Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Taylor Vinters
The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Taylor Vinters
Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Small trainee intake’; ‘given responsibility very early on’; ‘the firm’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurs’; ‘I really enjoyed the vacation scheme and liked the people I met’; ‘I was impressed by the firm’s strategy of focussing on what they enjoy and what they are good at’; ‘interesting range of work and clients’
Best thing about the firm? ‘Our career coach’; ‘the culture is very friendly and inclusive’; ‘senior lawyers are welcoming and respect trainees’; ‘the people and the clients’; ‘the culture and good relationship between the Cambridge and London offices’
Worst thing about the firm? ‘There isn’t any opportunity to do an international seat’; ‘location of the Cambridge office’; ‘lack of contingency plans when people are off sick or on holiday in some teams’; ‘the IT system’
Best moment? ‘Presenting a trainee-led CSR programme to the firm and receiving positive feedback as a result’; ‘going to a four-day final hearing with the client and counsel within the first month of my training contract’; ‘taking the lead on a (small) asset sale from start to finish, including drafting the purchase agreement and ancillaries and liaising with the seller and buyer’
Worst moment? ‘Offices in Cambridge need a refurbishment’; ‘not getting the type and range of experience I hoped for in a particular seat due to team demands and lack of resource’; ‘being drafted in to help complete a transaction with no background’; ‘not getting a seat that you want’
The Lex 100 verdict on Taylor Vinters
The firm: “Taylor Vinters is an international law firm supporting the businesses which drive the innovation economy, and the entrepreneurs and private wealth that underpin them. We are passionate about working with people and organisations that make great things happen – innovators and entrepreneurs.”
The deals: Supporting pharmaceutical R and D company Azadyne Ltd in their advances to cure diseases such as MS; helping a forward-thinking client move to the cutting edge of agri-tech; relocating games developer Ninja Theory to a new city centre HQ and bar; advising RealVNC on the management buyout of its automotive division.
The clients: Alzheimer’s Research UK, Bridgestone Americas Inc; Babraham Research Campus; Carter Jonas; Featurespace Ltd; Jockey Club Group; Microbiotica Ltd; Royal Society of Chemistry; Secret Escapes; Teenage Cancer Trust.
The star performers:
(Top-ranking departments according to The Legal 500 – see legal500.com for more details) Agriculture and estates; Brand management; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Corporate and commercial; Education; Employment; Family; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Personal, tax, trusts and probate; Property litigation; Venture capital
Applicants were attracted to Taylor Vinters’ ‘innovative clients’ which grant ‘a lot of scope to be creative in day-to-day work’. Comprised of a ‘close community of lawyers where it’s possible to build up good working relationships across many teams’, TV offers ‘great contact with supervisors’. A ‘healthy work/life balance’ where trainees ‘leave the office at a reasonable time’ is encouraged by ‘other team members who will help with your workload’. Impressed by the ‘focus on technology start-ups’, trainees describe TV as ‘ambitious and focused around interesting sectors’. Offering a ‘great support network’, recruits were able to ‘work closely with supervisors and career coaches to discuss progression, as well as work and personal issues on a purely confidential basis’. Although there were grumbles that the ‘Cambridge office is outside the town centre’, many agree that ‘despite being spread across two offices we are one firm’. ‘There is a big push to operate as a single communal “tribe”‘, with the firm offering trainee seats in the London office. Many felt ‘confident in getting top seat choices’ and enjoyed ‘great socials such as an empanada-making class and shuffleboard’. It is little wonder therefore that Taylor Vinters is a Lex 100 Winner in the categories of work/life balance, social life and approachability. ‘Having a mentor’ and ‘being given a lot of autonomy when dealing with clients and working on some really big deals’ were work highlights, whereas ‘slow IT systems’, ‘bundling’ and ‘the printer breaking down’ frustrated recruits. If you want to be part of the Taylor Vinters ‘tribe’ and work for a firm where ‘staying late is the exception rather than rule’, start your application now.
A day in the life of… Georgina Barry, trainee, Taylor Vinters
Departments to date: Commercial and Technology in London and Growth in Cambridge
University: University of Edinburgh
Degree: French and Italian
9.00am: I arrive at the office, check my emails and consult my to-do list and calendar to see what I’ve got lined up for the day. I grab a coffee with colleagues and have a quick catch up before getting started with my day.
9.30am: Today is the weekly catch up with my supervisor where we discuss what work I’ve got on and what else I can get involved in. While we are given lots of autonomy and responsibility as a trainee, it’s also reassuring to know that support is there when you need it. We also have a career coach throughout the training contract who you can go to with any challenges, work-related or personal.
10.00pm: Time to get stuck into work – I get on with drafting an EMI share valuation report for one of our growth clients who has just launched an online platform delivering a really exciting and innovative product to the market. It’s great to work so closely with entrepreneurs and share in their excitement and passion for their businesses.
12.30am: Over lunch we have team training, which we have every few weeks, and is presented by a different member of the team – this week it’s all about drafting warranties. These training sessions are always interactive and present an opportunity for the team to discuss and share their personal experiences and tips on the subject at hand. As trainees we are encouraged to go to training sessions across all the teams in the firm to gain exposure to different areas of law.
1.30pm: Training done, I head to join a partner for a meeting with a potential new client who wants to get all the relevant documentation in place ahead of receiving investment into their company. Developing our own relationships with clients is an integral part of our training contract from the beginning
3.00pm: Next on the agenda, I catch up with the other first-year trainees to discuss the latest idea for our CSR2020 project. The firm has supported us in managing and organising our own CSR initiative throughout the two-year training contract which has been an exciting opportunity. We chose to support three charities focused on mental health to fundraise for them but also to spread awareness on such an important topic both inside and outside the firm.
3.30pm: This afternoon, in between some impromptu indoor snowball fights and copious amounts of tea-drinking (if you don’t drink tea before starting in the Growth team, you certainly will by the time you finish the seat!) I draft some ancillary documents – board minutes and written resolutions – before tying everything up and making my to-do list for tomorrow.
5.30pm: After a busy but productive day, I head upstairs to the hub to meet with the other trainees and junior lawyers before heading to an event organised by the Cambridgeshire Junior Lawyers Division – this time it’s an escape room! The firm really sees value in us joining such organisations as it’s a great opportunity to network with other junior lawyers from all around Cambridge but also to have some fun outside the office too (team TV managed to escape with eight minutes to spare in case you were wondering!)
About the firm
Managing partners: Ed Turner, Matt Meyer
Other offices: London, Singapore
Who we are: Taylor Vinters is an international law firm supporting the businesses which drive the innovation economy, and the entrepreneurs and private wealth that underpin them. Our practice is global, operating from innovation clusters in the UK and Asia.
What we do: With 30 partners and 86 lawyers across our offices in London, Cambridge and Singapore we help entrepreneurially minded clients make great things happen, whatever their size and sector. Our key practice areas include: corporate, commercial and technology, IP, commercial disputes, employment, insolvency, competition, commercial real estate, charities and social ventures, private real estate, matrimonial, trusts and estates.
What we’re looking for: We’re looking for innovative and entrepreneurial people who are brimming with enthusiasm and passion for what they do. You’ll need a pragmatic outlook and commercial awareness as our clients rely on our business brains as much as our legal expertise.
What you’ll do: Your development programme will be tailored around your skills, interests and aspirations and you’ll experience real client work, responsibility and high levels of autonomy from an early stage, as well as support through expert advice from some of the industry’s most forward thinking lawyers. During your two-year programme, you’ll complete four seats in different legal disciplines, in our Cambridge and London offices, to help you decide which aspects of the law interest you most. During your training contract, you’ll also complete your Professional Skills Course (PSC), which we’ll pay for.
Perks: 25 days’ holiday plus the option to buy additional holiday, pension, private medical insurance, life assurance, season ticket loan, medical cash plan, recognition scheme, busy social calendar, wellbeing programme.