colleagues in other locations and live out our sector focus. Once I’m up to date, I check my calendar to confirm what the day has in store, and have a quick chat with my team about any developments that have happened overnight.

9.30am: My supervisor asks me to look into what amounts to unfair prejudice under the Companies Act 2006. We are unsure if our client’s circumstances would meet the threshold, so I look into recent cases and draft a research note.

11.00am: A client has asked if we can help them deal with two misbehaving directors. I check that we do not have any conflicts of interest, find the relevant information on Companies House and then contact colleagues in other teams to obtain press searches and bankruptcy searches on the parties involved.

12.00pm: We have a case management conference in a few weeks, so I telephone Central London County Court to check what is required. I write up an attendance note of what was discussed and sense-check the clerk’s comments with our know-how lawyer.

12.30pm: I normally have at least one training session a week. Today, we have a cross-office commercial disputes meeting with a guest speaker from the commercial team. We speak about AI, the types of work that other teams are doing for AI clients, and the opportunities that this might generate for the commercial disputes team.

1.00pm: I often go outside to get some fresh air at lunchtime. We’re lucky to have a food market just around the corner, and I regularly go there with others from the office.

1.30pm: I am one of the chairs of our office charity committee, so grab a coffee with the other chairs to chat through our agenda for the first charity meeting of the new financial year. We had a lot of success with an office-based Easter egg hunt, so discuss how we could adapt this for a Wimbledon-themed event (maybe a tennis ball hunt?).

2.00pm: I am asked to flesh out a basic draft of a particulars of claim about defective works. I review the file to ensure I understand the background of the claim and have sense of the technical language involved. I then track down examples from similar matters that the team has worked on, and make a start. I take my laptop to a sound-proof pod so that I can work through the task – the change of space can help to ‘refresh’ my brain, and the office has an abundance of spaces where you can work or talk away from your desk.

6.00pm: I check online to see if any interesting judgments have been handed down that we may want to write client updates on. I maintain a database of recent contract law cases which we use for client training seminars, so update this if needed with the key points of a case.

6.30pm: I shut down my laptop and head over to my gym class.

About the firm

Senior partner: Andrew Saul

Managing partner: Ray Berg

Other offices: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brescia, Bristol, Brussels, Busto Arsizio, Cologne, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Thames Valley, Zaragoza.

Who we are: Osborne Clarke is an award-winning multinational legal practice. We’ve grown rapidly, and with 24 global offices we’re proud to say that our influence and impact can now be applied almost anywhere.

What we do: We think sector first, organising ourselves around the current affairs and future challenges of the industries we serve, rather than traditional legal practice areas. It helps keep us one step ahead. Our core services all thrive on innovation: digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, recruitment and transport.

What we’re looking for: Candidates who can: comunicate effectively; think commercially and practically; solve problems creatively; build effective relationships; and demonstrate initiative. Foreign language skills are also an advantage.

What you’ll do: Trainees complete four six-month seats, typically in corporate or banking, real estate, litigation and one other area.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday (plus a Christmas shopping day), pension, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance, life assurance and season ticket loan.

Sponsorship: We pay candidates’ GDL and LPC tuition fees, provided that they are no more than half way through either course when they are recruited, along with a maintenance grant.