The Legal Cheek View

It has been quite a year for Fieldfisher, where turnover has rocketed by 34% (to reach £165 million) and profit per equity partner jumped by 16% (to reach £640,000). The growth, in pretty difficult Brexit market conditions, follows a host of mini-mergers. Firms gobbled up by Fieldfisher over the last 12 months include Birmingham’s Hill Hofstetter and Chinese outfit JS Partners, while a five partner hire from a Dutch firm saw the launch of an Amsterdam office. With a 2016 tie-up with Italy’s SASPI also going live, Fieldfisher now has 16 offices – double the number it had a couple of years ago.

The good news for trainees and junior lawyers at the firm is that work/life balance remains some of the best in corporate law. Across the London, Manchester and Birmingham offices rookies work on average less than nine and a half hours a day, starting on average at 9:15am and finishing at 6:36pm. “They do not expect people to work late or weekends and encourage outside interests,” we are told, “however, when busy it is busy”. The form’s core dispute resolution practice area is seen as more conducive to stable hours than its finance group, but it’s a lot a lot more reasonable than at many rivals.

Continue reading

Key Info

Training contracts 18
Latest trainee retention rate 100%
Offices 16
Countries 7
Minimum A-level requirement AAB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

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 9:15am
Average leave time 6:36pm
Annual target hours 1,500
Annual leave 25 days


First year trainee salary £37,000
Second year trainee salary £40,000
Newly qualified salary £63,000
Profit per equity partner £640,000
GDL grant £5,500
LPC grant £6,000


UK female associates 64%
UK female partners 21%
UK BME associates 14%
UK BME partners 6%

Universities Current Trainees Attended