The Legal 500


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

Survey results



The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 'Excellent reputation in IP and technology’; ‘breadth of practice areas’; ‘friendliness’; ‘impressive client list’; ‘small trainee intake’; ‘very approachable’; ‘the work is very interesting and high profile’; ‘the firm’s size’; ‘excellent practice areas’
How does your training compare with peers' at other firms? 
 'Better working hours’; ‘given higher quality, more diverse, and more intellectually engaging work’; ‘partners and HR are very approachable’; ‘more responsibility’; ‘scope for trainees to be entrepreneurial’; ‘greater freedom to tailor our own training contracts’; ‘smaller intake’; ‘better balanced’; ‘hours seem a bit better than other firms’; ‘no compulsory seats’; ‘more confident of being retained’
Best thing about the firm? 
 'Fruit basket Mondays’; ‘choice of departments’; ‘the quality of the clients’; ‘no compulsory seats’; ‘the people are very clever’; ‘brand spanking new offices’; ‘quality of the clients’; ‘opportunities to get involved in a wide-range of initiatives’; ‘scope for trainees to be entrepreneurial’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 'Rubbish offices’; ‘NQ salaries could have been higher’; ‘lack of canteen or other social space’; ‘poor leadership’; ‘going from one department to the next feels like going from one firm to another; each department has its own culture’; ‘the lack of openness about getting an NQ job’; ‘a minority of individuals are hypercompetitive’
Best moment? 
 'My secondment has been an excellent learning experience’; ‘undertaking high-quality work on a regular basis in the data protection team’; ‘having a research task published’; ‘being given responsibility to prepare a costs schedule’; ‘working on an interim injunction application for a major film client’; ‘getting some good appraisals’; ‘organising and administering a board meeting on behalf of a client’
Worst moment?
 'Paginating documents’; ‘stressful work in real estate’; ‘poor supervision’; ‘working into the early hours’; ‘bringing the wrong documents to court’; ‘bundling’; ‘difficulties surrounding the seat rotation process’; ‘doing a lot of admin in one seat’ '

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

 The Verdict

The firm

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

The deals

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.

The clients

ABTA; Broadstone Pensions and Investments; Federated Investors; Kent Reliance Building Society; Morgans Insurance Brokers; On the Beach; the Solicitors Regulation Authority; Thomas Cook.

The Verdict

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

Application process

Apply to: Natasha Sheehan, trainee recruitment manager.

How: Online application form. 

When to Apply: By 31 July 2015. 


 Vacation schemes

 Please check website for exact dates (apply by 31 January 2015). 

 Please check website for exact dates (apply by 31 January 2015). 

Legal Developments by:

  • Is comparative advertising unfair?

    THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE (ECJ) IS IN THE midst of considering questions referred to it by the UK courts in three separate cases that should clarify the law regarding comparative advertising. This type of advertising, particularly when it identifies a competitor or a competitor’s goods or services by referring to a registered trade mark, is of particular concern to trade mark owners as their competitors normally seek to make unfavourable comparisons with their own goods or services, or to take advantage of being associated with the market leader’s brand.
    - Field Fisher Waterhouse

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

    How to build an investment fraud defence case that disproves prosecution allegations of dishonesty.

    With a town council now officially facing a fraud investigation, we examine what individuals in such a large body should do if they come under suspicion.
  • The risks of liberation

    The dangers that pension liberation and money laundering pose to those involved in pension funds and management.

    What has been achieved since the introduction of the Act that was intended to tackle bribery in business?

    Five banks being fined £3.6 billion in the US for manipulating forex is a stark reminder of the legal risks involved in currency trading. Here, Aziz Rahman of Rahman Ravelli examines how the brokers and the traders in forex can avoid legal problems.
  • Foreign Intercepts

  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?