The Legal Cheek View
When the merger between Beachcroft and Davis Arnold Cooper was announced in 2011 there were high hopes that we were about to see an ABCD LLP. Sadly, it wasn't to be. And the perhaps more sensibly named DAC Beachcroft came into being instead.
The combined firm is bigger than many realise, with ten offices in the UK and eight internationally, including exotic outposts in Bogota and Auckland. It specialises in insurance work but has branched out into more general litigation and commercial work over the years, with highly rated specialisms in healthcare and real estate practices.
It's a nice mix for rookies to cut their teeth on, with the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey showing DAC Beachcroft rookies to be very happy with the quality of the work that comes their way and reasonable content with the wider training regime at the firm. Reports one insider:
"Obviously varies. But I do have a lot of independence on smaller cases, and quite a lot of leeway on larger ones too. Of course sometimes there are dull things to be done, but that's the same in any job, right?"
Where the firm falls down is on international secondments, which are rare to non-existent despite the firm's impressive global coverage. However, Legal Cheek understands that the client secondments are well-regarded.
Another gripe voiced by DAC Beachcroft juniors is over money – with the London newly qualified pay rate among the lowest in the City. Regional salaries are also on the low side relative to the firm's peers. This produces considerable grumbling, with myth making abounding about the firm's perceived stinginess. One tipster tells us: "The free tea bags throughout the office appear to be made from the sweepings left over when the first lot of sweepings have already been used up." Two years of minimally-rising profits and revenue, after some sharp preceding falls as the firm restructured its post-merger finances, have contributed to this stereotype.
On the positive side, DAC Beachcroft has a fairly flashy London office in the fashionable Holborn/City borders complete with an in-house Costa coffee and offers some of the City's more unusual perks, including free gym membership and complimentary towels (which are apparently a godsend for cyclists). It's also a relatively friendly place with a good social scene, featuring three office-wide parties annually, including a big trainee bash in the summer.