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UK City Firms
Taylor Wessing (London)
Taylor Wessing was the product of the merger between the UK's Taylor Joynson Garrett and German firm Wessing in September 2002.
A client roster including such names as Spotify, Google, Hotel du Vin, Malmaison and Louis Vuitton speaks for itself. Obviously the technology clientele filter through to other parts of the firm. TW also benefits from a respected mid-market corporate practice, specialising in AIM flotations and inward investment from the USA, and has some quirky departments such as private client and advertising and marketing which you don't often find City firms. Real estate is also an area of the firm that's doing well.
As expected for a firm that prides itself on its technology practice, it is pretty forward thinking. Equity is shared out on a merit based system rather than the traditional City lockstep. The firm is keen to stress that it's a gentler approach than the US "eat what you kill" model, and partners are rewarded for overall contribution not just billings, but it's also rumoured to have provoked some division amongst the partnership.
Sources at the firm say it is "
genuinely collegiate (more so than any of the other firms I've worked at)
." Although, some areas of the firm are clearly happier than others, with one 5 year qualified solicitor reporting that in particular departments "
a lot of associates have left recently
Flexible working is offered when possible and female lawyers are offered courses along the lines of "how to deal with male colleagues who talk over you". Hmmm.
As for prospects, one partner enthuses that "
internal promotions are good (after a fallow period)
". Although this is at odds with a more junior member of staff commenting that "
2 out of 3 of last year's promotions were recent laterally hired associates
Overall though, the majority of comments about the firm are positive with an associate saying "
the powers that be communicate the strategy well
" and that the firm is "
friendly and engaging
". Another associate feels that they have a better deal than their chums at larger firms: "
It seems like everyone at a magic circle or US firm hates their life and gets their sole comfort in life from saying how miserable they are. I genuinely like my working life.
.." There are also other advantages to not joining the largest firms in the city, as noted by one associate who says "
there's a feeling that anything you suggest will be considered, it's quite entrepreneurial in that respect.
Revenue was looking very healthy at the end of the 2014 financial year with a whopping 21% increase in UK PEP, up from to £657k from £544k. There has been in line with a rise in UK and global revenue, which reached £112 million in the UK and £241.2 million internationally – representing increases of 7.4% and 6.4% respectively. The increases in revenue was helped by an uplift in work from clients based in the Middle East, Asia and the US, while litigation continued to push up the figures. There was also an improvement in deal flow for finance, real estate and corporate.
With excellent profits, decent salaries and good work TW looks like a good bet. Providing it can get itself into a position where it's making up more women partners. And providing the market remains strong - the firm axed a raft of assistants during the last recession.
Salary (1st seat trainee):
Salary (Salaried partner):
Typical bonus as % of salary
Grant for GDL:
Grant for LPC:
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% of trainees retained:
RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores
Firm of the year overall score:
Contributory, 6% of salary
For those with 2 years of service or more: 6 weeks at 100%, 20 weeks at 60% and the remainder at statutory rates (a proportion of the enhancement must be paid back if employee leaves within a year)
24 hour photocopying support:
24 hour secretarial support:
Explanation and source of figures
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Please keep it nice. Thanks.
erm, gym membership subsidised or not?