Forsters

The Legal Cheek View

Housed in a substantial portion of a Georgian terrace in Mayfair, private client and real estate outfit Forsters feels more like an upmarket boutique hotel than a commercial law firm. A small annual trainee intake of just nine to ten adds to the intimate vibe. “Mayfair is a great place to work, and I always look forward to coming to work in our offices,” one tells us. Another reckons that working in a listed building with rooms featuring ceiling frescos is delightful, but notes that the building is “getting a bit short of space”.

Training here means lots of exposure to quality work at an early stage. As one Forsters rookie reports: “The amount of responsibility we are given is incredible — we are able to run our own (albeit small fry) files and given plenty of client contact. Thorough feedback is provided at regular intervals.” Another adds: “I feel I am constantly involved in work outside of my comfort zone, but it is v stimulating as a result.”

Forsters’ lawyers have been busy of late, with a growth in the high net worth individual market seeing six consecutive years of double digit revenue growth following the financial crisis. Since the Brexit referendum in 2016 that growth has slowed to single figures but the firm is still expanding. In April 2019 Forsters posted its latest financial results, which showed revenue up by 8% to £56.8 million and an increase in profit per equity partner (PEP) by 10% to reach £381,000.

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The firm certainly has come a long way since it was founded in 1998 by ten partners as a breakaway from one of the UK’s oldest law firms, Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, after it opted for a merger with Eversheds. Forsters takes its name from John Forster, one of the founding partners of what was to become Frere Cholmeley Bischoff in 1770.

Alongside private client, the firm is also big in real estate, and has expanding corporate and banking teams as well. The working culture remains one where reasonable hours are the norm. According to this year’s Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, the average time to arrive in the office is around 9am and the average time to leave before 7pm. “I would have given it a 10 out of 10 [for work/life balance] but had to cancel a couple of dinners — in three years, so that’s still a good percentage!” one junior associate tells us. Another says that they are “actively encouraged to pursue my extra curricular weekday activities”.

In return, there are no MoneyLaw salaries, but the £64,000 newly qualified rate works out pretty well on a per hour basis. Nor are there the sort of perks you find in the magic circle, or even any qualification leave for trainees at the end of their training contracts (which is a major gripe this year among the firm’s rookies). International secondments, meanwhile, are not a thing — having said that, it is relatively common to take trainees on business trips. But to some the upsides of ploughing a different furrow across town in West London will no doubt override such considerations.

Deadlines

Summer Vacation Scheme

Two schemes will take place in June/July 2020
Applications open 01/11/2019
Applications close 31/01/2020

Open Day

This open day takes place on 10 June 2020
Applications open 01/11/2019
Applications close 27/05/2020

Training Contract

To commence September 2022
Applications open 01/11/2019
Applications close 30/06/2020

Insider Scorecard

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

Insider Scorecard Grades range from A* to D and are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2019-20 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.

Money

First year trainee salary £41,000
Second year trainee salary £42,000
Newly qualified salary £64,000
Profit per equity partner £381,000
GDL grant £6,000
LPC grant £6,000

Hours

Average arrival time 08:58
Average leave time 18:41
Annual target hours 1,300
Annual leave 25 days

Average arrive and leave times are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2019–20 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK. Trainee target hours are 1,200.

Secondments

Chances of secondment abroad 13%
Chances of client secondment 9%

Secondment probabilities are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2019–20 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.

General Info

Training contracts 10
Latest trainee retention rate 100%
Offices 1
Countries 1
Minimum A-level requirement ABB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Diversity

UK female associates 62%
UK female partners 42%
UK BME associates 13%
UK BME partners 2%

Universities Current Trainees Attended

The Firm In Its Own Words

Expect More from Graduate Recruitment with Forsters LLP

Looking for something a little different? You just found it. #ExpectMore from #GraduateRecruitment with Forsters LLP. + More seats + More opportunity + More responsibility + More support + More teamwork + More development + More you! Apply today: https://www.forsters.co.uk/careers/graduates

Posted by Forsters LLP on Friday, 26 July 2019