The Legal Cheek View
The firm which briefly began life as Masons Pinsent, before swiftly re-ordering its name upon discovering that the corresponding internet domain had been squatted, is now one of the most recognisable in the UK. Formed following a merger in 2004 between national outfits Pinsents and Masons, the combined Pinsent Masons went on to shack up with Scottish giant McGrigors in 2012. Now it has a total of 22 offices across the globe, including a big British presence, with bases in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, and Manchester, alongside its City of London headquarters.
Unlike many corporate firms, Pinsent Masons gives its British offices equal status, with a renowned UK-wide projects practice setting the tone for an approach that is less London-centric than many. Tech, energy and real estate are other strong points. Internationally, the firm is strongest in mainland Europe, Asia and the Middle East. According to the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, 12% of Pinsents' trainees and junior lawyers have done international secondments.
Insiders report a pleasant culture, with strong training and work that often reaches 'silver circle' levels of complexity and beyond. The happy internal mood corresponds with robust recent financial performance; profit per equity partner rose by 2% to £550,000 this year and overall revenue went up 5.5% to £382.3 million.
Such figures translate to solid if not spectacular junior lawyer pay rates (see below) which our survey indicates are accepted as fair in view of the decent levels of work-life balance offered by the firm. Also appreciated by Pinsent Masons' lawyers are the perks on offer, which include a subsidised Costa, yoga and pilates classes, regular themed Friday drinks events and a well developed 'agile working' programme. The firm is given an interesting extra dimension by its Out-law.com legal news arm, which employs three full time journalists.
However, there is less enthusiasm for the rather daringly decorated foyer of Pinsents' London office, with the modern art deemed to be "a bit weird". A tipster elaborates: "The current one looks like there has been a car crash which nobody has bothered to clear up. The one before looked like Hannibal Lector started to read 50 shades of grey.... That said, the views from the client floors are amazing."