Clifford Chance

The Legal Cheek View

We won’t bore you with the news the Clifford Chance’s profits rose 10% this year – meaning its top partners are earning a whopping £1.23 million. Nor will we dwell on the good score for training which the firm received in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. Because, let’s face it, when it comes to Clifford Chance what everything wants to know about is the swimming pool.

Yes, the magic circle giant’s London headquarters has its own bathing facilities where trainees can famously wash away their troubles while gazing into the Canary Wharf night. And boy do they need it, because Clifford Chance riches come at a price. The firm is among the poorest performers for work/life balance, with the hours notoriously long during busy spells. One insider summarises it like this:

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Key Info

Training contracts 80
Latest trainee retention rate 67%
Offices 36
Countries 26
Minimum A-level requirement No minimum
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Training
A
Quality of work
A
Peer support
A
Partner approach-ability
A
Work/life balance
D
Perks
A*
Office
A*
Canteen
A
Social life
B
Chances of secondment abroad
A*

Grades derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey of over 1,500 trainees and junior associates at the leading UK law firms.

Hours

Average arrival time 9:27am
Average leave time 8:56pm
Annual target hours 1,800
Annual leave 25 days

Money

First year trainee salary £43,500
Second year trainee salary £49,000
Newly qualified salary £85,000
Profit per equity partner £1,230,000
GDL grant £8,000
LPC grant £7,000

Diversity

UK female associates 52%
UK female partners 20%
UK BME associates 13%
UK BME partners 6%