The best corporate law firm perks in London

Some great reasons to become a lawyer

perks

Forget the quality of the practice, admire the perkiness of the perks. It’s all about status (symbols).

Following Legal Cheek’s survey of over 1,500 trainees and junior corporate lawyers, we are in the happy position to reveal, in no particular order, the ten best law firm perks:

1. Pro sushi chef — Freshfields

Wonderfully, the firm brings in a professional sushi chef on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, easing the pain of Freshfields’ average 8:57pm leave the office time.

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Other Freshies highlights include top parties (memorable recent extravaganzas include the Rio Olympics-themed lunch party, the corporate team’s summer party in Temple Gardens and the dispute resolution group’s summer party in the Mondrian Hotel), a month-long ‘casual August’ (a perfect opportunity for Freshfields’ rookies to familiarise themselves with the genre of sports casual) and subsidised ski trips (for those who are still not tired of their colleagues after spending 70 hour weeks in the office with them).

Read Freshfields’ full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

2. Money — Kirkland & Ellis

At the time of writing, Kirkland‘s dollar-tied London newly qualified rate was a gobsmacking £147,000.

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You can buy your own perks with that.

Read Kirkland’s full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

3. Steak to your desk — Clifford Chance

As one Clifford Chance insider told us: “If you’re working late, they will literally bring food to you on a platter.” This includes “steak at your desk if you’re working late” and “freshly made cookies on demand”. Such treats are apparently a godsend “during those long, late night conference calls”.

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And top perks don’t stop there at CC (see number five)…

Read Clifford Chance’s full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

4. Free apartment and language lessons — Herbert Smith Freehills

HSF offers some of the best international secondment perks in the business, including free flats(!), language lessons, and “very generous per diem allowances” in some locations.

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With more than a third of HSF trainees spending time abroad with the firm, you’ve got a decent chance of such luxuries.

Read Herbert Smith Freehills’ full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

5. Swimming pool — Clifford Chance

No biggie but CC has a 20 x 8 metre office swimming pool (pictured), with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Canary Wharf.

CC_pool

Let them eat steak and swim it off in the pool!

6. £30 dinner allowance — Shearman & Sterling

The £30 dinner allowance (for meals eaten in the office past 8pm) is understood to be the highest in the City, and is a neat way to make up for Shearman & Sterling’s lack of an office canteen.

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It’s also apparently “essential”, reports one insider, “given that I have to work past 8pm on most days.”

Read Shearman & Sterling’s full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

7. Motorised adjustable desks — Various

The adjustable desks craze is big right now in corporate law, with standing while you are working all the rage among trainee solicitors.

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Our survey data tells us that Linklaters is an adjustable desk pioneer, with the firm also providing lumbar support equipment, ergonomic keyboards and mouse, dual screens and deluxe stationary.

Read Linklaters’ full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

8. Free tickets to glamorous events — Taylor Wessing

Yes folks, Taylor Wessing actually lets its sickeningly happy trainees attend the range of glamorous events that it supports. So hold that photocopying and grab a cab to the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Prize, instead.

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Read Taylor Wessing’s full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

9. In-house fitness centre and gym — the magic circle

It seems that one of the unofficial criteria to belong to the ‘magic circle’ is an office gym. But would you really want to work out in front of your colleagues?

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Linklaters goes one better than the others with a full “fitness centre”, which comes complete with fluffy towels, upmarket shampoo and even hair straighteners.

10. Anti-illness injections — Allen & Overy

On top of its legendary annual flu jabs, delivered by the in-house doctor no less, A&O ensures that its youngsters stay sharp with free eye tests. Oh, and there’s also an A&O physiotherapist on hand to resolve any niggles that the firm GP misses.

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Read Allen & Overy’s full Legal Cheek survey scorecard here.

Honorable mentions

The sheer strength of this category is illustrated by some of the perks that didn’t make the highlights above. Gowling WLG’s ‘legendary Mars bar cakes’; White & Case’s ‘corporate massages’; Watson Farley’s ‘French chef’; Clyde & Co’s ‘Pastry Chef’ and DAC Beachcroft’s ‘free Zoo membership’. That gives you just an inkling as to how competitive the game of perks and recreation has become.

You can access all of our law firm profiles through the Legal Cheek Most List.

91 Comments

CC trainee

I love gazing out across the CW vista as, with my trainee’s fishing net in hand, I slowly and methodically home in on my shitty quarry.

(41)(0)
Incoming CC trainee

Top bantz mate, I’ll pack my fishing net with me.

(2)(1)
Anonymous

Whatever you do mate, don’t order a steak at your desk. You’ll get something brown and warm but it won’t be a sirloin if you know what I mean…

(9)(2)
Dale

HSF free flat on overseas seat – doesn’t every firm do that?

I’ve heard KWM do free lunches and free dry cleaning. Surely worth a mention even if the firm isn’t great in other respects.

(32)(0)
KWM

Yeah they do, although the ‘free’ portions are miniature (for a large chap like me anyway) so you often end up paying something anyway, albeit a nominal price only (£1.5 usually).

Dry cleaning is available at the office, but was not for free last time I checked.

(6)(0)
Dale

Thanks for the insight. Must be somewhere else with the free dry cleaning.

How much do you weigh if I may ask?

(2)(0)
Dale

I’m 5’10 65kg so I reckon the miniature portions would fill me up.

(2)(0)
Pecbrah

City law ain’t for 120lb weaklings mate, you either get swole or get out.

(46)(0)
Tyrion

Hat tip ladies and gents on some solid bants. Brightened up my afternoon here.

(7)(0)
Anonymous

Norton Rose Fulbright definitely do – I remember getting an amazing apartment in the 7th arrondissement in Paris and a hefty increase in pay while I was there. If you want an international secondment it’s an amazing firm…the downside being that, if you don’t, there’s a high chance you’ll end up being shipped to one of the less desirable offices for your penultimate or final seat.

(8)(4)
Anonymous

In what way is talking down certain locations in the world an indictment of the firm itself?Muppet.

(2)(7)
Anonymous

Not the person you’re replying to but…

Fairly sure talking about how the firm “ships” its trainees off to shit offices in their final seat counts as talking down about the firm. It’s certainly not a fucking compliment, is it?

With skills like yours you could join Irwin Mitchell.

(28)(0)
Anon

These perks are all battling the contstant struggle against workplace stress.

Moral of the story: Get yourself a job that will make you happier, not richer.

(26)(2)
Anonymous

Because you didn’t want to become one of the drones in Sector 6.

(Assuming you’re at the independent Bar.)

(12)(3)
FF NQ

Massively disappointed that A&O don’t actually give “anti-illness injections”. They would have made working at A&O actually worth it!

(4)(1)
Needles

Given for the same reasons that American factory-farmed meat is pumped full of antibiotics and growth-hormones, no doubt.

(5)(0)
Needles

If you didn’t understand, come back when you’ve completed your primary education.

(6)(0)
Anonymous

Adjustable desks are hardly a perk, more of a necessity for some and anyone who needs one can get one. And flu jabs are available in Superdrug ffs. I think you need to check the definition of “perk”

(22)(0)
Anonymous

Almost all City employers have standing, adjustable desks these days, banks were the first to roll them out a few years ago.

Hardly a major perk, but the article does mention that. Ditto for flu jabs.

(3)(0)
Salacious B. Crumb

Rumour has it several top US firms offer trainees a monogrammed black rubber dildo, 3-D printed with minute detail (every varicose vein included) according to a cast of their favourite partner’s shaft.

To make those long, hard nights just a bit easier. Postage and shipping to one’s office desk included.

(138)(2)
MC (donalds) trainee

A lot of these are fairly standard across the magic circle (and presumably some of the other large city outfits). I know that my firm has most of them anyway (well, not a sleeping pool, but I don’t think I’d use it if there as one).

(1)(2)
CC Trainee

I wouldn’t – it’s hard enough cleaning the current pool we have!

(0)(0)
MC (donalds) trainee

I spotted the auto correct after posting…but it felt appropriate. *Dreams*

(0)(0)
Anonymous

4, 6, and 10 are standard in the City. Shows how little LC know about being in a City firm.

(8)(0)
Anonymous

all of these exist because you are expected to live in the office.

not perks; a sad reflection that you will expect to look the other way whilst your life whistles past.

(28)(2)
Go home

The only point to life swinging your hulk dick around in the corporate jungle, getting swole in the process, and counting your stacks.

(18)(1)
Anonymous

Look at that subtle off-white colouring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh, my God. It even has a watermark.

(9)(0)
Anonymous

How Are you going to get swole if you work 80 hours a week? Zyzz wasn’t a corporate drone, you don’t want to be like zyzz. Beta cucks like you make me sick. You Probably get wet to thoughts of Rich Piana.

(4)(8)
Lyle of Power Rangers International Plc

I concurr with Anon of 1104. Some of these ‘perks’ are also obligatory, like being forced to dine with Tards one can’t stand the sight of.
The free apartment being in the firm’s building I was well cool with though.

(0)(2)
Anonymous

The only perk they can’t give you is time off to enjoy your life…

(14)(0)
Anonymous

Free eye tests for employees who use computers for a significant part of their normal day is a legal requirement. Not a perk.

Also wincing at flu jabs and Mars bar cakes being described as “legendary”. You’ve drunk the Kool Aid.

(23)(0)
Anonymous

“Legendary flu jabs”?

They are standard everywhere (and available for £10 from Boots).

(11)(0)
Swolebraham Lincoln

I love it when I pump up at Linklater’s office gym and all the chubby bald partners keep mirin’ my mad gainz. Best perk ever.

(14)(0)
Tyrion

The only ‘perk’ is more cash. The free tickets to events are nice for friends and family and spouses. The free gyms tend to be a decent addition. Everything else wears thin very quickly. Sushi chef twice every week? Gets old very quickly, as does ordering meals to your desk. When you start working you realise all this is rubbish in the grand scheme of things, just give me that cheque to take care of my family. Thats why I’m here and the more cash the better.

(17)(0)
Jones Day Associate

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

(3)(0)
Jones Day partner

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

(0)(0)
Alphacannon

…and it’s obviously gone. Typical betacuck, this Alex chap.

(12)(3)
Anonymous

£30 free dinner at Shearman does not make up for the dated 80s style office, lack of staff restaurant, and generally depressing place to be past 8pm!

(1)(1)
High Street Legal Aid Lawyer (9-5)

Our perks:

– 5 weeks paid holiday that you are actually allowed to take.

– Work from home when not in court/ conference.

– Free tea, coffee, biscuits, nibbles and regular runs to Caffe Nero/Costa “on the firm”.

– Posh birthday meal “on the firm”.

– Random evenings out (theatre, cinema, food) “on the firm”.

– Not feeling like a battery hen.

(17)(12)
Bobby

High street firm lawyers, you guys are something else. Whats so great about having a life when you can’t afford to live in zone 5. Your partners earn less than the average mid level city associate. Nobody cares about working 9-5 on mediocre matters for £40k.

(7)(8)
Adam Deen, 3PQE @ Jones Day

Agreed. No idea where these two-bit punters got the idea that you can’t take time off in a City firm. I always take my holidays, the full 25 days in a year, and no one ever had an issue with that. Working from home is becoming an option, although I’m not that fussed. As far as the rest of the high street ‘benefits’ are concerned, just lol.

I hope you like your houseshare in Croydon mate.

(5)(10)
Bobby

Its like they can’t comprehend that some people enjoy working long hours and earning good salaries on challenging and complicated international transactions. Even if the day comes that I want a quieter life, I am not going to the high street. Some high street lawyers I know, i.e. the good ones who are basically private client lawyers not working in the west end, don’t even work the 9-5 hours, but much longer hours. Most are top Uni educated and ex City or West End. The clowns who graduate from London South Bank and think they are winning on the high street are smoking some good green.

(6)(8)
OP

House share in zone 5?

Nah mate. Large house in a nice regional market town.

(3)(3)
Anonymous

oh adam, even at 3 yrs PQE you arent allowed on their website? how sad.

you seem to also be missing the massive number of practices that arents MC or high street. its perfectly possible to earn towards the 100 bracket without being in the office for 12 hours a day. u just have to be decent at your job. sadly, for those that just want to tred the well-worn path, you will labour into the MC sweatshop earning well, but really, what are you doing? making others rich. That’s all.

(7)(0)
Anonymous

Hahahahah. Those high street perks are cute.

“Posh meal” – enough said really.

(1)(1)
OP

Oh, sorry, I forgot. Every meal is a ‘posh meal’ if you’re in the MC, right?

(2)(2)
Anonymous

Yeah we don’t refer to it as a “posh meal”, it’s called “dinner”. Cute though.

(3)(1)
OP

Not if it happens to be lunch, but then you’ll be eating yours at your desk while your monitor burns your eyes, non?

(4)(0)
Anonymous

Christ there are some truly obnoxious people positing on this website. Are you this unpleasant in real life too?

(5)(1)
Honest

STOP BICKERING!!!

Why don’t you all go and work at DWF – top class work, excellent biscuits and a high end legal aid level salary to stop you all spending money on anything but rent and tube trips to the food bank.

(6)(1)
Proud associate

Irwin Mitchell shits all over DWF. We’re the best paid lawyers in the City.

(4)(0)
Anonymous

It doesn’t count if you’re paid in broken dreams and unpaid salaries.

(3)(0)
Pee Wee Herman

IM are an excellent firm. True to itself. Respectable. Amazing opportunities.

Recent mergers were a massive move.

It’s the up and coming behemoth. It will likely merge with DWF soon.

(0)(0)
Hong Kong Dong

Or it can merge with KWM. Today’s news point to an impending bankruptcy of the UK arm of the firm – maybe DWF will be kind enough to join forces with IM and buy them out after the Asian side of KWM throw the UK partnership under the bus.

(3)(0)

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