Fieldfisher confirms Birmingham training contracts

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City outfit’s newbies will start this September


European law firm Fieldfisher has today confirmed it will offer training contract positions at its Birmingham office.

The outfit gained a foothold in the West Midlands back in November 2016 thanks to a merger with Birmingham-based commercial outfit Hill Hofstetter.

Now, just over three months on, Fieldfisher has revealed that it will be launching a training contract programme at its new Brum outpost. With a September start date already penciled in, the firm — which also has UK offices in both London and Manchester — is looking to take on up to two new wannabe lawyers. The deadline for applications is 15 April.

Fieldfisher, which offers around 14 UK-based training contracts annually, is yet to disclose how much its new trainees will be paid. However, according to Legal Cheek’s Most List, outfits such as DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and DWF all offer their first-year Birmingham cohorts around the £26,000 mark.

Chris Hill, Fieldfisher’s managing partner in Birmingham, said:

This is the first trainee scheme since we merged with Fieldfisher. We are delighted to offer this opportunity and know that our new trainees will benefit from working across our European network and international clients.

According to Legal Cheek’s 2016 Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, Fieldfisher scored A* for partner approachability and work/life balance. With lawyers arriving at the office on average at 9:09am and leaving at 6:50pm, respondents trumpeted the firm’s regular supply of brownies, cakes and ice cream.

This latest development comes just a week after Berwin Leighton Paisner revealed it was set to launch a training contract offering in Manchester. Having set up a legal services hub in the city back in August 2014, the firm told Legal Cheek that applications will open “shortly”, but only to “Manchester-based BLP employees”. The firm did not disclose how many TCs it would offer, or what they will pay.

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I love how Fieldfisher do psychometric testing for their TCs, as if they were in a position to be picky.


Adam "I have small hands" Deen

Yeah it’s to weed out people like you who can’t do them.



Let me guess, you’re a high street firm kinda guy



urgh, birmingham



This is scary news for London assistants in these sorts of shops as firms outsource more and more work. Redundancies will happen in London as the regions are beefed up with cheap doc shops.



Yeah in the same way all the bankers will just move to Dublin or Paris after Brexit – just because their employers will want them to do so – and they will totally not cross the street to some other shop.

Dream on.



Not sure you understand how markets work. If firms move people to he regions and downsize in London are is less supply of jobs in London. Have you ever played musical chairs?



Not sure you understand how people work. If firms try move people to the regions, which are not as desirable / vibrant and downsize in London people will either move to other firms which have capacity to take them or go in-house or do something completely different.

London attracts talent and there is just no way people would simply put up with doing the same boring work and long hours in Manchester or Newcastle for say £80,000 / £100,000 less (as say 4 PQE).



You’re conflating the argument against Brexit with outsourcing. Perhaps these firms are doing long term planning in relation to Brexit, but outsourcing is primarily about reducing costs by reducing a cost base in a premium area. They don’t try to move people to the regions, they hire people in the regions. One way to do that is to start a training contract.

If firms in London contract, the legal market in London contracts and people will find themselves unemployed. The hours won’t be as long in the regions, but the work will be the same monotonous paper shuffling as they do in London. JP Morgan outsourced all its operations to Bournemouth years ago.



Outsourcing is a funny one. 10 years ago, lots of law firms outsourced the basic doc work to India. That was going to be the future. Then they realised that it took so much time and effort to set up each matter that it was only worth it for the really big ones. Then they got some of the work back, realised that it just wasn’t up to the standards clients expected and pulled out before they lost too much money.

Now the City firms are trying to do the same with regional offices. It’s more likely to work. The “outsourced” office is in the same country/time zone as well as the same LLP (so it’s easier to hold people to account). Also, it’s easier for the people at home base to assess those coming in, as they’ve got relatable qualifications/experience.

There is a certain madness about paying your lawyer twice as much as you need to, so to cover the eye-watering rent of their City offices and Zone 2-4 housing. Clients are willing to pay the premium as a way to ensure that they’re getting premium advice (some of the time) but at all other times, the penny is dropping that this isn’t something that they have to do.



I think that lawyers are out of touch with society. An NQ in Birmingham will earn £36-£40k a year. That’s a decent salary in most graduate jobs for someone in their mid twenties. Housing is not as cheap as it was, but it is still a very realistic option someone on that kind of money. Has anyone stopped to consider that it is the London lawyers who are wildly overpaid?


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