Bond Dickinson

The Legal Cheek View

From November 2017 Bond Dickinson and US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice will combine to form Womble Bond Dickinson – the formal cementing of a successful year-long “strategic alliance” that has seen the two firms work together increasingly closely.

As is common with many modern law firm mergers, the two legacy firms’ finances will continue to be largely separate, supplemented by a shared pot for integration costs and joint projects. But when taken together the new megafirm will have a revenue of roughly £340 million, with more than 420 partners and 1,000 lawyers across eight offices in the UK and 15 in the US.

The duo seem a good fit, with both Bond Dickinson and Womble Carlyle’s historic powerbases lying in the regions rather than global financial capitals. The former has sizable presences in Aberdeen, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle (where it is particularly dominant with two separate offices), Plymouth and Southampton, alongside a base in London, and, as of this year, a new office in Edinburgh. The US firm, meanwhile, is spread across a host of smaller cities including Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Washington DC and Silicon Valley.

Expect an emphasis on innovation, with Bond Dickinson set to leverage on Womble's expertise in technology, life sciences and healthcare. With the tech revolution spreading out from London to the rest of the country, and Bond Dickinson boasting market-leading infrastructure practices in various regions, this is an interesting opportunity to create something different to your typical NY-LON tie-up.

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Key Info

Training contracts 30
Latest trainee retention rate 81%
Offices 8
Countries 2
Minimum A-level requirement No minimum
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Training
A
Quality of work
A
Peer support
B
Partner approach-ability
A*
Work/life balance
A
Perks
B
Office
B
Canteen
C
Social life
B

Insider Scorecard Grades range from A* to D and are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.

Hours

Average arrival time 8:32am
Average leave time 6:25pm
Annual target hours 1,500
Annual leave 25 days

Money

First year trainee salary £28,000
Second year trainee salary £30,000
Newly qualified salary £60,000
Profit per equity partner £265,000
GDL grant £6,000
LPC grant £6,000

The figures above are for trainees in Bristol. Trainees in Newcastle and Leeds will receive £25,000 in their first year and £27,000 in their second year. Newly qualified salaries outside London range from £37,500 to £42,000.

Diversity

UK female associates 68%
UK female partners 23%
UK BME associates Undisclosed
UK BME partners Undisclosed

Universities Current Trainees Attended

The Firm In Its Own Words