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Baker McKenzie to relocate City office

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London move is part of long-term growth plans beyond COVID-19

Baker McKenzie will move to 280 Bishopsgate in late 2023

Baker McKenzie is moving its London operations to a more City-central office.

The international firm — which offers 33 training contracts annually — has confirmed it will occupy around 150,000 sq ft of office space in 280 Bishopsgate, Spitalfields, from late 2023. The building is the former London headquarters of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), who moved out in 2019.

The swanky new digs, based in the heart of London, are currently undergoing a complete refurb to make them more modern, eco-friendly and sustainable. Found in the building’s upper floors, the new offices will also provide Baker’s workers access to a green space, roof and on-floor terraces.

The global law firm will be leaving its current office in 100 New Bridge Street, which houses over 1,000 people.

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“This is a hugely exciting move for us,” said Alex Chadwick, Baker McKenzie’s London managing partner. According to the firm, the relocation aligns with its long-term plans of expanding its presence in London. Chadwick explained:

“Moving into the heart of the City of London represents our long-term commitment beyond COVID-19 to retaining an office base in what is an incredibly important financial centre to the firm. It is clear evidence that, despite the current situation, expanding our presence in London remains a key strategic growth priority for us in the future.”

Providing suitable space for lawyers to collaborate, embrace new technologies, and meet and interact with clients “feels more important now than ever before” in light of the ongoing pandemic, Chadwick added.

Meanwhile other law firms have decided to ditch offices altogether as they embrace remote-working following the lockdown. Earlier this week, the largest law firm in the world by lawyer headcount announced it was shuttering two of its UK regional offices, with all of its staff to work from home permanently.

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72 Comments

Copy catz

Why they following Freshfields for? Lol

(8)(11)

Chris

Seems like a smart enough move. These law firms that are located in Canary Wharf and Moorgate are paying significantly more on their office leases simply because of it being in a prime location.

I think this pandemic might have shown the amount of excess costs that can be kept down by ‘downscaling’ to a less expensive area for office location and perhaps even the other stuff too internally at these firms.

I’m sure lawyers would be more willing to take a larger pay check for a less snazzy office and perks. This seems to be what Travers Smith and Macfarlanes have done. Their PEP is higher than magic circle firms because their overall costs aren’t as extravagant and they can afford to pay their lawyers more.

(16)(7)

Jay

Pay cheque* you mean

(9)(2)

Anonymous

“Pay check”. An Americanism you see a great deal of these days. Shows basic ignorance and a lack of exposure to the basics of commercial life. A big red flag.

(6)(15)

Jane

Or a spelling error lol people get triggered way too easily

(25)(0)

Kinsey

Lol red flag. Smoke a chill pipe dude

Greg

What a stupid comment.

Most of the law firms in the city are based in Moorgate and Farringdon and a lot of them are neighbouring each other. You’re acting like every law firm has to be based in a different area in London. If that’s the case Freshies would be based in Chelsea or Kensington since that’s where most of it’s lawyers seem to have grown up

(1)(0)

Joe

Another glorified international firm that doesn’t seem to be great at anything in particular. Seems like students are just drawn in by the 95k nq salary…

(18)(17)

Henry

I don’t think there is another legit reason as to why students are increasingly becoming interested in these firms other than the money.

If I’m being honest I think the money has always been the reason people go into law but it’s just obvious now and people don’t even hide it anymore.

It’s not a coincidence there is a sudden influx of non-law students randomly becoming interested in a commercial law career. There aren’t many careers that enable you to immediately make that kind of money in your 20s. What will be interesting is to see how many of them stay after 15 years or so

(34)(3)

MC Trainee

I wouldn’t call it a sudden influx – I did work experience at a silver City firm back in 2012 and grad recruitment told me that they hired a 50/50 law/non-law split.

There are so many partners at City firms who didn’t study law at undergrad – it’s always been a split at firms. Law undergrads you aren’t in competition with non-law undergrads!

(9)(16)

Zsa zsa

At vac schemes there are usually a lot more law students than non-law and because law firms take 50-50 for the TC, what usually ends up happening is all of the non law students get TC offers but a select few of the law students get it.

(11)(0)

Confused

But isn’t this just proving the point? Law students are in competition with each other for the law places, not the non-lawyers.

Kurious Kitty

It’s interesting when you compare revenue and profits at Bakers to the likes of DLA. The latter is performing much better but pays its NQs 15k less

(9)(1)

Kirk

While DLA might have the means to offer around six figure salaries, their regional offices would be expecting a raise too which is probably why they’re stingy on raising the NQ salary

(2)(1)

Kristoffer

*£19k less now as DLA has cut London NQ salaries to £76k (similar to Pinsents despite having 3x the PEP)

Bakers retention is also higher as DLA is only retaining about 60% of qualifiers in London

(7)(0)

Jack

I don’t understand why though. Where is all of DLA’s money going? Seems like you can only make a whack of money there once you’re a partner.

(2)(0)

Anon

You’ve answered your own question. Obviously it’s going on partner drawings.

Clearly the model’s working well for those in the equity, doubt they’re going to change it because LC commenters think they’re being stingy.

Luke

Bakers has only come to light recently because of those LinkedIn influencers Harry Clarke and that other guy

(23)(0)

CuppaJoe

Probably too long a post for LC comments but here goes:

Glorified international firm? A quick google search suggests otherwise. In 2019, Baker was the 3rd highest-grossing law firm in the world and 4th highest-grossing US firm in London. In 2020 it ranked globally/UK/Europe in a few hundred practice areas. Two years ago I did a vac scheme at Freshfields and Latham & Watkins. Last year I did assessment centres at Freshfields, CC, Baker and White & Case (got TC offers from CC and Baker, which I accepted).

It’s easy to paint students with a broad brush, chasing high NQ salaries but you might be missing other reasons. For instance, Americans (or dual nationals like me) who studied in the UK but have family elsewhere in the world (i.e. America) who like the option of being able to travel for work or work remotely on occasion, which is something the firm allows.

In terms of diversity and as someone who “looks white” but isn’t, Baker was the most diverse office I went to. Ethnic minorities of all background weren’t just the custodial staff, people manning the coat check, front desk or cafeterias. Both my group exercise and partner interviews featured people of colour, which after the very straight and white experience at CC and Freshfields, felt like a breath of fresh air, though the latter seemed to be more diverse).

The office vibe is much more casual. Some people love wearing a suit to work every day, I am not one of those people. The associate who interviewed me was a sneakerhead and had a pair of vintage Jordans on. It gave us something genuine to connect over that wasn’t just law or commercial awareness and starting the process more relaxed helped set me up for the day. And not to knock CC but as someone who lives in North London, I wasn’t looking forward to working in CW. The commute is brutal and several of the people I spoke to said they lived on the Isle of Dogs to make that more manageable.

https://www.thelawyer.com/top-us-law-firms-in-london/
https://chambers.com/law-firm/baker-mckenzie-global-2:2692
https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/newsroom/2020/02/chambers-global

(6)(28)

Erin

So you made your law firm decision based on the shoes your supervisor was wearing? Sounds legit.

(19)(1)

CuppaJoe

Yes Erin,

The shoes were what did it for me. Not the travel opportunities or diversity, the shoes. If you read that properly, you’d see that the shoes were a great way to start a conversation and connect with someone, calming my nerves before the process began. But maybe you’re ice cold and completely unphased by this instance of human connection.

(13)(7)

Been huffing glue

U high blud ?

Trey

Travel opportunities to see your family? That makes no sense.

Thanks

tl;dr

(0)(0)

Jacob

Classic non-lawyer observation. Once you become a lawyer at a top firm, whether it be bakers, HL, magic circle or otherwise, you realise that all of the top firms provide more or less the same quality of legal services and all have great work. That’s why the legal market is so competitive and no one firm is stellar compared to others. All of the top firms have brilliant lawyers from whom any junior lawyer will be able to learn a lot. Accordingly, the focus should be on the culture of the firm and in particular the culture of the teams that one hopeS to qualify into. A good salary will come regardless of the top firm that you join. The balance of the new york pegged salary vs the london salary should be considered in light of the required billables and the work/life balance. Is it worth working for an american firm where you may have little time to enjoy the additional 20k or so (after tax) or would you prefer to be able to have an above average wage and be able to spend time with friends and family. Money is important but not everything and don’t be misled by the marketing abilities of grad recruiters. Once the weekend work starts kicking in and you repeatedly have to cancel plans with partners, friends and family, I know where the majority of people’s opinions will fall. Choose wisely.

(38)(0)

Sarah T

What is everyone’s opinion on DLA Piper? Deciding between a TC offer there and also Travers?? Also made some direct TC apps to Hogan Lovells and US firms.

Unsure and could use some help, thanks x

(0)(4)

Chet

I would take any US firm with a presence in London over DLA, TS and HL.

(3)(18)

Sarah

Haven’t been accepted to HL yet just waiting for a response.

I’ve been offered a TC at DLA but there is a deadline. I then have a Travers vac scheme soon but the time I find out if I have been offered a TC there, my DLA TC offer will expire.

In a bit of a pickle…

(1)(0)

Jacob

Why can’t you accept the DLA tc and if your made a more preferable offer then jump ship. I can’t see what the negative consequences of doing that will be other than potentially burning your bridges with the grad recruiters, which in all honesty shouldn’t be that big of a deal as you’ll be training somewhere else. The reality is that you have to do what’s best for you.

(10)(11)

Harry J

It’s not a good look and you can get blacklisted for those kinda things

Curious

Blacklisted in what way? DLA won’t like you and you probably won’t be able to apply there in the future, but beside that?

I’m genuinely interested because that’s been a question on my mind for a little while now – why not accept a TC with a (in my opinion) worse firm, but then try to bag one with a better firm while you wait for the first one to start.

Amy

why do you find it a worse firm? @curious

is that based on NQ pay/PEP/Reputation?

seems like you get a lot at the firm for the money

Yan D

The working hours at Travers, Macfarlanes and HL are on a similar level to Magic Circle firms which is probably why the salary is closer to that six figure mark.

With DLA it seems like you get a decent NQ pay but also better working hours which is probably why the pay is slightly less

(3)(3)

Anon

I trained and qualified there and loved it. There is a lot a quality work done at the firm and some very talented lawyers. They also have plenty of opportunities for client and international secondments. It’s looked at very snobbily by some city-types but I’d suggest ignoring that – I had friends at MC and US firms and did far more interesting and valuable work across my TC than they did.

(11)(10)

harry

What’s the salary progression like?

And I’ve heard you get quite a good work-life balance for the salary at DLA

(1)(0)

Gemma

Which department did you qualify into?

What’s the career progression like?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

There are a lot of ex Magic Circle associates that leave to join DLA, I wonder why this is?

(0)(0)

Kyle

What is the likelihood of being able to transition to a ‘better’ city firm after training at DLA?

(1)(0)

David Patient

100% travers smith.

(16)(14)

Raleigh

It’s a great place to progress if you’re a white Durham oxbridge grad.

You can definitely see that there is a travers Smith ‘type’ if you know what I mean

(16)(4)

Jamie

Could say the same for Macfarlanes tbf

(6)(1)

Anon

Between DLA Travers and HL, Travers all day. More responsibility, better training, higher quality work (especially corporate), considered more prestigious as a city firm and opportunities to practically move wherever you like (MC/US) upon qualification.

If you prefer a larger international firm, then perhaps consider HL.

(16)(17)

Frank

Travers is only good for corporate and dispute resolution as their strongest practice areas. The other departments are just cogs working for their corporate team…

(10)(8)

Nq

Nothing wrong with that, that’s how most city advisory practices work

(6)(16)

TS Life

Travers also has one of the biggest Funds departments in the city, probably only firm that was on a full hiring spree during Covid to expand its Funds team – also plenty TS alum over in the US firms too (Kirkland is very partial)

(5)(5)

Associate

Travers has a very good funds team but it is not among the very best in the City.

Sarah

Why not DLA? I’m curious

(6)(2)

Elle

The responsibility, training and quality of work is just a wishy washy way of saying they overwork them as trainees.

The training is quite similar across all firms. I would pick the firm based on where you can see yourself and also career progression within that firm. Some of these firms will have you for 15 years with no prospect of making partner

(9)(2)

Bdvsb

All you Macs/Travers fanboys need to realise HSF HL and NRF are more prestigious firms, and open the door to more opportunities

(6)(14)

Indie

It doesn’t matter where you train at, there are so many factors that play a part in progressing your legal career and climbing the ranks.

Someone could be at a less prestigious firm and make partner before another lawyer does at one of those firms

(4)(0)

NQ

US firm any day – more money, more responsibility, more global brand and unlocks better exit opportunities in the PE space.

(8)(4)

DominiQ

DLA really likes to offer TCs to second timers / paralegals so if you are a proper law grad you’ll def have an advantage over them over time

(2)(0)

kerry

An advantage how exactly?

(0)(0)

Cynister

No one cares though… 🙆‍♂️

(15)(0)

Anon

Macfarlanes or Travers Smith?

Thumbs up for Macfarlanes/Thumbs down for Travers…

Most votes wins

(27)(10)

Anon

Is it true that both are full of Private educated Oxbridge/Durham grads?

(15)(1)

TS Lawyer

Macs: yes
TS: yes but to a lesser degree

Worked at both

(3)(0)

Anon

Why the move?

(0)(0)

aaron

Why did you move laterally? not offered a NQ position or did you make the jump yourself?

(0)(0)

Cambridge LLB

Why do Durham alum always group their university with Oxbridge? Embarrassing really

(12)(4)

Cambridge BA

Cambridge don’t award an LLB kid x

(7)(1)

Cambridge LLB

Why do Durham alum always group their university with Oxbridge?

(0)(0)

MCT

> Is it true that both are full of Private educated Oxbridge/Durham grads?

Unless you end up at shoosmiths, any decent firm is going to be full of Oxbridge/top RG grads. Some may have slightly fewer (K&E), some slightly more (any MC), but the profession as a whole, especially the commercial end, is highly populated by such people.

(9)(1)

Anon

Understandably so but some firms have a reputation to hire such people more so than others, e.g. Slaughters, Macs etc

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Just saying, at Travers on average you can make partner after 7 years one of the lowest in the city…

(4)(3)

Ashurst NQ

Decent pensions team to be fair.

(1)(0)

Anon

Any truth to the rumour that Kirkland is relocating to Croydon?

(14)(0)

Kirk boiz

Confirmed. Kirks are splitting up the location into 6 London office bases around the most ghetto areas in London.

(16)(2)

Trainee

CMS or SPB?

Thumbs up for CMS/thumbs down for SPB…

Most votes wins

(13)(5)

truthsiren

Rofl piss off mate, no one buys this shyte

(0)(2)

God bless the USA

Let’s face it the world economy is in a bit of a pickle. This table should be far more influential than new buildings if you want to guarantee a stable job. Shows who is continually bringing in the real big ticket work:

https://www.globaldata.com/top-20-global-ma-legal-advisers-for-coronavirus-hit-q1-2020-according-to-globaldata/

Shows who’s truly the global elite in law:

Notice the absence of one of the ‘top’ MC firms…

(0)(0)

Experienced top top corporate sol

Which firm is better to qualify as a partner into, Irwin Mitchell or Browne Jacobson? Asking for a friend. He’s been made partnership offers at both, should take home £40k plus bonus at IM or £70k at BJs. I think he wants to go to BJ but is afraid he may not have any work-life balance. What do you all think?

(5)(1)

Comments are closed.

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