Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Lewis Silkin LLP

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Lewis Silkin LLP

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘I had an interest in a number of the sectors which the firm is heavily involved in’, ‘culture, interesting specialisms and clients’, ‘size of trainee intake’, ‘its expertise and culture’, ‘the type of clients it works with and the culture of the firm, which felt very different to others I considered when applying’, ‘I was interested in employment law’, ‘the culture’

Best thing about the firm? ‘Many firms do good work for interesting clients. However, doing that in an environment which is friendly and supportive is not a given and is very important’, ‘throughout my training so far my seat preferences, thoughts on qualification, and career aspirations have always been an open dialogue with various people in the firm’, ‘my colleagues and the culture’, ‘the level of responsibility given to trainees’, ‘the approachability of other fee earners’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Lack of office attendance from others, specifically partners’, ‘the remuneration’

Best moment? ‘When I completed a piece of work that was of such high quality it was used to create a precedent for the team to use’, ‘attending an in-person hearing on a case I’d put a lot of work into’, ‘receiving good feedback directly from a client’, ‘reaching settlement in a longstanding trademark infringement case in which I was heavily involved’, ‘conducting a call with a client by myself’

Worst moment? ‘Poor instructions on one contract, which had a quick turnaround deadline. That was perhaps the most stressful moment’, ‘various bad days, but not one that stands out’, ‘trying to get to know people virtually when I started my training (September 2021) as the hybrid-working policy hadn’t been fully implemented yet so not as many people were coming into the office’

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Lewis Silkin LLP

At Lewis Silkin you can bring your full self to work, rather than have to pretend to be someone else. You can also have a life outside of work whilst doing interesting work for interesting clients. The firm offers training contracts in London and Belfast and is consistently highly ranked in The Legal 500 for its employment and immigration law work. Some respondents had sampled Lewis Silkin’s warm and welcoming culture during their time as paralegals and were enticed to stay on at the firm as trainees: it ‘seemed like a natural transition’ said one recruit. The firm supports individuals at all levels; its uncommon for so many people to be so invested in you as an individual and making sure you as the trainee are getting the most out of your training contract’. As such, Lewis Silkin is the deserving recipient of five Future Lawyers Winner medals this year, including job satisfaction, quality of work and sustainability. Career longevity is imoprtant to Lewis Silkin: ‘there is a clear hope that those who train here stay and develop the next stages of their career rather than just being the trainee. Respondents had very little negative feedback – some complained about the London office but the firm has since moved to brand new offices in Southwark. The ‘lack of office attendance from other team members, especially partners’ also grated on some trainees who would like more face-to-face interaction and feedback while they learn the ropes. For one recruit, the most difficult aspect of their training so far was ‘trying to get to know people virtually when I started (in September 2021) as the hybridworking policy hadn’t been fully implemented yet so not as many people were coming into the office’. On the upside, trainees enjoyed ‘attending an in-person hearing on a case I’d put a lot of work into’ and ‘receiving good feedback directly from a client. To work for a very highly-regarded employment law firm, in an environment where ‘everyone is willing to listen, answer questions and help, whatever their level of seniority’, consider Lewis Silkin. 

Hear from our trainees

About the firm

The firm: Lewis Silkin works with leading businesses to protect and enhance their most important assets – their ideas, their people, their brand and their future. We call it: Ideas. People. Possibilities.

With offices in London, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Belfast, Dublin and Hong Kong, we are recognised by clients and industry alike as being distinct for our unique culture, market-leading practice areas, sector-focused approach and for providing solutions to complex, multijurisdictional business challenges, with a pragmatic and human touch. We have two things at our core: people – both ours and our clients’ – and a focus on creative, tech and innovative businesses.

Our culture is encapsulated by an ethos of bravery and kindness, guided by our values of integrity, clarity, unity and excellence (our ‘I-CUE’). We aim to provide a supportive environment for our people, clients and wider community and embrace diversity and inclusion, ensuring people are able to bring their full selves to work.

The clients: Google, Deliveroo, ASOS, Accenture, Linkedin, Airbnb, Suzuk, Bacardi, Arsenal FC, Coca Cola EuroPacific Partners GB, Oliver Wyman, M&S, Zara, Omnicom Group, Twitter, London Fashion Week, Unilever, Harvey Nichols, Irwin Mitchell, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, The Rugby Football Union, Dyson Technology, Hermes International, Intapp, Chelsea FC, Cineworld, Ascot Racecourse, Superdry, Southern Water, LUSH, Saga, Facebook, BT, Tinder, John Lewis Partnership, Mercedes-Benz, Skyscanner, Trustpilot.

The deals: Successfully defending copyright claim for John Lewis and adam&eveDDB; successful in Deliveroo Court of Appeal rider status challenge; advising Three on groundbreaking commercial partnership with Chelsea FC.

Managing partners: Richard Miskella and Jo Farmer.

Other offices: London, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Belfast, Dublin, Hong Kong.

Who we are: We are a leading The Legal 500-ranked law firm that works with you to help you protect and enhance what really matters to you – your ideas, your people, your future – we call it: Ideas. People. Possibilities.

Your Ideas: Your ideas, and the people who generate them, are at the heart of your business, helping differentiate you in the market and giving you a competitive edge. We help bring your ideas and your business to life.

Your People: We are passionate about people – yours and ours. We can help you navigate all your strategic and operational HR and legal issues across the world of work, both nationally and internationally.

Your Possibilities: Ideas are developed by people; people are inspired by ideas; and together they create endless possibilities for future success. In a world where the only constant is change, we work side by side with you to help overcome challenges and seize opportunities to help grow and evolve your business.

What we do: We are passionate about people. Whether you are a fast growth start-up or a large multinational business, we help you realise the potential in your people and navigate your strategic HR and legal issues, both nationally and internationally. Our award-winning employment team is one of the largest in the UK, with dedicated specialists in all areas of employment law and a track record of leading precedent-setting cases on issues of the day. The team’s breadth of expertise is unrivalled and includes HR consultants as well as experts across specialisms including employment, immigration, data, tax and reward, health and safety, reputation management, dispute resolution, corporate and workplace environment.

Creativity, technology and innovation are at the heart of everything we do. It is reflected in the way we work, as well as in the types of businesses we work with. We help bring your ideas to life by working alongside you as a trusted partner and bringing together leading commercial, corporate, data and privacy, dispute resolution, employment, immigration, intellectual property and real estate lawyers to help create, optimise, manage and protect your ideas and your business.

What we’re looking for: 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: Our training programme offers you: Experience – a four-seat training contract across a range of practice areas, sitting alongside experts in their field. Support – dedicated support throughout your training contract, including a seat supervisor who will support your development through your seat, two buddies (trainee and senior) who will be able to answer any queries you have and a committed training principal who will monitor your progress throughout your training contract. Culture – our small trainee intake allows us to action our ethos – to support and do the best for our employees as individuals. It also means you receive responsibility from the word ‘go’, being exposed to fast-paced challenging work within a supportive and friendly environment.

Perks: Bonus scheme for trainees; firmwide bonus scheme – shared success award; life assurance of 4 x salary; group income protection; employee assistance programme; private healthcare cover with BUPA; group personal pension scheme, matched contribution up to 5% of basic salary; wellness subsidy; subsidised conveyancing costs; interest-free season ticket loan (after three months’ service); workplace nursery provision scheme via salary sacrifice; cycle to work scheme via salary sacrifice; recruitment bounty; free eye tests.

Sponsorship: We provide full sponsorship for the LPC and SQE routes. We will also provide you with an £8,000 bursary payment for when you’re studying full time. (£8,000 will be split over two years if you study part time).

We will reimburse your LPC, SQE and GDL fees if already completed.

Diversity and inclusion

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Percentage of female associates: 70.1%

Percentage of female partners: 30%

Percentage of BAME associates: 12.92%

Percentage of BAME partners: 13.75%