The best corporate law firm perks in London

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By Will Buckley on

Some great reasons to become a lawyer


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.


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.


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”.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.