Analysis

The law firm canteens dishing up the most delectable cuisines – 2019 edition

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A rundown of the corporate outfits leaving rookies hungry for more

They say ‘you are what you eat’ — so in the case of hardworking corporate lawyers, it’s hoped their diets consist of well-rounded, nutritious dishes. But which law firms are keeping their lawyers happy, not hungry?

Legal Cheek asked over 2,000 trainees and junior lawyers to rate their office canteen on a one to ten sliding scale, with one defined as ‘Thank God for Deliveroo’ and ten as ‘The sommelier really knows his stuff’. Today we exclusively reveal which top UK corporate law firms are deemed a fine dining experience.

In alphabetical order, the firms which scooped A* grades are…

Addleshaw Goddard

📸 @emmaklieve (Instagram)

This firm’s A* rated canteen is praised for its “fresh and homemade” offerings and its “incredibly friendly staff”. According to one trainee, it’s “one of the best things” about working at Addleshaw Goddard.

In the Manchester office, trainees can enjoy pancakes every Thursday morning — a “particular favourite,” one rookie tells us. Come lunchtime, lawyers are overwhelmed with choice. For those feeling healthy, “fancy salads” and “daily vegetarian options” are available. Otherwise, associates can tuck into a cheeky portion of “cheesy chips” or skip straight to dessert. We’re also told the firm’s cookies are sublime.

Its subsidised canteens mean AG’s lawyers get more bang for their buck. One respondent reveals, “you can often get a nice hot meal and a drink for under 5 quid”, however, the “portion sizes” can be on the small side.

Read Addleshaw Goddard’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Bird & Bird

Offering panoramic views of the City, Bird & Bird’s 11th-floor canteen allows its lawyers to dine in style.

Lawyers can enjoy smooth barista-made coffee (free of course), along with an excellent selection of cooked and non-cooked breakfasts. There’s also a good range of salads and vegetarian food, one spy tells us.

Despite one respondent claiming the canteen is becoming “a bit stingy on portions,” most rated it “generally good”, meaning there’s little reason for Bird & Bird’s lawyers to fly the nest in search of alternatives.

Read Bird & Bird’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Burges Salmon

Over in Bristol, Burges Salmon’s on-site restaurant, Glassworks, enjoys heavenly reviews, with one trainee calling it a “god send”.

It serves up a range of hot and cold food throughout the day — all for a reasonable price, one insider explains. “Food is really up to scratch and very tasty”, adds another, with props to the “incredz” chefs who “really go out of their way to make something special”. The firm’s “particularly good cakes” also get a mention.

Despite this, one hungry rookie suggests there can be a “lack of options” in the evening, while another says “it would be better if there was discounted food” after a certain time.

Still, the canteen appears to be Bristol’s next romantic getaway, as one respondent admits: “I would take dates there if I could sneak them through security”.

Read Burges Salmon’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co’s impressive top floor canteen offers “beautiful” views of the City, insiders tell us.

The firm’s London canteen boasts a “good variety of food”, ranging from “decent to excellent”, and a menu that “changes regularly”. The “amazing pastry chef” gets a special mention, as does the “fun themed days where they bring in street food vendors or have MASSIVE MILKSHAKES”. Apparently the “cake counter is also worth a visit”.

Prices are “getting more expensive”, one associate says, but overall costs are “reasonable” and “good value for money”.

One respondent is disappointed with the 5pm closing time, which “although reflective of most of the firms”, is not much help for those working late. But for those staying for a nightcap, the canteen converts into an exclusive bar at night. Here lawyers can grab a free beer every other Thursday and join the firm’s monthly social, Clyde & Cocktails.

Read Clyde & Co’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s canteen gets a big thumbs-up from its trainees, especially at the firm’s Birmingham HQ.

Even with an extensive menu, it’s the firm’s classic cuisines that our sources rave about. We hear the “legendary” Mars bar cake is worth a try, while a visit to the “particularly impressive” omelette bar is simply a must.

The only criticism of the canteen was its early closing time of 4pm, which according to one lawyer leaves those working later without their evening supper. That aside, this “great” canteen seems well worth a visit.

Read Gowling WLG’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Jones Day

The canteen at Jones Day’s London office is held in high regard among its lawyer ranks, with one trainee describing it as “consistently good”.

“Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all superb”, with the friendly café staff receiving a special mention. There is also a range of healthy “vegetarian options” on offer, too.

The Ohio-headquartered outfit also treats its London lot to “steaks cooked to order for dinner” — giving lawyers a taste of Midwest American cuisine. As one respondent says: “Turns out corporate hours do have an upside!”. For those hitting the firm’s on-site gym, on-demand steaks act as an ideal post-workout snack.

Read Jones Day’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

K&L Gates

📸 @talesofaflaneur (Instagram)

Having 46 offices in 18 countries is not the only thing K&L Gates can boast about. It also bagged an A* for its London canteen.

“Great food, great variety and great value” is how one trainee describes the US law firm’s cafeteria. Despite the “odd unusual experimental dish”, the K&L Gates’ lawyers appreciate the subsidised prices and look forward to the delicious bacon sandwiches served on Fridays.

Boasting a private terrace overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, lawyers enjoy impressive views, too, with summer lunches being a particular treat.

Read K&L Gates’ Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Kirkland & Ellis

Despite its jaw-dropping newly qualified salaries of £143,000, Kirkland & Ellis‘ associates still enjoy a heavily subsidised canteen which provides, according to one trainee, “decent food”.

Located in London’s iconic skyscraper, the Gherkin, the firm’s cafeteria reportedly offers a “good range of options” for lunch and dinner, while the Thursday night buffets are understood to be a big hit. Kirkland takes care of its lawyers who are working late, too, by covering £25 expenditure on their Deliveroo orders. This makes those evenings in the office a whole lot easier, one insider reports.

Bellies full, Kikrland’s lawyers are just a short elevator ride to Iris, the swanky bar at the very top of the Gherkin which offers 360-degree views of the City.

Read Kirkland & Ellis’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Linklaters

canteen linklaters

Magic circle giant Linklaters keeps its lawyers coming back for more with its cuisine which apparently “never fails” to satisfy.

The firm’s in-house restaurant, Silks, scores rave reviews for its “cheap”, but “exceptional” food cooked by “Michelin star” worthy chefs. Our survey spies love the “great vegan experimentation”, as well as the “wide variety of food stations, cuisines and seasonal themes”. See the selection for yourself on the canteen’s very own Instagram account.

Although open 24/7, a couple of spies note the “limited dinner options” that they say are “leftovers” from the day. By comparison, one respondent confesses to having “no complaints — even after 3 meals a day”. Overall, it seems Links’ lawyers won’t be turning down this “good quality” food any time soon.

Read Linklaters’ Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.

Taylor Wessing

Rounding off the list of nominees is international firm Taylor Wessing. One source tells us the firm’s A* canteen dishes out a range of “superb” hot and cold food.

Offering super-cool views across legal London, especially from the firm’s “stunning” terrace area, generous subsidies mean that the grub is “really good value”, another spy tells us. The canteen also appeals to those burning the midnight oil — with those working late able to enjoy free meals after 8pm.

Read Taylor Wessing’s Legal Cheek profile in full, featuring its 2019 scorecard grades and firm review.


The firm with the best canteen will be announced at the Legal Cheek Awards 2019 on 21 March at the Cheesegrater in London.

Peruse all of the firms’ new 2018-19 survey scorecards — including training, quality of work, perks and much more — via the Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2018-19.

45 Comments

Anonymous

Oh look, it just so happens that these are the firms which pay Legal Cheek to advertise them… what a coincidence!

(36)(0)

Anonymous

Here’s an idea. Legal Cheek could publish a league table of firms according to how much money they give to Legal Cheek.

(28)(0)

Anonymous

That’s what they do already

(0)(0)

LL NQ

LL trainees claiming silks chefs are worthy of Michelin stars just proves they have never been to a Michelin star restaurant.

(37)(1)

Anonymous

Makes sense. Everyone knows LL trainees are a bunch of hurray Henry retards

(7)(0)

LL Trainee

Jokes on you povvo, daddy takes me out for a cheeky michie meal every week.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

How thick are the Gowling lot that they have to be told that sushi is from SE Asia?

(14)(0)

AB

Very very thick because sushi is from Japan, which is in EAST asia and not SE Asia.

(0)(7)

Anonymous

I’ve just looked at my map, and I can confirm that from here, it is south east.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Um. Anything north of Japan in Asia is the tundras of siberia, so it most definitively isn’t south east.

(1)(6)

Anonymous

Somebody will be along shortly to proclaim that every day at Greenberg Glusker, the whole office gets together to enjoy a breakfast of ortolan and Canard à la presse.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

I now realise that this would be a more suitable repast for 2Birds.

(9)(2)

Kronos

A common misconception – there is actually no cafeteria at Greenberg Glusker LLP. All our top, top titans get the nutrition they need from photosynthesis and the occasional whisky sour.

(36)(0)

Anonymous

Clifford Chance steak to your desk where art thou?

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Pity the food has gone off a cliff since DB joined. Same horrible chicken used for every meal

(7)(0)

DeliCCious

No steak ever. Most of the food that lands at my desk every night of the week looks like the chef shot it out of his asshole himself

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Asshole? In this country, we say ‘arsehole’, or ‘commis chef’, if being formal.

(0)(5)

Bob Builder

the only persons who say ‘commis chef’ in the UK are raging pufters

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Yeah, real dick in’t arse bunches

Hidden, But truly elite.

Who needs these swanky chefs and top notch facilities when I am essentially Michelin starred with a Microwave?

Chocolate Brownies in a mug, Grilled Cheese Sandwich à la chicken and chorizo and a hot chocolate made to perfection? Merely a small list in my expansive repertoire of miracles.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Here at Lumbutts & Mankinholes LLP, we are blessed to share premises with an artisanal producer going by the name of Gregg’s the baker. Fur queue, London.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Get a load of this – RPC doesn’t even have fridges or microwaves. Joke.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Disgraceful really

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Is this actually true? 😂😂😂

(2)(0)

Anonymous

It actually is. Farce.

(2)(0)

SWOLEBRAHAM LINCOLN

“For those hitting the firm’s on-site gym, on-demand steaks act as an ideal post-workout snack.”

TOP

(4)(0)

Akin Pump

Where do I join?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Aching Pump you mean?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I survive on Tesco meal deals every lunchtime. Don’t even care.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

So Kirkland’s canteen is described as offering “decent food”, and heavily subsidises Deliveroo.

Yeah, absolutely sounds like top-notch stuff

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Lmao only £25 for Deliveroo allowance? Even DWF gives you more 😂😂😂

(1)(3)

Anonymous

£30 at Travers Smith from 7pm 🙂

(5)(0)

Anonymous

£30 is standard just about everywhere in the City.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

7pm isn’t.

Anonymous

It definitely is. I order meals at the stroke of 7pm, not a moment later.

Anonymous

Ah ok, so because you do it that means it’s the average in the City. Great logic.

Anonymous

Stfu u betahomo, u do or u dont

Anonymous

unless you’re aiming to feed your family on that allowance whats the problem with £25? Struggle to get orders past £17

(1)(3)

Anonymous

The problem with £25 is that nowhere on Deliveroo have I found a bottle worth drinking for that price.

(0)(22)

Anonymous

The Great Vegan Experimentation sounds like a horror film

(3)(3)

Anonymous

So narrow-minded 😂

(1)(3)

The Youtube Star

I also “never fail to satisfy” and keep “lawyers coming back for more”

(2)(1)

Anonymous

What’s Latham like?

(0)(0)

Gimpsuit

Sweaty. Brutal. Fantastic.

(2)(8)

CounselEstateBarrister

“Delectable” is the biggest word that the law school failure, turned journalist at LC, could think of. Let’s give them a round of applause for their dictionary reading skills.

(151)(0)

Comments are closed.

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