K & L Gates
K&L Gates represents leading global corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals. K&L's practice is robustly a full market practice at once regional, national and international in scope, and it is cutting edge, complex, and dynamic. In 2009, their revenues exceeded $1 billion.
The London office, with more than 140 lawyers, advises on a wide range of business matters with a focus on corporate, mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, restructuring and insolvency, finance, funds, anti trust, competition & trade regulation, real estate, planning and environment, intellectual property, digital media and sport, construction, insurance coverage, regulatory work, tax, employment, pensions & incentives, litigation, international arbitration, white collar crime and other forms of dispute resolution.
On the work-front, K&L Gates has an excellent training programme with a small intake, ensuring quality prospects. Since it is still in an expansionist mode, working hours are reasonable and not stretched as those expected of US firms, or from any of the magic circle.
Annual billing hour targets are currently fixed at 1400, and salaries are still at UK mid-size firm rates; both are expected to rise further over the next few years. The work-culture remains congenial and comfortable, an open-door policy is in place and the management firmly believes in a good work/life balance.
Extra-curricular activities are available in abundance, both at the department and firm levels. These include team sports, get-togethers and City charity events. The firm also has a vigorous pro bono practice, which has gained much acclaim and several rewards.
Work at K&LG falls into six categories: corporate and transactional; financial services; IP; litigation; policy and regulatory; and industries and services. At a micro level, corporate includes: AIM listing; private equity; M&A; insolvency; insurance; capital markets; and companies in FTSE and FORTUNE 100.
Financial services is spread over investment and hedge funds; bankruptcy/insolvency; depositories; banking; and financial institutions. Litigation functions across the spectrum: commercial; insurance; labour and employment; product liability; torts; antitrust and trade disputes; and professional liability and so on.
IP covers trademarks; copyrights; patents; licensing; data security; and e-commerce. The regulatory practice provides services in appellate; governmental and constitutional policy and regulatory matters; public finance; and procurement policies. Industry and Service practice covers sports; travel; media; entertainment; life sciences; immigration; and data protection.
There is also a small practice devoted to electoral law providing advice on balloting and local, regional and national level election issues among other things.
The client roster at K&LG is huge and packed with well-known names such as HSBC, Thomas Cook, Eurostar, Arena Leisure, CBS, Bank of America, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Philips, Viacom, T-Mobile, AXA, and Starbucks.
The firm accepts applications from penultimate year law and final year non-law students. Aspirants should have an excellent academic record, with 320 UCAS points at A-level, and be on course for a 2:1 or higher degree. In addition, they look for strong, positive individuals who can blend well and work in teams, are flexible and quick-thinking and are ideally self-starters.
It is important to have a reasonably good knowledge of business and commerce, and display sufficient enthusiasm and interest in working for a large international law firm with a variety of clients across the globe.
Fifteen training contracts are on offer annually, and the firm aims to retain the maximum number of trainees post qualification, so it is best that you research and find all information about the firm, its clients and the organisational ethos.
The K&LG training programme is well-designed and takes care of ensuring trainees get an in-depth look in all its areas of practice.
Trainees will undergo training in essential legal and technical skills to enable a first-class performance. Back in London, there are four seats of six months duration. In each seat, trainees work directly for a partner in that unit with active participation in the latter’s case load, and will be engaged in business development, client relations and resourcing jobs.
There is also an exclusive mentor (a senior associate) assigned to each trainee, who takes care of guidance and assistance in all matters.
The classroom training continues throughout the two-year period, grounding trainees in legal skills, negotiation, communication, management and client servicing skills. The firm takes into consideration trainees’ choice when it comes to seat allocation, but it will also depend on activity levels and caseloads in the chosen seat.
Two confirmed seats, in which all trainees will work on rotation, are property and corporate; other important seats are in financial services and litigation. Smaller but no less important are seats in employment, tax and banking.
In each of these departments, there are several sub-seats available where the work ranges from normal to frenzied, and there is a lot of variety in clients and casework. In property, sub-seats are in residential/commercial real estate, planning and environment, property finance and exclusive commercial real estate.
The corporate seat splits into private equity, M&A and AIM. The financial services unit is still a nascent department, but growing rapidly and is expected to become the hub of activity in future. Here the choice is between fund formation and regulatory directives involving a lot of study and research.
The litigation and dispute resolution department is a very exciting seat to work in, given the nature and size of its cases. There are smaller specialist litigation areas in sports, travel, entertainment, IP, construction and bankruptcy.
K&L Gates conducts one summer vacation placement scheme a year in the month of July. This programme runs for two weeks, and trainees will get to work and experience life in a number of different areas. A minimum of at least two departments should be covered during the programme; trainees can choose those that interest them the most, but they are subject to availability.
Lectures, seminars and lunchtime events are organised throughout the programme, giving trainees an insight into law practice in general, and the firm’s work and philosophy in particular.
The vacation scheme is open to penultimate year law, final year non-law students and all graduates. If you are unable to get into the vacation scheme, the firm also conducts several Open Days which have a similar, but abbreviated, agenda as the vacation scheme. These are conducted between January and May, and there are usually about five to six Open Days each year.
GDL and LPC course fees and the Law Society registration fee are covered in full. A maintenance allowance of £5,000 is paid during the GDL course and £7,000 during the LPC.
First-year trainees receive a salary of £35,000, and second-year trainees get £38,000. The firm’s bonus scheme pays up to 10% of salary as annual bonus.
Other benefits include a contributory pension scheme, 25-day annual vacation, interest-free season ticket loans, medical and permanent health insurance life assurance and a subsidised gym membership.
Applications for training contracts and vacation schemes are available online at: http://www.cvmailuk.com/klgates/. Submission is open till 31 July, open to penultimate year law, final year non-law students and other graduates in any discipline.
The summer vacation placement scheme is open to penultimate year law students, final year non-law students and graduates. The last date for submission of applications is 31 January for a July 2013 start.
London UK Office
020 7648 9000
020 7648 9001
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