Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Taylor Vinters

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Taylor Vinters

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Culture and work/life balance’, ‘it suited me. The firm’s values reflect my own’, ‘the culture’, ‘very friendly, interesting work and good work/life balance’, ‘the client base and the culture internally’, ‘the life sciences and tech-based clients, the culture and the work/life balance’ 

How does your training compare with what you have heard from trainees at other firms? ‘Much better hours and less menial tasks’, ‘we have a better work/life balance and better exposure to complex work’, ‘great supervision and responsibility at an early stage compared to people at other larger firms’, ‘people seem keen to get you in on any work they can and will take time out of their day to make sure you feel confident in what you’re doing’ 

What is the best thing about the firm? ‘The firm culture’, ‘the people who work here’, ‘the people – everyone is so approachable, there is no hierarchy, and you can approach anyone to ask them a question’, ‘the friendly people and feeling like I belong’, ‘the life sciences and tech-based clients, the culture and the work-life balance’ 

Worst thing about the firm ‘Lack of perks and social events and budget’, ‘the compensation’, ‘low budgets for activities and resourcing’, ‘the split between offices – it makes it difficult to know where to base yourself. However, this has become much less of a problem since the firm adopted a strong agile-working stance, allowing you to work remotely or from different offices most of the time’ 

Best moment? ‘Being able to get fully involved right from the start of my training contract and being brought in by a variety of people in a variety of different types of work’, ‘the amount of time my supervisor gives me to go through things thoroughly is great and I really appreciate it’, ‘completing a complex investment deal which had played out for a long time across my whole seat’, ‘the welcome and getting to know the staff’ 

Worst moment? ‘Being on an all-parties call on a deal I had not had any substantial involvement in with a partner who was on annual leave and feeling unsupported as another firm’s lawyer berated me on the call’, ‘not knowing where I was going to start (i.e. which office I would be based at)’ 

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Taylor Vinters

The abundance of life sciences and tech-based clients is one of the main draws of London, Oxford and Cambridge firm Taylor Vinters. The ‘very friendly culture’, ‘engaging work’ and ‘interesting client base’ were themes that were often repeated in the survey feedback. The ‘emphasis on work/life balance’ has not gone unnoticed and has earned Taylor Vinters a Future Lawyers Winner medal. Another gong has been awarded for the firm’s vibrant social life. When it comes to training, ‘trainees here seem to have significantly more face-to-face contact with their supervisors’, as well as ‘plenty of opportunities to get involved with partners in a range of different work’. This, trainees feel, is what ‘sets Taylor Vinters apart from other training experiences in other firms – you’re getting high-level work but no one is too busy to learn your name and know a bit about you’. In fact, ‘there is no hierarchy whatsoever, and everyone is willing to help’. The worst thing about Taylor Vinters is that ‘remuneration is lower than at some other firms’ and that ‘the budgets for activities and resources are limited’. Another annoyance is ‘the split between offices, which can make it difficult to know where to base yourself’. Highlights included ‘hearing that everybody in a seat wants me to qualify there’ and ‘the amount of time my supervisor gives me to go through things thoroughly I really appreciate it’. On the flip side, trainees did not enjoy ‘not being given a choice on the first seat of the training contract’ nor ‘forgetting to send a document out and having a big panic’, although it’s worth noting that ‘it was fine in the end’! For an ‘innovative, tech-focused firm’ which boasts ‘people-focused training’, take a closer look at Taylor Vinters. 

A day in the life of... James Maddern, trainee, Taylor Vinters

James Maddern, Taylor Vinters

Departments to date: Emerging companies in London (current seat); Commercial disputes in Cambridge (next seat)

University: Nottingham Trent University

Degree: Law LLB (1st Class Hons), 2020 graduate

8.45am: Despite TV’s lenient hybrid working policy, I like to work in the office three days a week. When I do, I get into the office and log on before making the incredibly important first tea of the day. I prefer to warm up into work, reading my emails and organising my list of tasks.

9.00am: A number of colleagues are generally in by this point so I catch up with them, often about football or the firm Spotify playlist which I curate (which usually prompts some discussion!). I then usually chat with my team about progress on various ongoing deals before we start our days.

9.30am: Occasionally, I’ll have an urgent task to get done which will come in early. I address these as soon as I can to avoid slowing any deals. This may be answering an urgent question, finding a document or amending the email address for a signatory to a document. I also take this opportunity to ask any questions from yesterday’s tasks so I can make any amendments later.

10.00am: This is often the time for internal committee or interest group meetings. For me, these groups are Inclusion, Diversity & Equity, TV Eco and the AI Special Interest Group. I find touching base with each once a month is a great way to be involved in firm life and stay involved in decision-making as a junior. Every group has a wide array of representation across teams, so I enjoy getting to know everyone.

10.45am: Now it’s time to properly start working through my to-do list for the day. For my current seat, this might include drafting ancillary documents for an investment (eg board minutes, written resolutions, investor consent letter), maintaining documents lists to keep organised, and preparing to draft a disclosure letter following a client call yesterday.

12.30pm: I usually take this opportunity to have lunch, and when we are in the office, we will go out to find some street food in London to bring back. Once a fortnight, one of the teams runs an optional training session on Zoom while we eat. Trainees are invited to all these sessions, which helps me appreciate the wider business of the firm. My personal favourite was the open-source software session which helpfully introduced me to an unfamiliar topic.

1.30pm: Early afternoon is generally my focus time where I can get heavier tasks done. Today, I will be using this time to update statutory books for a client and helping a senior associate on a client call, then drafting any relevant action points.

3.30pm: Every Tuesday, I have a call with my supervisor to discuss how my week is looking. This generally entails a chat about how Liverpool played this weekend, how busy I am and reaching a plan of action to combat any challenges. The relationship with my supervisor helps me feel very supported and gives her a comfort knowing I am enjoying my work, so I make an effort to clear all urgent work beforehand.

4.00pm: Every Monday, the trainee cohort meet to discuss our CSR project. This is one of the main fundraising efforts from the firm and is run by the trainees as a group of ten. The project consists of choosing charities for the firm to support for the year, then organising primarily internal events to raise funds. Last year, events were monthly and included a 10K Tough Mudder and an inter-team pub quiz. Our calls last an hour, including a healthy dose of informal chat, and we leave them with a list of points to action through the week.

5.00pm: I take this time to manage my workload and get organised. If I still have a few tasks to do with impending deadlines, I will get started on these. This is generally the case when an investment is approaching completion and final amendments need to be made before signature circulation, or where documents need circulating. I also wrap up any action points from the CSR meetings like sending email updates to our charities.

6.30pm: If I am in the office, I will generally wrap up and leave around this time to be home at a reasonable time. There is no presenteeism at the firm and we all try to protect our colleagues’ personal time where we can.

7.30pm: When working at home, I get a couple more tasks crossed off my list to get ahead for tomorrow and will log off. Now restrictions have eased, I normally go for a walk or climb, cook an elaborate dinner, or work on the latest song I have written.

About the firm

The firm: Taylor Vinters is a global legal and advisory practice, supporting innovation ecosystems and the businesses that drive them across the UK, US and Asia.

Our clients range from Fortune 500 technology multinationals through fast-growth, venture-backed and owner-managed businesses, to individuals driven by great ideas and defined by a passion and resilience. Put simply, it is our mission to work with innovative and entrepreneurial clients to help them shape a better world. Our people find real meaning in what they do by working with clients to create positive impact, today and tomorrow.

The clients: Some of our clients include Echion; Yu Life; Guinness Asset Management; Thirva; Sourceful.

CEO: Matt Meyer

COO: Matthew Tilley

Managing partner: Ed Turner

Other offices: Cambridge, London, Oxford

Who we are: Taylor Vinters is a global legal and advisory practice, supporting innovation ecosystems and the businesses that drive them across the UK, US and Asia.

Our clients range from Fortune 500 technology multinationals through fast-growth, venture-backed and owner-managed businesses, to individuals driven by great ideas and defined by a passion and resilience. Put simply, it is our mission to work with innovative and entrepreneurial clients to help them shape a better world. Our people find real meaning in what they do by working with clients to create positive impact, today and tomorrow.

What we do: We help entrepreneurially minded clients make great things happen, whatever their size and sector. Our key practice areas include corporate, commercial and technology, IP, commercial disputes, employment, insolvency, competition, commercial real estate, charities and social ventures, private real estate, matrimonial, trusts and estates.

What we’re looking for: If you want to be noticed, valued and rewarded, then you are looking in the right place. We don’t try to be the biggest, but we do want to be the smartest – and that’s reflected in our people and how we work.

Our lawyers strive to be the best and help others to thrive while doing great things. We are driven self-starters, and you will benefit from the expert support of some of the industry’s most forward-thinking experts in an innovative law firm with a coaching culture.

At Taylor Vinters, you have great opportunities to work directly and build relationships with clients from an early stage as well as growing your networks and making connections happen.

We will expect you to shape, drive and own your career and we will support you fully in doing that. Trust is key; we trust you to be committed and in return give you real supported autonomy and satisfying levels of responsibility with regular opportunities to expand your experience and skills across a broad range of high-profile projects. Great work for great clients is one of the things our people value most about working at Taylor Vinters.

Supporting the continual development of our people is important to us. We are small enough that we can support you to develop in a manner that is right for you and for us as a business. Your motivation will see you make rapid progress and a real difference to your career and to our clients.

Growth and individuality are encouraged here. We care about striving to achieve the best outcomes – both for us and our clients. While we are driven by our desire to succeed, we recognise that success does not have to come at the expense of having a life outside of work. Maintaining our passion for greater impact today and tomorrow requires us to create an environment that truly embraces modern working, where you feel at ease and inspired to contribute, supported by good working relationships with your manager and colleagues.

Ideally, we look for trainees with good A-level grades of at least ABB and a minimum 2(1) in your undergraduate degree, or a minimum of a commendation if you have taken the GDL or LPC. However, all applications will be considered and if you have mitigating circumstances, please include full details of these in your application form.

What you’ll do: Your development programme will be tailored around your skills, interests and aspirations and you’ll experience real client work, responsibility and high levels of autonomy from an early stage, as well as support through expert advice from some of the industry’s most forward-thinking lawyers.

During your two-year programme, you’ll complete four seats in different legal disciplines, in our Cambridge and London offices, to help you decide which aspects of the law interest you most. During your training contract, you’ll also complete your Professional Skills Course (PSC), which we’ll pay for.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday plus the option to buy additional holiday, pension, private medical insurance, life assurance, season ticket loan, cycle scheme, medical cash plan, recognition scheme, busy social calendar, wellbeing programme.

Sponsorship: We will pay for you to complete your LPC at any BPP location if you haven’t completed it already.

Taylor Vinters is not currently a sponsoring organisation.

Diversity and inclusion