Shoosmiths

Born in Northampton, Shoosmiths now has 13 offices, all in the UK, home to 195 partners and 1,521 lawyers and business support employees. 

It announced a turnover of £137.6 million to end April 2019. 

Clients the firm cites include Hewlett-Packard and Krispy Kreme, and in April 2019 the firm announced a turnover of £137 million, up 7% from the year before. Net profit also rose, up 6% to £37.9m.

Shoosmiths works to a simple formula: a can do ethos, values that are much more than words on paper, and the agility to find the best way for each individual client - whether that's ways of working, pricing structures or just innovative ideas that make a real commercial difference.

Lawyers at the firm who responded to the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year survey were generally positive in their comments. 

A junior solicitor said pay "feels relatively competitive with the market" in their experience. Another said pay wasn't great, but the trade-off was reasonable hours.

"Hours are generally pretty good", said another. There was "no expectation of 'face time'. Unless it's manic, usually out of the door between 6-6:30pm".

"Bosses can be demanding but there is no requirement for 'face time'", agreed a colleague. "Agile working allows working from home which is great."

A partner backed up that perception. "My team can work agile and I don't mind whether they're at the office, home, at the park or on the school run at any point in time," they said, "provided they get their hours on the sheet and get back to me on their working days within 4 hours or the end of the day (whichever comes first) and they invariably do". 

He noted, though, that "some of my fellow partners take a less enlightened attitude". Thos who require their team to show face-time "are, in my experience, utter [unprintables], believe me", he added. 

As for culture, "Having worked for a few larger firms, Shoosmiths is by far and away the friendliest, most supportive and most down to earth", said one junior solicitor.

"We're not the best, but we're not the worst", said a partner. "We're doing OK to retain people".

Although watch out for the partner who "idolises Harvey Specter from Suits. He says he loves him. In fact he tries to base his own persona around him - but fails"

The hot-desking has its critics, and opinion on the "free fruit throughout the week" is, surprisingly, divided. It "gets fingered and is more or less inedible by the end of the week", said one complainant (just wash it first, surely?).

Please note that the salary figures given in the table are for London.

Trainee pay is between £27,000 and £28,000 in the regions, and £25,000 and £26,000 in Edinburgh.

Placement students are paid £310 per week.
 
Regional NQ pay is £42,500 and in Edinburgh it's £40,000.

Offices

HQ
Milton Keynes
UK Offices
Manchester, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham, Southampton, Thames Valley
Non-UK Offices
-

Salary

1st Year Trainee
£38,000
2nd Year Trainee
£39,000
NQ
£65,000
1 PQE
-
2 PQE
-
3 PQE
-
Profit Per Equity Partner
£441,000

Benefits

Target Hours
None
Allowance
23 to 30. Plus a day for birthday and a day for CSR
Bonus
-
Gender Pay Gap
-
Health Care
Yes
Flexible Working
Yes
Maternity & Paternity Policy
Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay available

Trainees

Trainees Retained 2017
71%
Training contracts per year
29

Shoosmiths’s Firm of the Year Scores

Overall
58%
Pay
41%
Career Development
60%
Management
58%
Culture
66%
Work / Life Balance
63%
Snacks
63%
Loos
65%

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