Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Osborne Clarke

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Osborne Clarke

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘I wanted to stay in Bristol and practise at the best firm in the city’, ‘culture, clients and location’, ‘the friendly and relaxed culture combined with the high-quality work and clients’, ‘I attended a couple of insight sessions when I was applying and was instantly drawn to OC. The people at the firm were incredibly friendly and so approachable’, ‘I liked the emphasis on being different and the technology focus’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The trainee intake gets on very well’, ‘everyone is ambitious and wants to do well, but they are also friendly, supportive and always willing to help you learn and progress’, ‘I feel genuinely appreciated for the work that I do’, ‘everyone is so friendly and approachable, from business support to partners. People are interested in your background and really try to get to know you, which helps when settling in’, ‘the work/life balance is great’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘The current slightly dated [Bristol] office which we are soon leaving’, ‘the pay discrepancy between London and Reading trainees’, ‘the lack of funding for socials’, ‘there aren’t as many international opportunities as there are at other, similar firms’, ‘we are squeezed for office occupancy on some days [in London] and it can be a struggle to book a desk’, ‘some of the partners can be time poor and difficult to get feedback from’

Best moment? ‘Acting for high-profile clients in the banking sector’, ‘having the opportunity to work on a pro bono matter where we successfully appealed our client’s (pension-related) PIP decision’, ‘handling a client meeting by myself, ‘seeing matters I’ve worked on make the national press, and being given significant responsibility on interesting, industry-leading matters’, ‘going on a great six-month client secondment’, ‘receiving really good feedback at my end of seat review’

Worst moment? ‘Not having an actual choice over which department I was put in for my second seat’, ‘missing a signature during a signing and having to organise a Power of Attorney for another signatory due to the original signatory not being available’, ‘becoming overworked and lacking capacity in my real estate seat so that I could not work on some matters as effectively as I should’, ‘a number of late nights working from home on my very first deal’

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke has a ‘down-to-earth and straight-talking approach’. Trainees were drawn to the ‘engaging sector focus’ at the firm, which offers training contracts in Bristol, Reading and London. Those training in the Bristol HQ feel that they get access to ‘London-quality work but without the requirement to work in the City’. In fact, ‘you get the same quality of work regardless of which Osborne Clarke office you’re in’. Partners and supervisors are ‘very approachable’, and this ‘allows trainees to take on lots of responsibility on interesting and complex work, without fear of making mistakes’. ‘Everyone is invested in your development and always keen on getting you involved with as much as possible’, which has led to recruits enjoying work highlights such as ‘mediating to settlement on a large multi-party claim in commercial disputes’, and ‘attending client meetings with partners’. Osborne Clarke is a Future Lawyers Winner sevenfold this year, with trophies including job satisfaction, client contact, salary and sustainability among the haul. On the flip side, trainees have still had to endure instances of ‘waiting around in the office on a Friday for a completion and getting told at 5:30pm that it was being delayed until Tuesday’, ‘quiet lulls in my corporate seat’, and ‘being given mundane printing jobs’. One perceived flaw of the firm is the ‘variety in the training and supervision you receive; in some departments the training and supervision is very hands on, whereas in others it can be very hands off and you are left to your own devices’. There were some complaints about the ‘dated’ Bristol office – though a move to new premises is imminent – and about the London office, where ‘general amenities are a bit basic’. For a firm which ‘successfully maintains a great culture, whilst offering high-quality work for an impressive range of clients’, take a closer look at Osborne Clarke.

About the firm

The firm: Osborne Clarke is a forward-thinking multinational legal practice. With 26 offices around the world, the sectors it works in all thrive on innovation: digital business, energy, financial services, real estate, recruitment and transport. The sector teams include lawyers from all legal disciplines.

The clients: Investec; Gazeley; Square Enix; Silicon Valley Bank; Western Power Distribution; QinetiQ.

The deals:

Partner in charge: Conrad Davies

Senior partner: Peter Clough

Other offices: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bristol, Brussels, Busto Arsizio, Cologne, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Thames Valley, Warsaw, Zaragoza.

Who we are: Osborne Clarke is an award-winning multinational legal practice. We’ve grown rapidly, and with 26 global offices we’re proud to say that our influence and impact can now be applied almost anywhere.

What we do: We think sector first, organising ourselves around the current affairs and future challenges of the industries we serve, rather than traditional legal practice areas. It helps keep us one step ahead. Our core services all thrive on innovation: digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, recruitment and transport.

What we’re looking for: Candidates who can communicate effectively; think commercially and practically; solve problems creatively; build effective relationships; and demonstrate initiative. Foreign language skills are also an advantage.

What you’ll do: Trainees complete four six-month seats, typically in corporate or banking, real estate, litigation and one other area.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday (plus a Christmas shopping day), pension, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance, life assurance and season ticket loan.

Sponsorship: We pay candidates’ PGDL and SQE tuition fees, provided that they are no more than half way through either course when they are recruited, along with a maintenance grant.

Diversity and Inclusion

Percentage of female associates: 58%

Percentage of female partners: 27%

Percentage of BAME associates: 12%

Percentage of BAME partners: 4%