The Legal Cheek View
Squire Patton Boggs’ 50 trainees may be split between London, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, but that hasn’t prevented them from forging some of the tightest bonds of any group of new starters. With a strong peer supportiveness score and one of the highest ratings for social life in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, SBP is a good option for those seeking a substitute for student-days camaraderie. The firm-wide social events and training sessions are famously fun, while decent levels of work/life balance mean that rookies’ evenings usually belong to them – even if they are often spent down to pub with workmates.
Still, SPB is not exactly Fresh Meat. This is, let’s not forget, a global business turning over around £600 million a year with top partners earning well over half a million each. Certainly, the £60,000 paid to newly qualified associates in London (£40,000 in the regions) comes with expectations that are broadly in line with other City and national firms.
Happily, the partners are nice (“Nothing is ever a stupid question or too much to ask,” one insider tells us), the quality of work generally very good (“Some work is brilliant with lots of client contact, other departments it is heavily administrative”) and the training also highly-rated (“Everyone is really good with explaining things at first and then giving real responsibility at time goes on”).
What’s more, unlike some global firms, SPB actually uses its network of over 40 international offices for trainee secondments – with over a third of the firm’s current rookies having spent time abroad. The most common locations are Paris and Brussels, but some have travelled farther afield to Riyadh and Sydney.
Back in the UK, SPB wins praise for its well-appointed offices (although some are reportedly better than others), coffee (there are new machines with freshly ground beans) and variable quality canteens that not only serve food but in some cases deliver it to lawyers’ desks.