Osborne Clarke (London, Bristol, Reading)
Osborne Clarke is on stellar form. 2015/16 global revenues are up by 17% to £112.9m largely due to its sector focus and recent international expansion. It's gone from having six offices in three countries to 20 offices over nine countries, covering Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the USA.
The firm recently acted for Carphone Warhouse on its £1.7bn demerger and £500m acquisition and advised Grifols on its $4bn acquisition of Talecris and subsequent acquisition of part of Novartis for $1.7bn.
One of OC's trump cards is that its London office (which now undertakes circa 40% of the firm's work) can outsource work to its Bristol and Thames Valley offices. These have lower costs, so the firm can turn a bigger profit: great news if you're a partner, or a Bristol-based assistant keen to do City work. And the firm's new salary structure for senior assistants means that you should be appropriately paid for it.
One of the first things the previous Managing Partner Simon Beswick did was to provide a clear structure to career progression at the firm. Mid-level lawyers who've proved themselves can be promoted to associates, when they get a cash bonus, discretionary pay and a formal development programme to give them the skills they need for partnership. There's no up-or-out policy, so if you don't like the idea of sacrificing your life to the firm it's possible for you to be a long term "associate of value".
OC's headquarters have also now moved from Bristol to London, with Bristol being labelled the firm's 'home town'. This was a sensible move as its London office continues to pull in first class work and is more and more likely to be seen on deals alongside the likes of Travers Smith and Macfarlanes.
OC performed extremely well in RollOnFriday's 2016 UK Firm of the Year survey
, coming in the top three. New Managing Partner Ray Berg has clearly hit the ground running - respondents rated management at 92%, praising the firm for its "lack of hierarchy", "balanced outlook on life" and "amazing people", and scored its culture 95%, the highest-rated in the survey.
NB: the salaries listed in the table are for London. You're not on quite as much in the regions. NQs in Bristol get £47k and in Reading, £50k.
Top quality work, rapidly rising profits and an open and meaningful career structure make OC a good egg. For more information on Osborne Clarke click here