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

Osborne Clarke (London, Bristol, Reading)

Our view....
Osborne Clarke is on stellar form. Global revenues hit €245.1m in 2016/17, up 12% per cent on the previous year. In the UK, they rose 7% from £112.9m in 2015/16 to £121m in 2016/17. In the UK, net profits grew 5% to £52.5m in 2016/17 and PEP rose from £635k to £652k. 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 continues to performs extremely well in RollOnFriday's Firm of the Year survey. In 2016 it came third, in 2017 it came second. The culture at Osborne Clarke is "excellent", said lawyers there, with "a strong emphasis on our well-being". And, just as importantly, said a trainee, "I usually leave no later than 6:30pm". Partners are "down to earth" and "treat everyone with respect and courtesy", said a senior associate.

There is a "sensible take on (having a) family life" at The OC, said an associate, where "I feel entirely supported in my career development". Management is dynamic, said several others, with one concluding that Osborne Clarke is "Small enough to listen, big enough to make some noise". As for "Sunday night dread", it is "actually a thing of the past - not something I ever thought I'd say".

Staff said the leadership was "friendly", "open" and "makes you feel valued".  But it's a team effort, said others, and the "fab atmosphere" is helped by "having people in charge who really give a shit about the firm and its people".

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
For more information on Osborne Clarke click here


Salary (1st seat trainee): £40,000
Salary (NQ): £65,000
Salary (1PQE):
Salary (2PQE):
Salary (3PQE):
Salary (Salaried partner):

Bonus Scheme

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


Grant for GDL: £6,500
Grant for LPC: £6,500
Training places per year: 20
% of trainees retained: 100%

RollOnFriday Firm of the Year Scores

Salary: 72%
Development: 75%
Work/Life: 80%
Openness: 89%
Biscuits: 90%
Toilets: 69%
Social: 70%
Firm of the year overall score: 78%


Holiday allowance: 25 -28
Flexi holiday: No
Pension: Group personal pension scheme
Healthcare: Yes
Maternity policy: Enhanced to 12 weeks' full pay on completion of 1 year's service, 15 weeks' full pay on completion of 3 years' service on or before the 11th week prior to the EWC
Target hours: 1300
Childcare vouchers: Yes
Gym: Discounted corporate membership
Restaurant: Yes
24 hour photocopying support: Yes
24 hour secretarial support: Yes
Other: Christmas shopping day, season ticket loan, life assurance, eye care, cycle to work scheme, paternity leave


News Stories

Revealed: The RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2018
The happiest firm is ... read more > (2 comments)
Osborne Clarke announces 100% retention rate
Huzzah! ... read more >
RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 - The Winner
The firm with the happiest staff ... read more > (3 comments)
Exclusive: Osborne Clarke partner in sweary LinkedIn embarrassment
Issues apology to Spurs fans ... read more > (12 comments)
Perfect trainee retention at Osborne Clarke and Macfarlanes
Even Mayer Brown reverses its trend of making a hash of it ... read more >
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)
Osborne Clarke awards all staff 2% bonus
Grateful partners give away a chunk of their profits as a tip ... read more > (2 comments)
Osborne Clarke announces that its lawyers must score 100% in new tests
And warns that repeated failure "could be an issue" ... read more > (6 comments)
FFW fails to pull off Osborne Clarke merger
Always the bridesmaid ... read more > (5 comments)
FFW to merge with Osborne Clarke. Or someone else.
Anyone? Please? ... read more > (11 comments)

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
20/09/2013 09:50
Rate it
Report as offensive
This really needs to be updated. Try international offices in Germany (3), Spain (2), Italy (4), Brussels, Paris and California.
anonymous user
22/04/2014 11:57
Rate it
Report as offensive
There is a very obvious 'up and out policy' these days and the career structure has totally changed - this is very out of date.
anonymous user
05/08/2016 16:09
Rate it
Report as offensive
OC actually has an official written down 'up or out' policy. The top level associate is actually described as a "temporary" role before you (a) make partner (not likely), or (b) have "career opportunities" elsewhere.