The Legal Cheek View

Fladgate has been growing fast. As a result, the firm now offers 15 training contracts annually. Expect some fierce competition.

Those who do land one of the coveted spots can expect to progress fast: the training at the London firm comes in for particular praise. “It’s been excellent,” one trainee told us. “Excellent levels of responsibility, meaning you very much learn on the job”, another says. You don’t get that everywhere, to put it mildly. Trainees can also expect to be a valued part of the team as another rookie explains: “We work in close teams that feel very much like everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

A lot of the learning comes through early responsibility and being challenged. The quality of work that trainees are exposed to is rated highly — if you’re nervous about “tight deadlines and lots of work” then Fladgate isn’t for you, one rookie tell us.  “The high partner to associate and trainee ratio means that if you prove yourself willing and capable you can be given a lot of responsibility”, says Legal Cheek’s man on the inside, who notes how training includes both tedious tasks and exciting opportunities. This may in part reflect the firm’s medium size — in the grand scheme of London firms — with around 85 partners in total. The result is that “you receive a higher level of responsibility than expected as a trainee”. Though one insider remarks “trainees don’t always get stimulating tasks”, another notes “the work is reasonably high profile with clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to household and international companies.”

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Core business here is corporate, commercial real estate and litigation. You’ll spend three of your four seats in each of these departments, with one six-month stint in a more specialised area. The firm does a decent line in sports law, if you ever fancied advising Gareth Bale, selling Swansea City or buying a T20 cricket franchise.

Fladgate is proud of its posh pedigree: it has acted for two Prime Ministers and one President of the United States (Abraham Lincoln, no big deal). Its Covent Garden office doesn’t have that 1850s feel, though — facilities are modern and generally well regarded by the desk jockeys: “It’s great being able to walk round Covent Garden / Leicester Square for your lunch!” About the worst you can say about the facilities is that they’re more utilitarian than inspirational, and there is also no canteen. Technology raises some grumbles, though we are  told that improvements have been made: “In the last few years staff have had upgraded computers and screens, flashy new e-business cards and desk headsets for all those video meetings.” This push helped make the transition to home working more comfortable, and the firm also reportedly “reimbursed (up to a limit) staff’s purchases for work from home equipment”.

The biggest perk on offer here is actually having a life: you’ll generally be out of there by 7pm, which isn’t bad going. Late nights are “here and there”, but “80% of the time the hours are really excellent”. Refreshingly, we are told “people are quite apologetic if you have to work late”. Otherwise, perks are “fairly standard, nothing too special”, although that’s judging by the very high standards of City law firms. You do get “social event budgets, and private healthcare and dental plans, gym discounts along with mindfulness sessions and personal fitness sessions amongst many other things”.

Communal lunchtime activities are about as far as it goes for organised fun, though: social life is “almost non-existent”. Even end-of-the-month drinks seem to have petered out, but there is a summer party. Besides, this is London: if you’re relying on work colleagues for a night out, you’re not doing it right. Having said that, the firm did organise firm-wide virtual socials during lockdown, with some teams reporting “regular catch-up sessions”. Another comments “colleagues will go out of their way to invite you to things (social and work related)”.

Everyone does seem to get on, with the atmosphere around Fladgate’s corridors said to be “extremely friendly”. Impressively, the pandemic has not dampened this. “Even in this remote environment colleagues take the time to find out how you are and if you are enjoying yourself”, one spy tell explains. Good thing it’s all smiles and friendship bracelets, as opportunities to escape on secondment are largely reserved for junior associates rather than trainees.

Insider Scorecard

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

Insider Scorecard Grades range from A* to D and are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2021-22 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.


First year trainee salary £40,000
Second year trainee salary £42,000
Newly qualified salary £68,000
Profit per equity partner Undisclosed
GDL grant £6,000
LPC grant £6,000

Law school grants are reduced to £5,000 when studying outside London.


Average start work time 08:51
Average finish time 18:59
Annual target hours 1,350
Annual leave 26 days

Average arrive and leave times are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2021-22 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.


Chances of secondment abroad 0%
Chances of client secondment 0%

Secondment probabilities are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2021-22 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK. Please note that due to COVID-19 secondment probabilities are lower than in usual years.

General Info

Training contracts 15
Latest trainee retention rate 83%
Offices 1
Countries 1
Minimum A-level requirement AAB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1


UK female associates 63%
UK female partners 23%
UK BME associates 11%
UK BME partners 7%

Universities Current Trainees Attended