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Clifford Chance releases unseen video footage of its famous swimming pool

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Cameras on set at one of the best corporate law perks in London

Magic circle giant Clifford Chance has released a new grad recruitment video which contains some much-appreciated footage of the firm’s signature perk: its swimming pool.

Clifford Chance is the only law firm with a staff swimming bath in the capital, though photos of its 20 x 8 metre offering have been hard to come by. It’s largely been over to the lawyers of social media to satisfy non-Clifford Chance staff’s pool cravings. Snaps posted online include:

🔮 If you are a lawyer and love swimming, work at Clifford Chance. Thank you for the #magiccircle tour @hkwon225 💕

A post shared by 언젠가 기억에서 사라진다 해도 (@cho.monica) on

Now, swimming enthusiasts are able to sample Clifford Chance’s delights in moving picture format thanks to a new video released by the firm. The short clip follows the lives of Oliver, 24, and Ellen, 23, who are both junior lawyers at the firm.

While the promo vid does concede life at Clifford Chance includes “late nights, hard work, early rises”, some bits of it look pretty fun. The pair are filmed playing pool, going for drinks, working out in the gym, heading through the doors of the Royal Courts of Justice and, you guessed it, swimming:

A spokeswoman for Clifford Chance said: “Our graduate website is refreshed frequently to arm candidates with up-to-date insights and information on the firm.”

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

Though Clifford Chance’s pool is one of the better perks of the corporate law world, it’s certainly not the only one. To give you just a flavour, perks at other firms include: pro sushi chefs, anti-sickness injections, free zoo memberships, free apartments and drinks trolleys. Look out the results of our best law firm perks for this year from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017, as we go in-depth into the findings over the course of the autumn term.

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54 Comments

Anonymous

Wait, what, anti-sickness injections?! Sign me up for this super-immunity jab!

(20)(0)

Anonymous

No amount of swimming can un-do the negative health effects one would suffer even just completing a training contract at Clifford Chance. Avoid like the plague.

(50)(14)

Anonymous

You’re not even at Clifford Chance.

(10)(3)

Anonymous

Does it really take an antelope to know the dangers of a cheetah?

(77)(1)

Anonymous

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

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Please elaborate?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Lol CC is positively benign compared to most City firms – imagine going to Latham to train … *shudders*

(9)(3)

Anonymous

I’ve always found Latham people a nice, if a bit mental thanks to the hours.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

I once met a Lathams employee, who as you said was very nice, but completely dead behind the eyes and hating their existence.

(0)(1)

MC Trainee

It’s really not as bad as you think. You are always learning and juggling and prioritising so you don’t get a chance to get bored. The time passes quickly. I worked other jobs with normal hours before starting the training contract and I have found that watching the clock and waiting for 6pm was worse than what I’m doing now.

(4)(5)

Anonymous

Completely agree I work for another magic circle and nothing worst that looking at the time passing by without nothing to do.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Nothing worst? You work for a magic circle firm?!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

[insert various poo gags]

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Makes me hate my own TC at a mid-tier firm even more…

(3)(4)

Anonymous

Name and shame! We want info.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

DLA Piper

(7)(4)

Jealous

Tbh, it doesn’t even look that good – and I severely doubt any junior staff are allowed to use it..

(15)(5)

Anonymous

Any CC staff are allowed to use it, without limitation.

(18)(4)

Anonymous

Surely not the dreaded non-fee earners? Cleaning staff? Cafeteria staff? The pool has to remain clean at the very least. It is not a big pool.

(4)(7)

Anonymous

Some of the cleaning and catering staff are agency employees so I don’t know about them.

But non-fee earner CC employees, such as secretaries / HR / accounting etc are allowed to use the gym facilities, including the pool.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

The limitation, like the gym at Linklaters, is that if you are spotted in the pool you clearly have capacity to take on more work.

(44)(2)

Anonymous

Yup. Got it in one.

That is the purpose for it being there.

Any junior who is mug enough to use it risks getting the workload piled on.

Officially anyone can use it. There’s an unwritten rule saying really it’s for the senior partners, and anyone else using it is asking for a workload hike, so nobody does.

(12)(3)

Anonymous

It’s really not that bad. If you have no work, you have no work. Go to the gym, have a swim, play some squash, go and grab a coffee. You’re allowed a life.

(5)(2)

CC associate

I once conducted a whole deal in there, start to finish, in the water for three weeks straight. One of the highlights of my career if I’m being honest.

(2)(0)

Amused Lawyer

Yes work 25 hour shifts for great salaries (that equate to minimum wage when you calculate money/hours worked). And guess what go for a swim in our free pool, with the millions you just made us for a small fraction of the profit! Magic cirlce: The life to live 🙂

(17)(0)

Anonymous

This. Law firms are just giant pyramid schemes folks, nothing new to see here.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Does the film end with Oliver and Ellen jumping off the roof when they realise the emptiness of life in a law firm?

(42)(0)

Anonymous

Clifford Chance Chocolate Fountain Chesneys

(0)(1)

Optimistic glass ceiling smasher

Despite all the negative comments. I think it looks great and am looking forward to finding out the perks of the other firms in your survey.

(7)(6)

Anonymous

Irwin Mitchell’s perks include free use of the oxygen in the office.

(67)(1)

Anonymous

To a degree. I saw a trainee kicked out the building for breathing too much on one occasion.

(15)(0)

JD Partner

Trainees are encouraged to breathe heavily in my office.

(32)(1)

Anonymous

The last thing I’d want to do after work is swim in a manky old swimming pool with my colleagues.

(12)(2)

Anonymous

It’s neither manky nor old, as the (worryingly obsessive) number of photos included in the article show.

And I never go after work – much more refreshing to go before work or at some point during the day.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Shit swimming pool.

(2)(3)

Anonymous

* swimming pool shit

(5)(1)

Anonymous

You missed the words “in the” from that sentence.

(1)(2)

Jonny, former lover

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

(4)(4)

Boink

This is redolent of the culture in some Japanese companies where they supply everything their workers need, so they never need to (and are criticised if they do) leave the office. It makes me laugh/cringe/puke when I see this sort of thing being presented as a perk (and being accepted as such by brainwashed/fearful trainees) when in fact it is just yet another way of CC chaining galley slave lawyers to their desks.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

It’s better than all those other mid-tier firms that expect trainees to work just as much and devote their life to the job while providing absolutely no (or very crappy) facilities.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

Or if it’s one of those McDonalds of law firms (i.e., Baker McKenzie, DLA or Dentons) all they give you (and apparently all you need) is a “nice friendly collegiate culture”. Works well for the equity partners who don’t have to spend anything.

(6)(0)

Trainee

This impression of CC really isn’t that accurate…

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Usefull, after a long day of photocopying and gossiping about how stressful and out of touch the TC at CC really is. I love it though.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

It can’t really be their pool:

There’s no turd floating by in it.

I call poolshit!

(2)(2)

Anonymous

20×8 pool? Wow that is pretty small for a rich firm. Ever heard of Olympic-sized pools?

(0)(2)

Anonymous

The surface area for that situated on a plot comprising prime London real estate would be eye watering.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

CC are not even based in the City. Cheapskates.

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Yeah, office space in Canary Wharf is known for its cheapness … /s

(4)(1)

The Phantom Pool-Pooer

They still haven’t caught me…

And I still work here…!

Mwhahahahahahahahaha 💩

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Well I get a 1% pension contribution at Brecher, so there

(0)(0)

YoungPartner

Ah trainees (and wannabe trainees). Please don’t be impressed by a pool. Or try to impress your mates with BS like how many hours you need to be in the office or even where the office is located. You’re allowed a life. None of this makes you an important person. The scary part is how you choose to live that life. You can make the same money, work a lot fewer hours, on work that is not compartmentalised (ie which is more rewarding) outside magic circle and in the regions. It’s challenging training anywhere but get through that and we’re now set up so our solicitors can log in and work from anywhere, including abroad. Shock. An inner city pool? Lol- some of our lot plan to login on the beach and fly back for meetings and we love it! Open your eyes and ask why you’re really applying for magic circle. Is it your ego? Is that a good enough reason? We’d never employ ex magic circle- wrong skill set, wrong mindset. The price you’re paying is your later work life balance. The ‘benefits’ just aren’t worth it. Good luck!

(4)(0)

Anonymous

What have you been smoking and where can I get some?

(0)(1)

YoungPartner

Don’t be afraid anonymous. No ilicit drugs required for what I say to be real, and to be achievable. I have progressed more quickly than would ever have been possible in an MC firm. Some will say that partnership is worth less because it’s not MC- assuming I earn less or do less interesting work. Of course the work isn’t the same. It’s more varied & day 1 more responsible because it’s more coal face. I earn more, not less. Do your homework and look around- spot and avoid dinosaurs and look for niche firms. The incredible reality is that the world, including the legal industry & individual firms and businesses, are changing beyond recognition. The magic circle can’t keep up & have legacy overheads they can’t ditch even if they wanted to (like buildings with swimming pools). Their ‘pitch’ to trainees is the same as it was 15 years ago. Their businesses are too big and unwieldy to adapt quickly. They tell you a swimming pool and ‘free’ gym membership etc are perks in the hope you’ll believe them & generally ride on the strength of their brands (including with clients). At best they talk about ‘flexible’ working at some unknown/undefined point in the future ‘maybe’ when you’ve already given your best years. Clients are getting wise & looking at niche firms and people (ie staff) are catching onto much more exciting career & life opportunities too after the cache of working MC wears thin (6months?). There’s no reason staff even need to be in one country any more. Technology has moved on and as a result the world is getting smaller. The only issue we ask people to work with us on is the time zone of where they are, and to have a solid internet connection. And of course this doesn’t apply day 1. You have to work to get there & you have to work to stay there. It’s probably equal those that fail to make the grade (or decide it isn’t for them) vs those who ‘succeed’ but it’s real & there’s a clear pathway. If you’re going to work hard to achieve a dream don’t let it be an inner city swimming pool in a building! Dare to dream a little bit bigger than that! Good luck.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Quinn emmanuel???

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.