Surely future magic circle lawyers aren’t sufficiently superficial to be swayed by the promise of a free swim?

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It’s all about the quality of the deals — and the on-site pool


Following the shock news of the tragic death of Matrix Chambers’ pet fish, Legal Cheek is back with some more hard-hitting aquatic legal news.

Magic circle giant Clifford Chance has announced that it is swimming lesson season for its lawyers.

Somewhat bizarrely, the Canary Wharf-based firm placed a paid-for advertisement (pictured below) on Facebook to mark the news. It seems to have been a not-so-subtle way of reminding the nation’s wannabe lawyer that, unlike its rivals, CC has an on-site pool (pictured from different angles above and below).


Certainly, the megafirm seems proud of its swimming bath, which is apparently situated on the fifth floor of Clifford Chance’s Upper Bank Street HQ. On its website the firm trumpets:

There is a 20 x 8 metre swimming pool which, like the gym, features floor-to-ceiling windows with views out over Canary Wharf.

Nice. But surely the high-calibre types who apply to Clifford Chance aren’t so superficial that they are swayed by promises of a swim overlooking Canary Wharf in a questionable atmosphere of “back to school vibes”?

Still, the promise of a “free” splash in CC’s pool is undoubtedly an interesting one…

Yet when Legal Cheek enquired about the possibility of improving on its breaststroke, the corporate behemoth told us that the pool is only available to employees.

The local leisure centre it is, then.



It’s a crap small pool and what’s more the lawyers, certainly at the junior end, do not have time to use it.



I heard of a junior taking a dip, only to later find his clothes replaced with a stack of papers.



I did apply to CC back in the day. The pool was definitely one of the reasons. The top floor client foyer too, the views there had me.



You’ll be drowning in so much work every day that I imagine the very sight of a swimming pool would make you sick to your stomach.



There’s nothing superficial about choosing between the Magic Circle based on their office and facilities. Indeed, CC has the best office of all the MC firms.



Except it is in the Wharf, where the majority of people don’t want to work because it’s a pain to get to (unless you live in East London).


Future CC trainee

Not true – some of us live in Bermondsey/London Bridge too!



Bermondsey sounds like…fun I guess.



Clearly still East, even if it is South East London….



And the Wharf is generally foul unless you are at best a slightly gauche nouveaux who likes big shiny plastic things.



Fit right in at CC then.


MC Lawyer

It’s harsh but sort of true….
The ‘establishment’ members of the MC have always looked down on CC. …
I guess because it’s only been top tier for like 30yrs while say Freshfields has been at the top of the City for 250 years +
Law can be oddly snobby even amongst the elite firms



Correct however all the first year law students from Manchester commenting do not realise that 😞


Not quite accurate

What they don’t tell you is that because CC has performed so poorly, they’ve had to rent out over half of it to Deutsche Bank and others. CC lawyers are now squeezed into small offices in the bottom half. Facilities like the pool, canteen and the gym are a complete free for all. Would rather be at a MC firm that doesn’t have to share perks.



Anyone from CC who can confirm this? Very interesting insight indeed – don’t hear this one in the firm’s puff pieces!



I’m sure there was a LC article about this when it happened.



Yeah I can confirm (sadly) ‘CC tower’isn’t actually CC’s tower anymore… And Canary W is a bugger to get to in the morning and crap at night….. Wish I was in the City proper now….too late to re-apply to a certain Fleet St firm??



No it’s not quite true.

The floors have been empty or only partly used for years, costing the firm millions.

So the DB sublease will save them a huge amount.

CC lawyers are in the top half, with the same sized offices as before.



Where’s the ad “pictured below”?


Knackered trainee

I have seen the pool and while the view is incredible, it is a little on the small side.

The ad referred to appears to be the Facebook post. The little “sponsored” below CC indicates, rather bizarrely that they have paid for this to appear on people’s timelines :/


Boh Dear

Boh dear


Salacious Gossip

I heard a vac schemer crapped himself in the pool and still got offered a TC. True story.


Booty LJ

Emptying your bowels in the pool is a Clifford Chance initiation rite that is required of all potential trainees. It proves that you are dedicated, can take orders, and are able to produce bullshit on request.


Aysh's CC Stories

Legends have it that an unnamed female trainee attempted to organise a poolside ménage-á-trois with two partners in the late hours of the night, only to be caught by the ever vigilant security guard who’d often visit the pool for his late night spank. Needless to say no one has ever seen the poor guard again.



The trainee and two partners were subsequently found guilty of professional negligence, having failed to exercise the degree of skill, care and diligence ordinarily to be expected of professionals engaged in filthy rutting sessions of an equivalent scope and scale.


Sounds right

How very Clifford Chance… The only magic circle firm with no class


Dat dere CC equity partnah

Well son, I don’t know about you, but I’d eagerly join in on such action if it would allow me to dip my meat in some tasty gash. Who cares about class anyway?



The only magic circle firm where murdering the security staff is not unexpected.



And the only MC firm where trainees regularly f*ck up……


Kuzka's Mother

Wait, what? I somehow missed that…


Salacious Gossip

I heard an equity partner crapped himself in the pool and still received an annual profit share above the PEP average for CC. True story.


The Bounder

I used to wee in my wetsuit when I could feel that unmistakable ‘hypothermia feeling’ creeping up on me. You know, when your speech starts to slur and you start thinking it might be a really good idea to go to sleep in 15 feet of surf? But I’ve never crapped in a swimming pool. Suppose I’ve never lived, really



“I’ve never crapped in a swimming pool. Suppose I’ve never lived, really” is the most common phrase used in Clifford Chance TC applications.


Aysh Al-Cliffordi

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Spam Cans in a Mosque

You naughty little wahhabist, you.


Gestapo Cheek

Ah yes, deleting comments once again. When will you grow a scrotum LC? Or did the closet jihadist threaten with a libel suit?



Slow news day for LC.

On another note, for all its health benefits swimming is non-billable. Therefore the swimming pool should be converted into a paralegal pool and put to better use.



Pah! You ought to see the swimming pools and gym facilities in criminal legal aid firms!


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