The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be... The Weasley Twins – runs a successful business, but is a great laugh and very personable
Tech specialist Fieldfisher has enjoyed another good year by posting a 7% increase in firmwide revenue for 2015/16. In June 2016, the firm entered Italy by merging with 21-partner firm SASPI, adding to its network of offices in France, Belgium, Germany, China and the US. Fieldfisher has also announced a new three-year plan to focus on the technology, energy and natural resources, and finance and financial services sectors.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commodities: derivatives; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); Emerging markets; Financial services (contentious); Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory); Flotations: small and mid-cap; Fraud: civil; Healthcare; Listed funds; Mining and minerals; Personal injury: claimant; Professional discipline; Property finance; Reputation management; Retail funds; Tax litigation and investigations; Venture capital.
Advised eBay on its joint venture with Argos for click and collect services; assisted Pearson VUE with its disposal of the Driving Theory Test service to Learndirect; advised Azibo Holdings on its sale of Currencies Direct in a £200m management buyout funded by Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital Partners; acted for Lehman Brothers Finance’s liquidator in pursuing a breach of contract claim; advised Merkle Group on a $250m acquisition and working capital facility provided by a consortium of US banks.
Atalaya Mining; BBC Worldwide; British Medical Council; Cenkos Securities; Channel 4 Investments; Digital UK; Fuse Universal; John Lewis; RCI Europe; Time Warner.
With a ‘great reputation and breadth of clients’, Fieldfisher offers an ‘excellent environment to train in’, plus a ‘strong sector focus’ on TMT. A few trainees applied to the firm after enjoying vacation schemes and many trainees love the ‘killer riverside views’ from the ‘fancy London offices’. The ‘flat hierarchy’ is characterised by the ‘friendly and approachable people’ who are always ‘helpful when you have queries’. The ‘small trainee intake’ immerses new recruits into ‘friendly and sociable teams’ where they have ‘a lot of responsibility within a meritocratic atmosphere’. Although the responsibility can be ‘stressful at times’, it helps trainees ‘learn and develop quickly’. The firm puts a ‘strong emphasis on training and gives you training sessions’ to ensure you succeed. Trainees have a ‘great work/life balance’ and receive ‘plenty of independence plus interesting work’ without ‘being worked to the bone’. There are many different ‘seats on offer’ and although seat choices are ‘not guaranteed’, the team ‘works hard to ensure everyone gets to work in the areas they have a strong preference for’. Trainees have ‘lots of contact with big-name clients’ and are ‘encouraged to be individuals’. There are a few grumbles about the ‘canteen food’, ‘coffee machines’ and a ‘lack of international secondment opportunities’. Top trainee moments include ‘working through the weekend on a large deal and seeing how the contribution helped towards the larger goal’, ‘leading a settlement negotiation’ and ‘dealing with influential media clients’. For those looking for ‘good opportunities to prove yourself’ in a well-respected City firm, Fieldfisher could be the right choice.
A day in the life of...
Bhavul Haria first-year trainee solicitor, Fieldfisher
Departments to date: Corporate (M&A and equity capital markets), real estate finance
Degree: Classics, 2(1)
7.30am: I set off from my home to the gym. I find that a workout puts me in a calm and composed state for the working day ahead.
8.30am: I arrive at the office and have breakfast in our canteen downstairs. There is nowhere in the City that does better poached eggs on toast! I then get to my desk and scan the headlines of various news sites online.
8.45am: I check my emails to see if anything has arrived in my inbox which is urgent. I respond to the relevant emails and make a to-do list of my tasks for that day.
9.00am: My supervisor arrives and we talk through the day ahead and what tasks need to be done. I typically work with a variety of partners and associates in both M&A and equity capital markets. The whole team is very friendly, and the open-plan office means everyone is very approachable.
9.30am: I am currently working on a deal which is due to close by the end of the day. It is a big acquisition which inevitably involves a mountain of paperwork! I discuss the matter with the associate and partner working on the case and check that everything is in order.
10.00am: I arrange an all-parties call on another international acquisition. I have spent the past week conducting due diligence on the various contracts, checking for change of control and assignment provisions. The client has a number of questions.
11.00am: In corporate, there are regular training sessions in order to get trainees up to speed as quickly as possible. Today’s training is on management buyouts – an incredibly fascinating subject matter.
12.00pm: It’s time for our weekly corporate European call. The team gathers on the ninth-floor meeting room. Our other European offices dial into the meeting and partners give presentations on various updates in the market. An associate gives a talk on shareholder rights in a major High Court case recently concluded.
1.15pm: It is a rare sunny day! I venture to a swanky new salad bar near Cannon Street, and then eat outside with the other trainees. I did my vacation scheme with the majority of the trainees in my intake, as well as the LPC, so a lot of us are really good buddies.
1.45pm: I am assigned some research by a senior associate to confirm a position with our client. This involves browsing PLC and reading several articles. Once I find the answer, I prepare a note to summarise my findings, which I pass on to the senior associate.
3.00pm: Ahead of the closing, the partner calls me into a meeting room to run through our documents list and our closing checklist. Emails fly in from the client and the lawyers for the other side. It is my job to collate the documents and put in the respective signature pages. It looks like everything is in order and ready to go.
4.30pm: I run the firm’s mixed touch rugby team, so I send out the weekly email. We are gunning for the Regent’s Park Trophy!
5.00pm: Closing time. We have a conference call with all relevant parties and, much to my relief, all goes off without a hitch. It is now my job to send out copies of all executed documents to the parties involved, and to undertake the post-completion requirements, such as creating a bible of documents and registering charges and appointments/resignations on Companies House.
7.00pm: A number of the trainees head downstairs to the office bar on the ground floor. We catch up over drinks and then move on to a bar in the City. I savour my fruit juice, safe in the knowledge that it has been a good day.
About the firm
Address: Riverbank House, 2 Swan Lane, London, EC4R 3TT
Telephone: 020 7861 4000
Senior partner : Matthew Lohn
Managing partner : Michael Chissick
Other offices: Brussels, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Paris, London, Munich, Manchester, Rome, Milan, Venice, Turin, Silicon Valley and Shanghai.
Who we are: Fieldfisher is a European law firm with market-leading practices in many of the world’s most dynamic sectors. We are an approachable, forward-thinking organisation with a particular focus on technology, finance and financial services, and energy and natural resources among other sectors.
What we do: Our growing European network of offices supports an international client base alongside our Silicon Valley and Shanghai teams. Among our clients we count social media sites and high-street coffee chains as well as life sciences and medical devices companies, energy suppliers, financial institutions and government departments.
What we are looking for: We value more than just talent, ambition and great qualifications. We don’t believe in developing legal clones; the people who do the best here have interests, experience and a life outside the office. We are a law firm built around people and we want you to be yourself.
What you'll do: We believe in giving you maximum exposure. That’s why we offer more secondment opportunities than most law firms. On our training contract, you’ll complete four six-month seats. But even before the contract starts, you’ll benefit from our training and support.
Perks: We offer a full flexible benefit package that allows you to choose the benefits that suit you. Options include travel insurance, health insurance, gym membership and season ticket loans.
Sponsorship: We offer sponsorship through the GDL (if applicable) and the LPC; we provide our future trainees with a competitive maintenance grant during their studies.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2018: 14
Applications received pa: c2,000
Percentage interviewed: 15%
First year: £37,000
Second year: £40,000
Newly qualified: £62,000
Total partners: 173
Other fee-earners: 253
Total trainees: 29
Apply to: Amelia Spinks.
When to Apply: By 31 July 2017 for 2019 contracts.
Apply by 15 January 2017.
Apply by 15 January 2017.