Taylor Wessing was created in 2002 from a merger between UK firm Taylor Joynson Garrett and German firm Wessing. A top 20 law firm, Taylor Wessing operates out of 13 offices spread over Europe, Middle East and Asia. The firm has over 290 lawyers in our London office and a total of 750 lawyers internationally. Listed in its ranks of clients are companies such as AXA, Google, IBM, Nike and Nokia . Taylor Wessing’s core strengths are in IP, construction, corporate, employment, private equity, inward US investments, real estate and construction.
Taylor Wessing is a top 20 law firm with a select intake of trainees annually. What this means to aspiring candidates is the chance to gain early hands-on experience and responsibilities. There is a good mix of transactional and case-driven work available and a reasonable annual billing target of 1600 hours.
Routine work during the training contract includes a lot of drafting and research, and some independent work in real estate. Patent litigation is another area where you can gain a lot of experience. For those who would like to gain expertise in pure litigation, work is to be found in construction and property, and general commercial litigation.
On record as a full-service legal firm, Taylor Wessing first gained prominence with its IP and TMT practice. Over time, the firm has made significant strides in shoring up its real estate financing business, construction and Islamic finance, and in private clients. The seven key departments are Intellectual Property; Corporate; Real Estate; Litigation and Dispute resolution; Finance and Projects; Employment and pensions; and Private Client.
There is an increased focus on transactional work, evidenced by several lateral partner hires in corporate, real estate and securities. A fair amount of work with technology companies is carried out at the branch in Cambridge. Taylor Wessing is also involved in pro bono practice, providing legal services at the Blackfriars legal advice clinic and the Prince’s Trust, to name a couple.
Aspiring candidates should have earned a minimum ABB at A-levels and have received or are on course to get a 2:1 degree in any discipline. The intake is not limited to law students; non-law students, especially those with proficiency in sciences and languages, are also acceptable.
Apart from high academic quality, the firm is interested in those candidates who are quick on their feet, mentally agile, are lateral thinkers, can blend and work in teams, have good communication skills, are articulate and display a highly developed sense of commercial awareness. If you are a self-starter, proactive and have a keen desire to pursue a legal career, then the doors at Taylor Wessing are open to you.
The professional skills course is run as a combination of internal and external training. There are three compulsory modules in finance and business skills, client management and advocacy and further training on electives which could also include the above subjects. A separate skills training programme will cover technical skills, client care, team management and individual initiatives.
The two year training period is split into four six-month seats; all trainees should undergo one seat in the corporate practice. The other three seats are as per trainees’ choice, subject to availability and interests in specialization. Compulsory contentious practice can be covered though a seat in litigation and dispute resolution, or in employment and pensions, or IP departments. Other seats are available in real estate, finance and projects and private client.
All trainees will be assigned a current trainee as a buddy and a senior associate or partner as a supervisor in each seat. Mid-seat and end-of-seat appraisals are formal, though there is a constant feedback process throughout the training period which helps trainees chart future development and also identify areas where improvement is required.
The summer placement scheme is held for two weeks, and is open to penultimate year law students and final year non-law students. The number of positions available is about 20 for each session. During the programme, trainees will spend a week each in two departments, assigned to a partner or senior associate. You will be called upon to actively participate and contribute to the daily activity in that department. In addition, trainees will attend various lectures, workshops and seminars conducted by departments throughout the firm to gain an insight into the work and activities there.
Tuition fees for the GDL and LPC are covered in full and an annual maintenance stipend of £6,500 is also paid out. Vacation scheme trainees receive a weekly allowance of £250 during the placement programme.
Trainee Solicitors are paid £36,000 in the first year and £41,000 in the second year of training and £60,000 on qualification. Other benefits included in the remuneration package are contributory pension scheme; health insurance; life assurance; 25-day vacation; season ticket loan; interest-free loan for initial expenses; subsidised restaurant; employee assistance programme; and a concierge service.
Applications for training contracts and vacation schemes are available online and can be completed and submitted by visiting the following link:
Applications for vacation schemes and training contracts are open from November. The closing date for vacation schemes applications is 31 January, for programmes in the coming year. Closing date for Training contract applications is 31 July.
The recruitment process for training contracts and vacation schemes is the same. On submission of applications candidates will attend an assessment centre which is comprised of a group exercise and an interview with a Partner and a member of HR.
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