The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Dr Watson (Sherlock Holmes) – a dependable person to have by your side when times are fraught
Fieldfisher has offices in London and Manchester as well as five in Europe, one in Shanghai and another in the USA. The firm is highly regarded for its work in corporate, TMT and insurance law, and also has a well-known tax litigation team. Clients appreciate its ‘attitude, flexibility and pace of delivery’.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Brand management; Charities; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial contracts; Corporate crime; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Franchising; IT and telecoms; Investment funds; M&A: lower mid-market, £50m-£250m; Media and entertainment; Outsourcing and procurement; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Professional discipline; Trade finance
Advised the Fellowship of the School of Economic Science on structuring an art exhibition; advised Mirabaud Securities LLP as bookrunner on the $100m AIM fundraising by Lekoil Limited; represented the BBC on several key outsourcing and contractual matters; advised City Health Care Partnership CIC on a new headquarters development; advised ESBII on the real estate aspects of the €400m disposal of its shareholding in Marchwood Power.
ABTA; Broadstone Pensions and Investments; Federated Investors; Kent Reliance Building Society; Morgans Insurance Brokers; On the Beach; the Solicitors Regulation Authority; Thomas Cook.
Fieldfisher dazzles trainees, thanks to its outstanding reputation as a leading personal injury and clinical negligence City firm that provides plenty of exposure to ‘high-profile’ cases and ‘impressive client lists’. The ‘excellent practice areas’ and ‘intellectually engaging’ files on offer ensure trainees get ‘very interesting’ assignments, such as preparing cost schedules, going on a ‘team retreat’ to Italy, and having a ‘research task published’. A few have mentioned working late ‘for several weeks in a row’, but the hours are praised as ‘generally better’. Trainees also appreciate that ‘the associates and partners treat you as people, rather than a resource’, explaining why the firm is a Lex 100 Winner for manageable stress levels. Additionally, there are ‘no compulsory seats’, which ensures ‘much greater freedom to tailor training contracts’. Trainees are encouraged to ‘get involved in a wide-range of initiatives at the firm’, and many find that there is ‘scope’ for them to ‘be entrepreneurial’ throughout their contract, since ‘if the motivation is there, anything seems to be possible’. Also, while the ‘small trainee intake’ cannot completely soothe grumbles about the ‘unlikelihood of getting a NQ job’, it does allow easy access to the ‘very clever and reasonable’ fee-earners, who are ‘usually supportive in giving guidance’. On the downside, a few whinge that you can get a little ‘messed about during seat rotations’, and some also find that switching departments ‘almost feels like going from one firm to another’, as each team ‘has its own culture’. Luckily, the overall ‘friendly’ atmosphere quickly makes up for that. Those looking for a contract that will allow trainees to ‘get engaged in various ways’ should keep Fieldfisher in mind.
A day in the life of…
Raihan Islam trainee, Fieldfisher
Departments to date: Financial services and funds, technology, outsourcing and privacy
University: King’s College London; Carnegie Mellon University
Degree: Law (LLB) 2(1)
9.15am: I arrive at my desk, check my emails, and consider my task list for the day. I set up timers before I get started to make sure I’m working on matters efficiently – beneficial not only for the client but also for my organisational skills.
9.45am: The weekly group meeting for the technology, outsourcing and privacy group runs and the whole team gathers together to discuss new deals won and overall practice performance. When I go back to my desk, I send out emails to colleagues in our Brussels and Hamburg offices and update a progress tracking document for both a data protection compliance project and a terms and conditions review, both multijurisdictional projects spanning across the EU and beyond.
11.00am: A partner comes by requesting assistance for an instruction tender, so I go onto our CRM and identify relationships our lawyers have with others around the globe. Looking over the tender document, I identify contacts relevant to the instruction we’re trying to win, and then I send on the contacts table.
11.45am: Afterwards, I get started on the review of an IT outsourcing agreement and policies of the counterparty, identifying areas where the counterparty may seek to include warranties or indemnities in the agreement in future. The risk analysis is intriguing as I get to make use of my knowledge of the IT sector while considering commercial contracts. When I finish up, I send off a risk register to one of my senior colleagues for review.
1.00pm: I grab lunch with a few trainees and since it’s an amazing day outside we decide to eat by the Thames riverside.
2.00pm: Settling back into work, I check my inbox and a colleague from Hamburg has replied with a detailed advice note, so I arrange a conference call for later today to go over his review of our terms and conditions document with a senior colleague in my office. I prepare a list of questions following a review of his comments, check in with my office colleague, and return to my data protection compliance project.
3.30pm: The call with our colleague in Hamburg begins, and I take the lead by addressing comments in his review, asking for clarifications, and taking notes. Where I am not sure about the point of law, my office colleague chimes in and helps me get through the discussion. After the call, my colleague and I discuss the outcomes achieved and I send an email to the client with an update. The best part of the training contract is getting to take on responsibility from the ‘get-go’ and receiving support along the way.
4.30pm: I carry on with the data protection compliance project. A few emails from counsel in Austria, Finland and Italy come in, so I respond to these and update our progress tracker. Finally, I close up my timers for the day, file correspondence into folders, and get ready for this week’s softball game.
6.00pm: I meet colleagues downstairs before we head to Regent’s Park for the game. Go Fieldfisher!
About the firm
Address: Riverbank House, 2 Swan Lane, London, EC4R 3TT
Telephone: 020 7861 4000
Managing partner : Michael Chissick
Other offices: Brussels, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Manchester, Munich, Palo Alto, Paris, Shanghai.
Who we are: Fieldfisher is a full-service European law firm providing commercial solutions across a range of industry sectors. We have a particular focus on companies that are highly regulated and those with intellectual property and technology-driven business models.
What we do: Our main areas of practice are corporate, IP, technology and outsourcing, and regulatory law. We also have leading expertise in areas such as banking and finance, financial services, real estate, dispute resolution, personal injury and medical negligence.
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. To be a 100% lawyer here, you have to be a 100% you.
What you'll do: We offer a challenging training contract, where you will work closely with your supervisor to gain hands-on experience, so that you are ready to commence work as a solicitor upon qualification. This is complemented by a full programme of training and development.
Perks: A full flexible benefit package including 25 days’ holiday, private medical insurance, pension, life assurance, season ticket loan, childcare vouchers, critical illness cover, dental insurance, travel insurance and more. In addition we have numerous sports teams and corporate gym rates.
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 2017: 12
Applications received pa: Over 1,300
Percentage interviewed: Around 10%
First year: £35,000
Second year: £38,500
Newly qualified: £58,000
Total partners: 164
Other fee-earners: 268
Total trainees: 24
Apply to: Natasha Sheehan, trainee recruitment manager.
When to Apply: By 31 July 2015.
Please check website for exact dates (apply by 31 January 2015).
Please check website for exact dates (apply by 31 January 2015).