Mills & Reeve

The Legal Cheek View

With a strong presence in Cambridge and particular expertise in sexy areas like tech and life sciences, Mills & Reeve has a donnish image that attracts students seeking an alternative to global megafirm life.

Trainees are split between the firm’s offices in Birmingham, Manchester, Norwich and the aforementioned Cambridge, but frequently spend time in London and Leeds too. They’re a nice bunch, as are the partners; both groups score an A* for their respective supportiveness and approachability in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18. “A lot of cross department working on transactions” helps, as does the lack of a “sense of hierarchy”. One rookie reports: “As a trainee, you are respected by everyone in the firm -- both on a work and personal level.”

That employee-focused ethos feeds into some fantastic work life/balance, with a rather uncorporate law-like average leave the office time of 6:18pm, albeit facilitated by a relatively early average arrival time of 8:40am. “The hours are a dream,” we are told, with “people working hard and staying as long as needed, with no facetime culture.” The work is itself is generally “varied and interesting”, while the training is said to often involve a “good level of responsibility and interesting tasks”.

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Key Info

Training contracts 18
Latest trainee retention rate 79%
Offices 6
Countries 1
Minimum A-level requirement BBB
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 8:40am
Average leave time 6:18pm
Annual target hours No targets
Annual leave 25 days


First year trainee salary £25,000
Second year trainee salary £26,500
Newly qualified salary £41,000
Profit per equity partner £403,000
GDL grant £4,500
LPC grant £4,500


UK female associates 66%
UK female partners 27%
UK BME associates 13%
UK BME partners 9%

Universities Current Trainees Attended