Simmons & Simmons
Dynamic and innovative, Simmons & Simmons has a reputation for offering a superior legal service, wherever and whenever it is required. Our lawyers’ high-quality advice and the positive working atmosphere have won admiration and praise from both the legal community and our business clients.We offer all our trainees the opportunity to become leading business lawyers in some of the most important financial centres of the world.
We encourage our people to attain the highest standards of excellence, so they can meet the challenges we set and make the very best of their talents. We are proud of our position as a leading international law firm.
A well-known and established firm with a 112-year pedigree, S&S has had its share of ups-and-downs over time, its performance over the last five years counting among the most remarkable turnarounds in corporate history.
Positioned in the UK below the top-tier of ‘magic circle’ firms, S&S is the place to be in if you’re looking for a legal career where the work and client roster is first-class; finance and corporate practices rule the hallways; and still the firm has a friendly, collegial work-culture where there is ample scope for growth; the remuneration is reasonably high and 80% of your life and time are not entwined around hard labour.
In other words, about 1700 hours average yearly billing targets, if you achieve this and go even higher, you will be rewarded with a good bonus. Also available is the option to trade-in about five days’ vacation, with a major portion of the workforce actually preferring to pay for the extra five holidays!
Simmons & Simmons has consciously limited its focus on providing services in a limited number of sectors, thereby building a reputation for quality work rather than being an average full-service provider.
The focus areas are financial institutions, life sciences, technology/media/telecommunications (TMT), energy and infrastructure.
The firm has also expertise in employment, litigation and projects and is considered to be among the top providers in these areas. The finance practice is much vaunted and reputed as one of the strongest in the field. Specific fields where S&S is notably strong are:
(i) Hedge Funds;
(iii) Mergers and acquisitions;
(iv) public law and public sector enterprises.
A consistent and excellent academic history with a minimum of 340 UCAS points at A-levels and a 2:1 degree is required.
Candidates should be all-rounders with proven histories in extra-curricular activities; have served in positions of leadership/responsibility at various educational levels (not compulsory but a plus point); and have previous work experience, if any.
Also important are clear and concise thought processes; being solution oriented; erudite in verbal and written expression; enthusiastic; outgoing; team-players; congenial and have excellent people management skills.
The firm prefers future trainees to complete the LPC from BPP Law School in London, though candidates doing the GDL can complete the LPC in any school of their choice.
The training contract begins with a three-week induction programme. There are four seats of six-month duration where trainees will be put to work on actual deals and transactions. All will be required to complete the Professional Skills Course and work-experience in four business areas by the end of the contract.
The training will also cover various legal and business skills current developments, usage of resource tools, preparing documentation, managing and servicing clients, and communication and negotiation skills. Opportunities for client secondments or overseas placements will also be available.
At every seat, trainees will report to a seat supervisor who allocates work and provides assistance and direction when required. Partners will be assigned as mentors to each trainee for the complete duration of the contract, providing knowledge and advice on seat selection, policies and processes, etc.
Informal reviews are conducted every three months, and a more formal appraisal is conducted at the end of each seat. The informal reviews are used to review interim progress and initiate course-correction, if required.
Two summer vacation placement programmes are conducted between June and August. Each scheme runs for four weeks, during which trainees will be placed in two practice areas of the firm, each for two weeks.
Each trainee will be assigned to a partner or associate who will allocate work and supervise trainee’s performance in that area. A current trainee is assigned as a ‘buddy’ to provide support and help the trainee assimilate into the work-culture and activities of the firm.
Trainees are required to actively participate in the completion of allocated tasks which will provide an insight into various deals and transactions done by the firm every day. The tasks could involve research, drafting, attending internal meetings and with clients. Formal training is by way of lectures and workshops covering practice areas and training in legal and technical skills.
Trainees will also work together on a project assigned to them and make a presentation at the end of the programme. The firm also conducts Open Days and Insight Workshops, the latter directed towards students with a non-law background.
The Open Day is a short one-day overview of the firm and its work, presentations by partners and associates on actual deals and transactions and an exercise in negotiation. The firm holds four Open Days during the period March to July.
Two insight workshops are conducted each year during December and January, each for three days. These are open to penultimate and final year non-law students and are an abbreviated version of the summer placement scheme.
Tuition fees for GDL & LPC are sponsored in full. Maintenance allowance of £7500 is paid during the LPC and £6500 in London and £5000 elsewhere during the GDL course.
Interest-free advance on salary of £2000 to facilitate all incidental expenses prior to commence of the training contract can also be availed of. Salaries for trainees start at £36,000.
Other benefits are pension scheme, 25 days’ vacation, group travel, group accident and life insurance, subsidised on-site restaurant, medical cover, free transport on late nights, interest-free season ticket loan, employee assistance and fitness loan. During the vacation placement programmes, participants will be paid a weekly allowance of £250.
Application forms are available on-line at http://fsr.cvmailuk.com/simmonscareers/main. Training contract applications should be submitted between 1 November and 31 July.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an assessment day which is comprised of four tasks. First, a document exercise where you will be required to analyse and present information and discuss the document in question with either a partner or an associate.
The second task is an interview, followed by lunch and an informal get-together with current trainees and other staff. The last task is a written exercise where candidates will be assessed on their ability to present information in an ordered, logical manner, and is time-bound, testing the ability to work within deadlines and under pressure.
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020 7628 2020
020 7628 2070
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