The Legal Cheek View

As major London law firms go, there are few more delightful places to work than Bristows. The firm, which is well known for its market-leading intellectual property practice, scored A*s in a whopping six categories of the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18. For quality of work, peer support, partner approachability, work/life balance, tech-savvy and social life, Bristows is pretty much as good as you get.

Insiders rave particularly about the quality of work, which extends from IP to other sexy areas like technology, media and communications. Clients include Google, The Guardian and the BBC. “Awesome” three-month secondments to the former are common. Indeed, client secondments are a strong point, with a whopping 88% of trainees doing one. Other not quite so glamorous practice areas, such as corporate, litigation and real estate, help bring in further bacon.

One insider reports: “Of course, there is a lot of admin work, which is common across all training providers, but once you've proved you can do the easy stuff, the challenging work comes your way.” Another adds: “Great responsibility but always supported”.

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Key Info

Training contracts 10
Latest trainee retention rate 67%
Offices 1
Countries 1
Minimum A-level requirement AAB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Exceptions to the minimum A-level requirements may be made if the student has gone on to perform excellently at university

Insider Scorecard

Quality of work
Peer support
Partner approach-ability
Work/life balance
Social life

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.


Average arrival time 8:50am
Average leave time 6:53pm
Annual target hours No targets
Annual leave 23 days


First year trainee salary £38,000
Second year trainee salary £41,000
Newly qualified salary £63,000
Profit per equity partner £392,000
GDL grant £8,000
LPC grant £8,000

Annual leave rises to 25 days upon qualification.


UK female associates 55%
UK female partners 30%
UK BME associates 8.5%
UK BME partners 2.5%

Universities Current Trainees Attended

The Firm In Its Own Words