Check out this week's top Asia-Pacific news on the Asia Pacific Headline page.

Follow RoF

For all the breaking news, follow RoF on Twitter and Facebook


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.


Make the most of your free time. Weekend features the best exhibitions, shows and outings for this and next weekend.

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

Hogan Lovells (London)

Our view...

Lovells always used to be a funny old firm. Even those from within wondered where it was heading. As one associate put it: “the firm’s not really sure what it wants to be - are we a transactional powerhouse, masters of litigation, or a collection of ultra-specialists in some of the niche areas like IP and financial services? The staff are happy being the third option but the senior management want more of the first.

All was finally resolved on 1st May 2010, when it merged with US firm Hogan & Hartson to become Hogan Lovells, one of the biggest firms in the world. Four years on and it's doing ok, thank you.

The firm managed to post cracking results even during the worst of the recession, though they've flattened now. In 2012/2013 turnover was £581m (this is all excluding the Americas), with profits up £10 million to £205.7m. It's a classic example of how to make crappy market conditions work in your favour – litigation and business restructuring are going great guns. Even its capital markets team has been busy working on structured investment vehicles.

The work is top drawer, and post-merger it has over 40 offices in Europe, Asia and the US. In the past the firm advised Softbank on an £8.9billion buyout of Vodafone Japan, and worked for private equity house Cinven. More recently, the Icelandic Government turned to Lovells when it was thinking of taking on the British Government over the Landesbank debacle. Unusually for a firm of this size, it's not just corporate which makes the headlines: all of its litigators are put up for higher rights qualifications.

From a pure profitability point of view the firm is unlikely to challenge the Magic Circle – however well it pays its partners, they only make about half what they’d get at Linklaters. But it doesn’t need to. According to one associate, this “reflects a good work life balance for associates and a lower leverage that allows real prospects of partnership”. It's hard to argue with that.

This firm also takes enormous pride in marketing its “friendliness”. And by and large the evidence supports this. A trainee says that "we are expected to have a life outside of work and whilst friends in other firms cancel their dinner plans we can generally make ours every time". And one associate even reported that "a number of the partners seem to genuinely care if you are repeatedly in the office past a certain time". How novel.

We can't even be rude about its infamously shabby London offices any more, as it's moved into swanky new Atlantic House (still in the same handy Holborn Viaduct location). In fact it's now "accidentally trendy (now Amazon have moved in next door)".

Although the pay is pretty good, be warned, the bonus system - or apparent lack of it - is a serious bone of contention amongst associates. It is, says one, "a cruel joke" since, according to another, it is "based on hours worked over target (which is high - 1700) so is basically an overtime payment. And no-one seems to get the "discretionary" bonus”. And if you’re a trainee, forget it, you don’t even get the option of getting one.

On the upside the firm has an alternative to partnership that actually works, by way of its counsel role, and associates are put through various papers at Cass Business School which can amount to a full MBA.

The combination of good pay, good quality work, a supportive environment and a well-developed international network makes HogLove a serious alternative to the Magic Circle. One HogLover says, "We get paid the same as our Magic Circle friends but don't have to put up with working for sociopaths or have to suffer the same relentless working schedule".
Of course it remains to be seen whether it can retain its well-regarded culture in the post-merger years to come. But so far things look good.

For more information on HogLove click here

For more information on Hogan Lovells click here


Salary (1st seat trainee): £41,000
Salary (NQ): £70,000
Salary (1PQE): £70,750
Salary (2PQE): £77,000
Salary (3PQE): £85,000
Salary (Salaried partner):

Bonus Scheme

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


Grant for GDL: £8,000
Grant for LPC: £8,000
Training places per year: 80
% of trainees retained: 77%

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 72%
Development: 72%
Work/Life: 63%
Openness: 60%
Biscuits: 89%
Toilets: 75%
Social: 75%
Firm of the year overall score: 70%


Holiday allowance: 25
Flexi holiday: No
Pension: Non-contributory standard but matched contributions are available subject to limits
Healthcare: Yes
Maternity policy: Statutory but enhanced after one year's service
Target hours: 1700
Childcare vouchers: Yes
Gym: On site and free
Restaurant: Yes
24 hour photocopying support: Yes
24 hour secretarial support: Yes
Other: Trainees get the option to receive another advance pay of £1000, Cycle2Work scheme, GAP, Concierge service


News Stories

Hogan Lovells pays tribute to lawyer killed in Paris attacks
"Talented, extremely well liked, and a wonderful personality" ... read more > (1 comment)
HogLove NQ stands for parliament
Reveals who he'd save if Boris and Dave were hanging off a cliff ... read more > (2 comments)
Hogan Lovells launches in Australia with partner divorce plan
Husband and wife team to work 2,000 miles apart ... read more >
HogLove trainee retention rate crumbles
Nabarro achieves perfection, Ashurst comes close ... read more >
HogLove plans budget office in Birmingham
Will take on only the most tedious jobs ... read more > (2 comments)
HogLove sponsors Team GB Paralympians
Will draft all the way to Rio ... 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.

Be the first to add your view