The Legal 500


Work 020 7861 4000
Fax 020 7488 0084
Shanghai, Paris, Palo Alto, Munich, Manchester, London and 3 more

See the latest survey results from the 2012/13 edition of The Lex 100 - a student guide designed to show what working in a law firm is really like. For more information on the methodology of this survey please click here.

1. Survey results
2. The Lex 100 verdict
3. A Day in the life of
4. About the Firm
5. Facts & figures

For more information on this firm please click here

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Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''Mid-sized City firm with strength in IP and technology'; 'breadth of sectors'; 'good work/life balance'; 'variety of practice areas and strength in IP'; 'I already worked for the firm as a paralegal'; 'offered good training'; 'atmosphere'; 'known for being a friendly yet successful mid-sized City firm'
How does your training compare with peers' at other firms? 
 ''Better hours'; 'very friendly staff'; 'approachable supervisors'; 'greater chance to work in differing sectors'; 'better level of work'; 'much less stressful'; 'more exposure to niche specialisms'; 'a lot more high quality work and responsibility'; 'diverse seats'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''The people - every department I have been in has been friendly and supportive'; 'they urge you to have a life outside work'; 'interesting work'; 'range of specialist areas'; 'good clients'; 'good level of responsibility'; 'the lack of hierarchy'; 'good hands-on training'; 'seat allocation process has improved'; 'work/life balance'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''The Vine Street offices'; 'poor NQ salary compared with other City firms'; 'the different departments are all quite separated'; 'poor marketing'; 'it doesn't invest enough money into improving its image'; 'lack of canteen'; 'uncertainty about seat allocations and NQ jobs'; 'terrible computer system'
Best moment? 
 ''Getting offered an NQ role'; 'being the main point of contact in a completion'; 'being selected for a six-month secondment to MTV'; 'overseeing a £1.2million completion alone'; 'running my own pro bono employment case and conducting the advocacy at trial'
Worst moment?
 ''Doing an all-nighter on a disclosure task'; 'bibling post-completion documents'; 'working weekends and late nights doing menial work like bundling'; 'having to cancel a day's holiday and then work over the weekend when work came in on a Thursday evening'; 'knowing you have made a stupid mistake'; 'realising I wasn't going to get a chance to get a seat in an area I really wanted to experience''

 The Verdict

The firm

Fieldfisher has offices in London and Manchester as well as five in Europe. The firm is highly regarded for its technology and outsourcing expertise, and lower mid-market M&A practices, plus has a very strong insurance department.  

The star performers

Administrative and public law; Brand management; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial contracts; Commodities and futures: futures; 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 injury: claimant; Professional discipline; Trade finance.

The deals

Acted for Warner Bros on restructuring the financing of its portfolio of high-value UK films; acted for Trap Oil Group on its AIM listing; advised President Petroleum on its £2m share issue; advised Avocet Mining on its move to the main market; advised LEGO Retail on a franchise structure for its stores; acted for China Telecom Europe on regulatory matters.

The clients

BBC Worldwide; Fortnum & Mason; Google; Lehman Brothers Finance; Lulu Guinness; MTV; Mirabaud; Motorola; Netflicks; Polo Ralph Lauren; Ramada; Sony Europe; Starwood Hotels; Thomas Pink; Topshop; Virgin.

The Verdict

Trainees are attracted by the 'variety of practice areas' at Fieldfisher as well as the firm's 'leading' IT practice. The firm also boasts a number of other 'niche' practice areas such as media, technology and healthcare regulation. Look forward to working with some 'very well-known' clients with plenty of opportunities to 'assist on projects and deals from beginning to end'. The 'very friendly and approachable' people provide 'good hands-on training' and expect to be given 'a lot' of responsibility but for your colleagues to 'urge you to have a life outside work'. Current trainee experiences have included 'a six-month secondment to MTV', 'overseeing a £1.2m completion' and 'managing a stream of contact negotiations as well as being the main day-to-day contact for the client'. Be prepared for the occasional late night but there is always a 'sense of the team pulling together' to get through these periods and along the way you are given plenty of 'advice and support about career development'. Some think that the Vine street offices are a bit 'tired' and others feel that there is a 'lack of transparency' and would like to be kept more informed about firm decisions. A canteen would also be appreciated. Fieldfisher remains a great option for those looking for a City firm offering a wide variety of practice areas and a 'strong' reputation.

 A day in the life of...

Katy Charlotte Campalani

Katy Charlotte Campalani second-year trainee solicitor, Fieldfisher 
Departments to date:  Finance, European law (at the Brussels office), public regulatory department, property
University: Oxford University 
Degree: Law with European Studies and Italian Law, 2(1) 

7.30am:  I arrive at the gym and start with a quick run and a swim which sets me up for the day; the central location of the offices makes this very convenient.

9.20am:  I arrive at my desk and check my emails for any urgent requests that may have come through overnight. We have our weekly team meeting every Monday at 9.30am. One thing I really value in this seat is the excellent team leadership approach and this weekly meeting helps cement that sense of team.

9.30am:  At the meeting we run through a list of ongoing client matters and take the opportunity to clarify who is taking care of what and how active each case is. Each matter is marked either 'ongoing quiet', 'ongoing busy' or 'on hold' as appropriate. This allows for a complete overall view of the team workload. We also estimate our workload for the forthcoming week. This way we can shift work around and help each other out. This week I am busy but could take on more.

10.30am:  I return to my desk. As Oliver and I have been working on a deal for a client involved in a joint venture, he reminds me that the next step is to draft a number of deeds of release. I find several firm precedents to use as templates, on the firm's 'knowledge bank' computer system. We usually work from our own precedents, amending them as appropriate to the client's needs. Oliver and I discuss the precedents and he selects the most suitable, allowing me to begin drafting the documents.

12.30pm:  I check my inbox and see an email from an associate in the derivatives team asking if I have capacity to help with a research task. I email back 'yes' and say I will come see her at 4.30pm. I then pop out for lunch.

1.00-2.30pm:  I am back and Oliver tells me that my language skills are in demand and I am to see a partner in the dispute resolution group. I ask: 'is it is French or Italian?' He says Italian. I meet the partner and it is explained that a client conference call will take place at 2.30pm where a number of people only speak Italian. I am to assist by chairing the call and act as a translator. The partner gives me a run down of the facts and hands me the most important documents to get acquainted with in anticipation of the call.

3.30pm:  I return to my desk to check my emails. Oliver asks me to check the articles of association for a number of related companies to see if anything in them restricts borrowing or giving security. Articles of association form part of a company's incorporation documents listing what the company can and cannot do. Here the client wishes to obtain a loan. Upon review, I find that this cannot be done without passing a shareholders' resolution. I inform Oliver who informs the client.

4.30pm:  I meet with the associate. I am to research a specific point dealing with the Greek credit swap which has been featuring so prominently in the news lately.

5.30pm:  I return to my desk to find I have a voicemail: it's from the dispute resolution partner saying he would like me to fly to Italy next week to assist further on the deal. I speak to Oliver who says he has been informed and that I have the permission to go. I am delighted.

5.40pm:  I make a start on the legal research tasks. I also look at my calendar for the next day to check what is lined up. I see that first thing tomorrow I have yacht and aircraft finance training at 9.00am.

7.30pm:  I leave my office and meet another trainee in the squash courts in the basement for a quick game of squash before we both head home.

About the firm

Address: 35 Vine Street, London EC3N 2AA

Telephone: 020 7861 4000



Managing partner: Matthew Lohn


Other offices: Brussels, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Manchester, Munich, Paris 

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 on-site squash courts, numerous sports teams and corporate gym rates.

Sponsorship: We offer sponsorship through the GDL (if applicable) and the LPC, as well as covering fees. We provide our future trainees with a competitive maintenance grant during their studies.


 Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2015: Up to 15

Applications received pa: Over 1,250 

Percentage interviewed: Around 7% 


First year: £35,000

Second year: £38,500

Newly qualified: £58,000

 The money

(from Legal Business magazine)

Turnover in 2011: 94m (+2% from 2010) Profits per equity partner: £516,000 (-9%)

Total partners: 148

Other fee-earners: 254

Total trainees: 28

Application process

Apply to: Amelia Spinks, graduate recruitment manager.

How: Online application form  

When to Apply: 31 July 2013.  

Visit graduate recruitment site



 Vacation schemes

Easter:  Please check website for exact dates (apply by 13 February 2013)  

Summer:  Please check website for exact dates (apply by 13 February 2013) 

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