Taylor Vinters (part of the Mishcon de Reya Group)
The Legal Cheek View
With offices in the UK innovation hubs of London, Oxford and Cambridge, Taylor Vinters is focused on tech and innovation. The firm was founded back in 1988 and is now part of the Mishcon de Reya Group following a strategic combination in January 2023. This has created a new business that offers legal and consultancy services to “innovators and entrepreneurs and the organisations and ecosystem that support them”. The firm, headed up by Matt Meyer (who is a qualified pilot as well as Taylor Vinters’ CEO), has seen turnover soar 40% between 2017 and 2020 to new heights of £21 million according to the last available financial results.
Clients can expect all the latest snazzy AI tools like ThoughtRiver’s Contract Intelligence software as well as partnerships and investments in lawtech platforms like LawBite that targets SMEs. It feels slightly less hi-tech if you’re a trainee though. “Some recent improvements to base technology thanks to remote working but they have a long way to go”, one trainee explains. “Many legacy systems still exist and nobody likes that the company phones are Androids. Adoption of legal tech/solutions has improved but requires lengthy business case/ cost approvals”. Another rookie had an iPhone and new billing software on their wish list.
This lack of tech support for trainees goes some way to explaining why the work varies from “very interesting” to “extremely repetitive”. Though this all, of course, depends on your seat and your supervisor. But rest assured that you won’t be bored at Taylor Vinters as work tends to be “urgent” and the training is generally on the more hands-on end of the spectrum.
Expect to be working on some of the hottest trends in tech, energy and business, from hydrogen fuel solutions to cutting edge agri-tech and fem-tech start-ups: it is not unusual that client companies have investors like renowned tech venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz. But it doesn’t stop there — the firm has done everything from advising Jesus College Cambridge on the first repatriation of a Benin bronze to advising companies developing ground-breaking kidney gene therapy.
As well as your typical commercial, real estate and restructuring departments, the firm has great breadth in its coverage plus some quirky departments too. Taylor Vinters opened its new immigration practice in June 2021 which, alongside its family and charities and social ventures offerings, provides prospective trainees with the opportunity to branch out from the purely commercial. And the firm knows how to build value quickly — the firm sold its personal injury practice to Slater & Gordon in 2013.
And the firm is not just flexible in its breadth of work. Trainees also enjoy great flexibility regarding where and when they work. The firm is “very flexible re hours and location (within reason)” explains one insider. There’s even entrepreneurial leave which allows those with an idea for a new business to have some time and space away from their role to develop the idea to see if it has market potential.
However, all this flexibility can put a dampener on the otherwise exceptional partner approachability at Taylor Vinters. One summarises: “[Partners are] highly approachable, friendly, and supportive but can sometimes be unavailable/offline when less than ideal (understandable given our flexible working ability, just not ideal)”. This chimes with the firm’s “very friendly and supportive vibe”. Praise for their respective teams was omnipresent amongst trainees we spoke to. This rookie gushes: “Fantastic group of paralegals, trainees and junior lawyers — everyone is approachable, helpful and a genuinely nice person.”
The work/life balance is on the whole pretty decent too. However, trainees complain about the lack of predictability about when some late nights do occur. It’s “consistently unpredictable and not good when busy”. Taylor Vinters does not disclose its trainee or NQ pay, but the occasional late night or two too many has caused some grumbles about pay rates amongst the firm’s rookie ranks.
Having recently shuttered its office in Singapore, neither international nor client secondments appear to be a thing. That said, Taylor Vinter’s London gaff on Old Broad Street is said to be “sublime”. The firm is located on 33rd floor in Tower 42 which is “pretty flashy” and boasts some “amazing views”. Consensus is that the Cambridge office is “slightly dated” but insiders are excited about an imminent move away from Merlin Place to central Cambridge very soon.