UK Firm of the Year
Aussie Firm of the Year
UK City Firms
UK Regional Firms
Firm of the Year Stories
UK City Firms
Check out this week's top Asia-Pacific news on the
Asia Pacific Headline
For all the breaking news, follow RoF on Twitter and Facebook
is the easiest way to get a training contract or vac scheme. It puts you in touch with some of the best firms in the UK and all in under five minutes. If you type fast.
Make the most of your free time.
features the best exhibitions, shows and outings for this and next weekend.
Want to know more about the training contracts at individual firms?
features brochures, information and application details for leading firms.
UK City Firms
Simmons & Simmons (London)
After a few years of defections and money worries Simmons seems to have turned the corner. Over the past five years revenues have increased nicely, partners are now averaging about half a million a year, and turnover for 2010 hit £250 million (the same as in 2007, pre-economic buggeration).
Simmons' traditional problem has been that it was rarely principal adviser to top companies and found it difficult to cream off the best work as a result. Although it has plenty of major clients such as JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, when the big deal comes along it is consistently overlooked. A few years back the firm underwent a strategic review with the aim, amongst other things, of addressing this and focussing on the type of client for whom it wanted to act. It is now concentrating on five key sectors: Asset Management & Investment Funds, Energy & Infrastructure, Financial Institutions, Life Sciences and Technology, Media and Telecommunications. The ambition is that whilst it can't compete with the biggest firms on everything, it should be in the running on any deal that falls within these areas.
Given the rise in profits this has clearly started to pay dividends. Although it's fair to say that the firm's financial performance lags behind some of its competitors, the breadth of the firm's practice means that it managed to hedge somewhat against the downturn, whilst other firms who've focussed exclusively on big ticket corporate work found that they have a lot of salaries to pay and precious little work coming through the door.
Simmons also benefits from a stellar reputation in some niche areas of the market. Its employment team is without a doubt the best in the City, with anyone who's anyone gracing the client books. It's also one of the best firms for IP and life sciences work, acting for clients such as GlaxoSmithKline and Bacardi. The IT team has got the Indian outsourcing market pretty much sewn up, the projects group is excellent, and litigation has been consistently busy and profitable. High profile sexy clients include HMV, Virgin Media and the odd Russian oligarch (the firm acted on Lebedev's purchase of the Evening Standard).
It even seems to be making progress in its achilles heal of international expansion. And with 20 offices worldwide, trainees can expect a trip out to any number of exotic and glamorous locations. Or Dubai (where, to be fair, it's supposedly a great laugh).
On top of that, Simmons is widely considered one of the more laid back firms at which to work and its got pretty swanky offices at City Point (complete with Damien Hirst art and a neon sign saying "trust me" outside the lecture hall). Assistants are pretty much unanimous in their praise, commenting that "
the work is really interesting and big ticket, and the hours are relatively civilised
", and "
everyone has a friendly and approachable attitude
". How very jolly. But that doesn't change the fact that associate attrition is rumoured to be high - especially with pay being nothing special and the bonus metric incomprehensible.
A job lot of trainees were deferred in 2009 when the firm simply didn't have the capacity to employ them - but at least they got to do a special MBA (and received a generous stipend for doing so). Having said that, reports reach us that there are still too many trainees around - and you may find yourself doing work which - in busier times - would be considered secretarial.
Salary (1st seat trainee):
Salary (Salaried partner):
Typical bonus as % of salary
Grant for GDL:
Grant for LPC:
Training places per year:
% of trainees retained:
RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores
Firm of the year overall score:
Group Flexible Retirement Plan, 5% contribution from the firm
26 weeks at 100% average weekly earnings + 13 weeks at Statutory Maternity Pay and remaining 13 weeks unpaid
Gym allowance to help with cost of membership
24 hour photocopying support:
24 hour secretarial support:
Music lessons and a range of flexible benefits
Explanation and source of figures
City firms start pulling in more cash
The market finally improves
Exclusive: Simmons & Simmons admits it's behind its competitors
Managing Partner laments woeful billables
Simmons is top gay-friendly law firm for the fifth year in a row
Eight firms made the Stonewall 2013 rankings for LGB-friendly employers
Top law firms agree to pay staff a living wage
But some still refusing
Exclusive: Simmons & Simmons keeps on only one out of eight NQs
Or possibly two. Still, it's the lowest rate in the City. For shame
Exclusive: Simmons & Simmons to make staff redundant in the Middle East
Lawyers and support staff facing the chop
Simmons & Simmons the most gay-friendly firm in the country
Firm makes the top ten in Stonewall's list
Former Managing Partner deserts Simmons
Mark Dawkins quits - after losing Senior Partner election
Exclusive: Former Travers Smith trainee launches dot.com
And other enterprising solicitors
Exclusive - questions asked in Parliament of Simmons & Simmons
Concerns over possible conflict of interest
Feel free to enter your comments on the news story below, subject to our
terms and conditions.
Please note that comments are subject to moderation and so will not appear immediately.
Please keep it nice. Thanks.
Be the first to add your view