Analysis

Revealed: The firms that offer the most client secondments

By on
18

As a trainee you could get the chance to do a stint at Goldman Sachs, Google or Gillingham Council

Google, HSBC and Amazon’s London offices

You might think you’ve only made it in the City if you get chosen to go on an international secondment to Dubai or Hong Kong. But you don’t have to board a plane and move your life overseas for six months to find something to write home about. There are plenty of client secondment opportunities in the UK, which are just as exciting. But how common are they? As part of the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18, we asked over 2,000 rookies whether they’d done a stint with a client. Here are the results.

Legal Cheek Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18 — chance of client secondment

LAW FIRM % CHANCE OF CLIENT SECONDMENT
Bristows 88%
Squire Patton Boggs 80%
Mayer Brown 75%
Reed Smith 50%
Walker Morris 50%
Baker McKenzie 47%
Shoosmiths 47%
CMS 36%
DWF 36%
Charles Russell Speechlys 35%
Eversheds Sutherland 35%
PwC Legal 35%
RPC 35%
Dentons 33%
Fieldfisher 28%
Mills & Reeve 28%
Clifford Chance 25%
Ince & Co 25%
Bird & Bird 24%
DAC Beachcroft 24%
Womble Bond Dickinson 24%
Clyde & Co 23%
Pinsent Masons 22%
TLT 22%
DLA Piper 21%
Norton Rose Fulbright 21%
Hill Dickinson 19%
Taylor Wessing 19%
Withers 17%
Hogan Lovells 16%
Herbert Smith Freehills 15%
Berwin Leighton Paisner 14%
Browne Jacobson 13%
Burges Salmon 13%
Stephenson Harwood 13%
Osborne Clarke 12%
Simmons & Simmons 12%
Allen & Overy 10%
Freshfields 10%
Jones Day 10%
Kirkland & Ellis 10%
Dechert 9%
Travers Smith 9%
Addleshaw Goddard 7%
Linklaters 7%
Ropes & Gray 7%
Irwin Mitchell 6%
Mishcon De Reya 6%
Ashurst 5%
Shearman & Sterling 5%
Slaughter and May 4%
Trowers & Hamlins 4%
Macfarlanes 2%
Forsters 0%
Gowling WLG 0%
Howard Kennedy 0%
K&L Gates 0%
Latham & Watkins 0%
Watson Farley & Williams 0%
Weil Gotshal & Manges 0%
White & Case 0%

Notable client secondments include tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, and megabanks including Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. But you’ll have to fight for these, with many firms requiring trainees to put in an application explaining why they should get to spend six months in such glamorous surroundings.

Footie fans will be pleased to know that client secondments at Premier League football clubs are relatively common. Rookies across different firms have scored seats at Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City among a host of clubs. Our survey responses show that secondments at media clients are also most definitely a thing, with ITV, BBC and Fox Networks Group all giving opportunities to trainees.

Top pharmaceutical companies, such as GSK, AstraZeneca and Pfizer, are another popular destination. Other standout destinations include Unilever, Nestlé, Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover, Heathrow Airport, Carillion and, er, the now defunct Monarch Airlines.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Many law firms offer secondments to charities too, and this year trainees have been drafted in to help out and gain experience at the likes of The Howard League, Liberty and Reprieve.

But if you leave client secondment applications to the last minute, you could find yourself doing time in less glamorous places. Corporate law firms frequently lend their young to local councils, which often have large legal budgets, while for every sexy multinational there’s a less sexy medium-sized company operating out of a non-descript industrial estate. Still, appearances can be deceptive and the experience can actually be very valuable. As one trainee temporarily based with a client in Slough tells us: “Not a great location but not as bad as I expected!”

Finally, it’s worth noting that client secondments take place at different stages in lawyers’ careers at different firms. Some in the list above that offer none to trainees present their associates with plentiful opportunities to spend time with clients.

Previously

Research: The firms that offer the most international secondments 2017-18 [Legal Cheek]

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

18 Comments

Anonymous

Newsflash: often secondments are really boring, like an extended period of work experience where no one knows who you are, remembers your name, includes you in stuff. With international secondments at least you are somewhere interesting and new (although it can be achingly lonely at times). When you are with the client you are just at an office nearby. However what all this does give you is useful experience and context about how the legal market fits together. My main takeaways from secondments: I don’t want to live and work abroad, I don’t want to be an in-house lawyer.

(13)(2)

Anonymous

What makes you not want to be in-house out of interest?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The good thing about secondments is learning from clients that law firms just form part of their supply chain. It’s a grounding experience.

(16)(0)

Anonymous

Very true sir

(1)(0)

Mid-size firm trainee

0% is inaccurate and misleading. We have lots of client secondments at trainee level in our firm.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Yeah, and they’re all shyte.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The key thing is to make the client feel like they are what matters the most. Obviously they are not, you the lawyer matters the most. There is nobody more important than you. However, if you can trick 5-100 clients that they are the most important thing in the world, they will pay you the fees that lets you look after you.

You gotta go get, or you gonna get got.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Not a dig, but where would you undertake a secondment if you were with Irwin Mitchell?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Greggs

(33)(0)

Irwins (we want to merge with DWF)

A farm. No, nothing to do with agriculture.

A claims farm.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Yeah these stats are a bit off. My firm is listed as sending 0% on secondment; it’s actually 40-50%.

(1)(0)

Bibbleshaws Wellard

DWF is regularly sending whole teams off to Addleshaws so I hear.

However, these secondments are of a permanent nature.

(15)(0)

Plexus

We’d love to fill in DWF’s vacant departments.

I wonder if corporate will accept a few claimant PI solicitors to get the ground running again.

Then we can go to Addleshaws too. Finally working at a law firm someone has heard off.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

You know the rules – off to Keoghs you go.

(2)(0)

DICKSWINGING DAVIS POLK MALE

MORE SECONDMENTS = LESS BILLING

LESS BILLING = LESS BONUS

LESS BONUS = WHY AM I HERE

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Has anyone seen my lost dog?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

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

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Megabanks!! Jeez even that’s a new low for LC.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories