Herbert Smith Freehills
Pre-eminent in dispute resolution and with an outstanding reputation for high value transactional advice, Herbert Smith LLP is a leading international law firm. Its main clients are prominent global and national businesses that it serves from offices in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The firm is expanding its global network in locations such as New York, South Korea and Germany, and is looking to establish a presence in Francophone Africa and Brazil.
Alongside Herbert Smith’s outstanding reputation in dispute resolution and corporate work, the firm has leading practices in finance, real estate, competition and employment, pensions and incentives. It is also acknowledged as a leader in several industry sectors, including the energy and natural resources and financial institutions sectors.
The strength and breadth of the firm’s practice areas, including corporate, dispute resolution and finance, guarantee excellent training and development opportunities for trainees. The training process balances contentious and non-contentious work; early responsibility and support. An emphasis is also placed on professional and personal development. Herbert Smith’s global reach makes international opportunities a possibility for many.
The firm’s collegiate and non-hierarchical culture means trainees learn to think creatively, challenge assumptions and take nothing at face value. Individualism thrives, but a team spirit pervades all levels of the firm. Trainees, associates, partners and business services staff all share the responsibility and the limelight.
The inclusivity group is an important element of the firm's culture. Comprising of partners and senior business services staff, it promotes a spirit of diversity and equality throughout the firm.
Herbert Smith provides advice and legal services in corporate; dispute resolution; finance; real estate; employment; pensions and incentives; competition, regulation and trade and Intellectual Property. The firms award winning in-house advocacy unit is the first such unit in the UK and offers a complete dispute resolution service and an alternative to the bar.
Most of the work has a cross-border element. Herbert Smith’s network of offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East share a number of the firm’s clients and frequently work together to advise them on multi-jurisdictional matters and regulatory issues. Everyone who joins Herbert Smith is encouraged to spend time working in an international office during their career.
The firm advises companies and institutions such as Goldman Sachs, BP, Citigroup, Chevron, BSkyB, BAT, Tata, TUI Travel, Morgan Stanley, Coca-Cola, EDF Energy, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, RBS, HBOS, O2 and Time Warner.
The minimum academic qualification required is a 2:1 degree (or equivalent); applications are accepted from students with law and non-law backgrounds, full graduates in any stream and those looking to change careers.
As well as a solid academic record, applicants require a strong level of commercial awareness and the common sense to be able to make their own way in a large firm. Combine these qualities with a creative and questioning mind, and Herbert Smith will offer you great challenges and rewards.
Key among the other qualities required are, motivation for a legal career, organisational and interpersonal skills, strong analytical skills and judgment, as well as lateral thinking and initiative.
A two-week induction programme at the commencement of your training contract covers people in the firm; client care; advocacy; finance and business skills; I.T. and networking; legal research; documentation; risk management; business development; and information on the training contract.
Trainees will do four seats (six months each) during the two year training period. All trainees spend time in the dispute resolution and corporate divisions in London. Seats are also available in finance, real estate, employment, pensions and incentives, competition, regulation and trade, IP, tax, property litigation, planning, non-contentious construction and the advocacy unit.
In addition, trainees can go on client secondments to companies like IBM or BSkyB; or undertake an overseas secondment to an international office, such as Dubai, Tokyo, Paris or Hong Kong. Trainees are assigned to, and supervised by, partners or senior associates in each seat.
The supervisor provides work, monitors performance and provides general guidance and support through the duration of the seat. A trainee solicitor mentor is assigned for overall advice and support, with whom the trainee will interact before commencing the training contract, as well as throughout the training period. Every trainee is also assigned a partner mentor for the duration of the training contract to provide advice and counsel on matters relating to the firm.
The structured training schedule provided includes the Professional Skills Course and the firm’s in-house training programme, Legal Education Programme, which is continuous during the life-cycle of a solicitor in the firm.
Herbert Smith trainees are required to undergo a tailor-made accelerated LPC course, developed in collaboration with BPP and four other City firms: Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose, Slaughter & May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Core modules in the LPC cover corporate, finance transactions, real estate matters and dispute resolution. Trainees are required to take electives which have the greatest relevance to the firm's practice — Corporate Transactions, Debt Finance and Equity Finance.
Herbert Smith conducts summer and winter placement schemes every year for penultimate year students, finalists and graduates from all disciplines. The summer scheme is run in three batches with each batch offering 25 places between June and August. The winter scheme also offers 25 places in December.
Trainees are assigned to share office space with a partner or senior associate, and will be allocated tasks specific to the supervisor’s open case-work. Workshops, lectures and discussions provide additional training and information on different practice areas, as well as an overview of the firm and what is entailed in training at Herbert Smith. The vacation placements are also a good opportunity to network with representatives of the firm at various social events.
The firm also runs two day workshops exclusively for first year students around Easter time. The workshops are designed to give students an early insight into a career at an international law firm and feature case studies, workshops, work shadowing, tips on how to apply, as well as an overnight stay in London.
Trainees receive salaries of £38,000 in the first year and £43,000 in the second year.
The firm provides full tuition fees for GDL and LPC courses, professional memberships and an annual maintenance allowance for the duration of each of the two courses. Maintenance grants during the GDL are £6,000 in London and £5,000 outside of London. For the LPC, the maintenance grants are £6,000. All students have to study at BPP in London on the accelerated LPC course. The firm also provides discretionary grants for, amongst other things, language courses prior to joining.
Other benefits provided are a contributory pension scheme, 25 days annual holiday allowance, a performance related bonus scheme, private medical insurance, permanent health insurance, interest-free loans for season tickets and relocation/start-up costs (£2,000); life assurance and subsidised gym membership.
Application forms for training contracts, vacation schemes and first year workshops are available online at: http://www.herbertsmithgraduates.com/apply/apply_now/
Students should apply for the winter scheme between 1 October and 31 October and for the summer schemes between 1 December and 15 January.
Training contract applications should be submitted between 1 October and 15 January for finalists and graduates and between 1 June and 31 July for penultimate year students.
First year workshop applications should be submitted between 1 January and 31 January.
Shortlisted candidates for both the vacation scheme and training contract places will attend an assessment day at the London office. The assessment is comprised of a case-study presentation, group exercise and competency interview. The candidates will be given a tour of the offices and a chance to meet current trainees.
Herbert Smith Freehills
020 7374 8000
020 7374 0888
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