The Legal Cheek View
Could the exceptional closeness of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s trainees be related to the 'Live Escape Rooms' team-building session that the firm sends new recruits on? BLP is one of the highest scorers for peer support in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. Insiders tell us that fellow trainees “are an amazing support network” and that “everyone is quite similar and extrovert” and “always ready to chat”. The vibe is said to be in “stark contrast” with some of the more cut-throat magic circle firms.
The firm’s management will be pleased to hear that its decision to freeze pay in the wake of the Brexit vote has not dampened the spirits of its young. They’ll also be relieved that the mood remain buoyant in spite of the £5 million fall in revenue that BLP posted this year, following the collapse of merger talks with US giant Greenberg Traurig.
Yes, it has been a mixed time for BLP of late. And the real estate-focused firm is scanning the horizon somewhat anxiously as the effects of Britain’s decision to leave the EU begin to be felt on the commercial property sector.
But make no mistake, this is a firm with a lot going for it too. Described by Legal Business Magazine as “one of the few City firms small enough and profitable enough to pull off a merger with a respected US rival”, the dream of a transatlantic tie-up is far from over. Meanwhile, BLP has established itself as something of a leader in legal market innovation, with its spin-off Lawyers on Demand freelance lawyer business continuing to expand with the swallowing up Aussie counterpart Australasian counterpart AdventBalance. The firm’s Manchester paralegal hub is another innovation that is paying dividends (and ensuring quality of work remains high for London trainees).
Those beginning their career will receive A-grade training in a generally nice atmosphere. Yes pay isn’t the greatest, or international secondment opportunities as plentiful as might be hoped for, but you get to begin lawyer life in iconic 1920s Grade II listed Adelaide House (complete with on-site gym and highly rated canteen) – and if you are lucky get a view of the Thames from your desk. And, even better, you’ll be surrounded by all those lovely fellow trainees.