The Legal Cheek View
“On good days,” a Reed Smith trainee tells us, the firm’s UK office “reminds me of being a king/queen of London surveying the metropolis from his/her palace, or hanging out on a cloud with friends, a squirrel in the tree tops.”
The firm’s London gaff, high up in the Broadgate Tower, is one of the most impressive around, with stunning views and generally excellent facilities. If only the canteen meal sizes were a little bigger (the food is said to be excellent but slightly stingily apportioned) and the coffee slightly better (currently it is said to resemble “flavoured water”) then Reed Smith’s young royals could stay up in their metaphorical palaces/clouds/trees all day long.
But what of the rest of the rookie lawyer experience? Well, it’s pretty good, with grade A training and decent work spanning the firm’s core specialisms in financial disputes, shipping and, somewhat unusually for a City firm, media law. What’s more there is a generally pretty healthy culture that frowns on presenteeism. One insider reports:
“I leave at very reasonable times most days, the occasional late night and I've only once come in on the weekend.”
International placement opportunities are reasonable, with over 15% of London rookies spending time in one of the firm's 25 overseas offices. Current trainees have done secondments in, among other places, Athens and Abu Dhabi, while newly qualifieds have travelled as far afield as Hamburg and South Korea on business.
Those who manage to clamber up the ranks can expect their £63,000+ associate salaries to swell to a whopping profit per equity partner figure that sits around the £800,000 mark. But to get there they’ll need to find a way to stop being distracted by that amazing view.