Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Cripps

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Cripps

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Mix of City and regional work; quality of work; training’, ‘practice areas interested me; highly-regarded firm; sold a good work/life balance’, ‘excellent private client team and everyone I met was really nice and loved it here’, ‘completing the vacation scheme showed me that the firm is a warm and welcoming place to work. The emphasis is on its people and the work, not just the latter’

Best thing about the firm? ‘Ability to get involved in a variety of things: charity committee, business development, networking, client events’, ‘the exposure to active matters from day one with the opportunity to work with highly-knowledgeable colleagues’, ‘the culture – friendly, non-hierarchical feel and excellent work/life balance’, ‘the size of the trainee intake means you are not just a number and really get involved in your teams’ workload during your seat’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘A supervisor that is almost completely remote working and therefore more difficult to rely upon them for advice and questions throughout the day’, ‘remuneration is below that of other firms’, ‘the pay – the firm is ambitious but the pay does not match the size of firms we are competing with, and of the size it aims to become’, ‘the salary’

Best moment? ‘Attending client meetings’, ‘successfully organising a firm-wide charity event across the summer and hearing from the charity that we had raised the most money for them in that year’, ‘taking on a lot of client responsibility in the commercial team’, ‘having the principal responsibility to manage a matter from start to finish with support from the lead fee earner’

Worst moment? ‘Feeling unable to communicate or turn to my allocated supervisor for my first seat’, ‘intense workload’, ‘the inconsistency of supervisor styles’, ‘transitioning between seats was a stressful period’

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Cripps

‘The opportunity to undertake seats in both commercial and private client areas’ was one of the main reasons for applying to Cripps. An ‘excellent reputation for property work’, a ‘distinguished list of clients’ and ‘the warm and welcoming environment I experienced on the vacation scheme’ were further enticements. The Tunbridge Wells and London firm is ‘growing fast’ and is a Future Lawyers Winner for job satisfaction,  quality of work, client contact and vacation scheme. Trainees receive a high level of responsibility, and ‘actually do real legal work’. The training is ‘well structured, with a timetable of all four seats given at the beginning of the training contract, which minimises anxieties about where you are going to be next’. The workload is ‘generally manageable’, although ‘this varies from seat to seat’, and some recruits were frustrated with the ‘inconsistency of supervisor styles’. The main gripe is the salary, which trainees feel ‘lags behind our competitors, particularly if you’re working in the London office’. On the plus side, there is a ‘collaborative work environment where you learn from experienced fee earners who are always willing to help and answer questions’. Best moments were ‘conducting my first completion within weeks of starting my first seat’ and ‘managing a matter from start to finish’. Worst moments included ‘feeling unable to communicate or turn to my allocated supervisor in one of my seats’ and ‘struggling with an intense workload’. To train at a firm which combines high-quality work in a range of practice areas with a reasonable work/life balance, research Cripps.

A day in the life of... Jasprit Kaur, second-year trainee, Cripps

Departments to date: Commercial dispute resolution; Commercial real estate

University: The City Law School

Degree: Law LLB (Hons), 2(1)

A ‘typical day’ of a trainee will change depending on what department you are currently sitting in. In my last seat (commercial dispute resolution), the first few months were taken up working on a big trial and every morning would start with a team meeting. The meeting would consist of updates on our progress from the night before, planning, dividing and allocating tasks.

Once the trial was over, my typical day would start with a quick morning catch-up meeting with my supervisor and another associate. We would discuss our work load, new matters, and any specific or general questions on our current matters. My day would be structured around various client meetings and court deadlines, and I would have to figure out daily how best to get drafting, emails and admin tasks done around them.

I am currently in my second seat (commercial real estate) and the team organisation and tasks are very different from my previous seat. At the moment, my day starts off with checking my emails to see if anything urgent has come up. I will then grab a cup of tea and go over my to-do list to see if I need to add or remove anything from the list. The next task is checking my calendar for any pressing deadlines, meetings or training sessions. The real estate division has a lot of in-house training, especially in the first few weeks of the seat. I can then finally begin some fee-earning work! In our team we generally have a weekly catch-up, where we update the team on billing, feedback on new tech initiatives, upcoming team socials and any new legal updates from the PSLs.

At lunch time I like to walk into town or down to the green to remind myself to switch off for a bit. The great thing about working in the Tunbridge Wells office is that you have access to so much greenery and open space. I love looking out of the office windows and seeing the rolling hills instead of high-rise office blocks. If I haven’t gone for a walk, I will take my lunch upstairs in the sky lounge. Quite a few people from the office take their lunch in the sky lounge; it’s a great time to catch up with the other trainees and the people you wouldn’t otherwise bump into on your floor. In the summer you can find us outside on the sky lounge garden terrace – so don’t forget to bring your sunglasses!

After lunch I will prioritise the most urgent tasks, check in with other fee-earners if they need any assistance, see if I need to update clients on the progress of their matters, and then continue on with my work. I am involved in a lot of community pillar and charity committee work, so I usually end up doing my charity emails and organisation work towards the end of the afternoon.

I like to end the day with updating my task list, writing action reminders and closing up my time recording. Generally people tend to get out of the office around 5.45pm, unless something urgent has cropped up. There are so many things going on at the firm, you will usually be invited to an after-work social of some sort every week or so.

If you decide to apply to Cripps you will be able to get involved in the trainee socials, the charity committee, team socials and pub lunches, ‘be the difference’ volunteering days, football, cricket, office socials, the drinks trolley, table tennis, divisional parties, BBQs, and our renowned firm-wide summer party!

About the firm

The firm: Cripps is one of the country’s leading legal practices serving corporate, real estate and private clients. Headquartered in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with an office in London, the firm offers a dedicated, integrated team of more than 430 people to deliver exceptional service to its clients. The firm builds, equips and continuously strengthens its teams, investing in the best talent and technology to deliver this service. Cripps’ purpose is to ‘be the difference’, harnessing the collective energy, empathy and expertise of its people to make a positive and long-lasting impact on people’s lives and business.

The clients: Chapel Down Group; Holiday Extras; Harrow School; Thortful; Local Planet; Cadogan; Deliveroo; Fender Musical Instruments; M&G; Uniguest; Wates Developments.

The deals: Legal advisers to global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson, advising on the acquisition of 20 industrial assets and helping them adapt to UK last mile logistics sector following their joint venture with GIC in 2020; advising on the sale of Berry Gardens Limited to Driscoll’s, the global market leader of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries; assisting robotics company Ocean Infinity with a 20-year lease of their new UK headquarters in Southampton to accommodate their growing control centre, training facility and collaborative research and development space; acted for innovative clean hydrogen producer HiiROC on its Series B funding round, with a total of £26m invested as equity on completion of the round; acting for the grocery delivery start-up Godija/Go Puff as their sole real estate property advisers, securing 12 sites across London; advised global tech company Uniguest on its UK acquisitions, most recently on the purchase of video platform provider Planet eStream; negotiating the lease in Covent Garden to help Fender create a new flagship store designed to be a ‘destination for artists from all over the world but also an innovative and productive working space’; advised on the sale of nursery group Davidson-Roberts to private equity backed Family First Group; successfully acted for Noksel çelik Boru Sanayi A.Ş. in a complex international dispute with a distributor, which culminated in a two-week trial in the High Court; represented Gatehouse Bank plc in an employment tribunal case on a high-value unfair dismissal claim which arose out of a reorganisation project, including advising our client on dealing with press enquiries and commentary on social media following publication of the tribunal’s judgment.

Senior partner: Mike Scott

Managing partner: Gavin Tyler

Other offices: London

Who we are: We are a full-service, top 100 UK law firm, headquartered in Kent. Putting our clients at the heart of what we do, we care about how our advice supports what really matters to them. Taking it personally from the outset, we’re one dedicated, integrated team, solving our clients’ problems, championing their ambitions and planning for their futures. As a purpose-driven firm, we’re committed to do things the right way to make a lasting difference for our clients, people, communities and planet.

What we do: We provide a fully integrated offering for HNW individuals and families, national and international privately-owned businesses, non-profit organisations and institutional investors. We have one of the UK’s largest private client teams helping individuals and families to maximise their assets, making their lives easier by taking the burden out of managing their personal affairs. Our multi-award-winning corporate team supports many of the UK’s most exciting businesses from innovative start-ups to global brands, fulfilling all the legal service needs a business has during its life cycle. We have one of the largest commercial real estate teams in the UK covering every aspect of the property life cycle, working with private and institutional owners/investors, developers, lenders, private equity, landed estates and major occupiers.

What we’re looking for in a trainee: Those who share our sense of purpose to help others, have a genuine interest in our firm, relevant work experience, and good commercial and business awareness.

What you’ll do: We offer a comprehensive induction programme and ongoing training throughout the two-year contract. Support is provided regularly through structured reviews and on-the-job coaching. We offer a four-seat training contract providing genuine hands-on experience. Levels of responsibility are high, with many trainees managing their own files under supervision.

Perks: Benefits include 25 days’ holiday, pension scheme and season ticket loans. You will also receive an uplift in salary while undertaking a London-based seat as well as the associated travel costs between our Kent and London offices.

Sponsorship: We provide full funding if you study BPP’s SQE preparation course (for cohorts joining from 2024 onwards). We will also pay the SRA candidate fee for one attempt at SQE1 and SQE2. Where needed we will also pay 100% of the course costs of BPP’s Law Foundations Course (PGDL).

Diversity and inclusion

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