The Legal Cheek View
This summer, in the midst of the July heatwave, one of Eversheds' senior partners hired an ice-cream to give everyone in the office free frozen treats. It was a classy move that is typical of one of the nicer big law firms. Eversheds' highest scores in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey are for culture – with the firm's partners deemed to be particularly down to earth. Generally speaking, "everyone is approachable", report insiders, although inevitably some more than others: "One supervisor had all the time in the world for me and we could laugh and joke together, whereas my other should only really be approached when necessary!"
Befitting of an institution that prides itself on a collective mental stability, Eversheds' financial performance has been solid rather than spectacular of late, with profit per equity partner more or less unchanged this year at a healthy £742,000. Junior lawyer pay stands at a sensible £62,000 for newly qualified (NQ) associates in London, while regional NQs earn £40,000.
With Eversheds present in significant numbers in 10 locations across the UK – many of which date back to the merger of disparate collection of national practices 25 years ago, when the Eversheds brand was born – this is as much a national firm as a City one. And it's in these old divisions where tension occasionally bubbles up.
Gripes include being "paid like our local rivals" but "worked like our London counterparts". Not everyone feels this way, though. One Eversheds trainee told us: "I get on well with the wider trainee cohort when we meet up (and I don't recognise the 'London snobbery' that I had been warned about)." It is worth bearing in mind, however, that in the firm's smaller offices the trainee pool can be very small.
Eversheds also has a major international presence, with the firm represented in 27 countries outside the UK – mostly in Europe, but also in Asia and the Middle East. Approaching 20% of the firm's trainees and junior lawyers having done an international secondment or travelled abroad on firm business.
Work-wise, the firm does pretty much everything, with trainees' experiences varying vastly between departments and locations. Perks are similarly variable: there is a subsidised Starbucks (an Eversheds client) in the London office, while "leftover cheese sandwiches if they over-cater for a client meeting" are apparently the order of the day elsewhere. But everyone gets discounts at Apple (another client), summer and Christmas parties that are "great fun", private healthcare and even a 'bike doctor' who comes in to perform free services on lawyers' cycles.