Watson Farley & Williams

The Legal Cheek View

Watson Farley & Williams began life in 1982 as a breakaway from Norton Rose’s shipping practice. Since then it has expanded into most branches of corporate law – although remains most well known for shipping, aviation finance and renewable energy – and opened offices in 11 different countries, most recently Dubai.

Around half of WFW’s staff are based overseas, which may explain the exceptional international secondment opportunities that the firm’s trainees enjoy. Popular destinations include Bangkok, Paris, Singapore, Hamburg and Athens.

The other area where the firm scores very strongly in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey is its canteen, run by French chef Philippe, which is famed throughout legal London. This year there has been a new addition, barista-made coffee, ensuring WFW stays ahead in the catering stakes.

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Key Info

Training contracts 18
Latest trainee retention rate 100%
Offices 14
Countries 11
Minimum A-level requirement ABB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Training
B
Quality of work
A
Peer support
A
Partner approach-ability
A
Work/life balance
B
Perks
A
Office
B
Canteen
A*
Social life
B
Chances of secondment abroad
A*

Grades derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey of over 1,500 trainees and junior associates at the leading UK law firms.

Hours

Average arrival time 9:17am
Average leave time 7:22pm
Annual target hours 1,000
Annual leave 25 days

Money

First year trainee salary £42000
Second year trainee salary £46000
Newly qualified salary £70000
Profit per equity partner £520,000
GDL grant £6,500
LPC grant £6,500

Law school grants vary according to location of study. They are capped at a £5,500 minimum.

Diversity

UK female associates 56%
UK female partners 29%
UK BME associates Undisclosed
UK BME partners Undisclosed

Universities Current Trainees Attended