Fast Track

Fast Track 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.

TCs here

Want to know more about the training contracts at individual firms? Training Applications features brochures, information and application details for leading firms.

UK City Firms

Clyde & Co (London)

Our view...

A while on from Clyde & Co's merger with troubled Barlow Lyde & Gilbert ('takeover' might be more accurate) the dust has well and truly settled. As the name suggests, Clydes was very much in the driving seat when it subsumed merged with BLG in 2011. 

Back in the day, Clydes, along with Holman Fenwick & Willan and Ince & Co, was traditionally one of the three great shipping firms in the City. This wasn't necessarily a good thing: collision work was declining thanks to better maritime regulation and training, and protection and indemnity clubs were, well, clubbing together to drive their lawyers' rates down as well as bringing more work in-house. As European expertise in the field increased, more work was also going to Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, whose rates are generally cheaper than in the UK.
So Clydes decided to diversify and expand.  And they've done a pretty decent job under the stewardship of CEO Peter Hasson, a non-lawyer from a finance background.

Turnover has been rising since 2005 - credit crunch or not. In the 2014/15 financial year, the firm boasted revenue of £395m, up 8% from the previous year, while profit per equity partner rose 10% to £660,000 in 2014/15. In 2015/16, revenue climbed again, to £447m, while PEP rose to £665k.

Clydes currently has 45 offices worldwide and it makes a big play of its international presence, which is perhaps unsurprising given its growth rate. Clydes' Asia offices saw an increase of 30% in revenue for 2014/2015, while revenue in the Middle East and North Africa grew by 15%. Recent additions to the Clydes' empire included offices in South Africa and Brisbane in 2014 and a merger with Simpson & Marwick in 2015. In May 2016 it opened an office in Miami.

A good spread of international offices means that there are opportunities for trainees to spend a seat overseas - in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore or, err, Piraeus. We know where we'd rather go. Back in the UK, aside from London, the firm also has offices in Oxford, Manchester and Guildford. The latter famously pays London rates. Rather less famously it also expects its lawyers to work London hours, but given the lower living costs which normally come with provincial offices this still sounds like a pretty good deal.
Shipping is still important, but insurance & reinsurance, and aviation, are also very strong sectors. As far as service areas go, although corporate and commercial is growing, the majority of Clydes' work is still litigation-based rather than corporate. Inevitably disputes work doesn't require the level of all-nighters you'll experience at more transaction-led firms. Whilst Clydes is now a proper full service firm, it's possibly not the first choice if you want to specialise in M&A. There is "lots of client contact due to the nature of the insurance industry", said a solicitor,  but, said another, career development is less hot "if you're not an insurance litigator".
Associates, on the whole, praise the good work life balance, saying that the firm has "no face time culture". It also seems to be a friendly place with "very sociable" partners. "Regionally", said a lawyer, there is "decent pay, nice office, good work/life balance, non-dickhead partners". And staff are happy with the swanky London office, commending the "cracking view from the canteen" (which "conveniently distracts from the food").

Pay seems to be the biggest gripe, with one lawyer suggesting that "the senior equity partners suck the marrow out of the profits while the middle ranks scamper for greener pastures in the hope of earning more". And while expansion has brought revenue and a buzz, a couple of lawyers worried that "multiple mergers and aggressive expansion - over 5 years it has almost tripled in size and has opened more than 20 new offices" have caused some "deterioration" in the Clydes culture. Management, they said,  "seems more focused on world domination".

The negative points mean that the firm sits in the latter half of RollOnFriday's Firm of the Year table. Grumbles aside, many still praised the working environment, with one lawyer saying there is a "very supportive management" that doesn't heap on the pressure "in terms of billing".  Allied with an expanding overseas network, rapidly rising profits and reasonably civilised hours, it's a solid choice. And club biscuits are available in meeting rooms.

For more information on Clyde & Co click here
For more information on Clyde & Co click here


Salary (1st seat trainee): £36,000
Salary (NQ): £63,000
Salary (1PQE): £69,000
Salary (2PQE): £73,000
Salary (3PQE): £80,000
Salary (Salaried partner):

Bonus Scheme

Bonus scheme: Yes
Typical bonus as % of salary
- NQ: 0%
- 1PQE: %
- 2PQE: %
- 3PQE: %
- 4PQE: %
- 5PQE: %
- Partner: %


Grant for GDL: £7,000
Grant for LPC: £7,000
Training places per year: 22
% of trainees retained: 76%

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 54%
Development: 57%
Work/Life: 68%
Openness: 51%
Biscuits: 75%
Toilets: 70%
Social: 66%
Firm of the year overall score: 61%


Holiday allowance: 25
Flexi holiday: No
Pension: Contributory between 4% & 8%
Healthcare: Yes
Maternity policy: Enhanced. Full pay for 13 weeks, £200 a week for another 13 weeks.
Target hours: 1430
Childcare vouchers: Yes
Gym: Subsidised membership off site
Restaurant: Subsidised Starbucks
24 hour photocopying support: No
24 hour secretarial support: No
Other: Option to buy a further 5 days holiday each year


News Stories

Clyde & Co associate prosecuted for allegedly ignoring entire case
This business would be a whole lot simpler without the clients ... read more > (8 comments)
Clyde & Co handed record £80,000 fine by SDT
Three partners broke money laundering regs ... read more > (6 comments)
Exclusive: Clyde & Co staff complain after it runs out of water
Loos run dry but staff told to keep working ... read more > (6 comments)
Exclusive: Clydes merges with Scotland's top insurance firm
45 partners at Simpson & Marwick swallowed up ... read more > (8 comments)
DAC Beachcroft announces perfect trainee retention results
Norton Rose, CMS and Clydes are a bit meh ... read more > (4 comments)
Ex-Clydes & Herbies lawyer publishes toe-curling story of mid-life crisis
Bad sex award must be in the bag ... read more > (5 comments)
Clyde & Co and Eversheds in blazing run of high trainee retention rates
Squire Patton Boggs, Osborne Clarke and Harbottle look on in awe ... read more > (4 comments)
Clyde & Co whistleblower succeeds in the Supreme Court
And may cost the profession millions in the process ... read more > (1 comment)
Exclusive: Associate redundancies at Clyde & Co
Only two jobs to go: for now ... read more > (3 comments)
Redundancies threatened at Olswang and Clydes
16 jobs at risk ... read more >

Your Views

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.

anonymous user
17/08/2012 14:45
Rate it
Report as offensive
Targets are in the 1600s, and salaries are slightly higher than stated.
anonymous user
11/02/2018 00:35
Rate it
Report as offensive
Salaries depend on departments. Corporate insurance and transactional teams earn more than the insurance litigation teams.