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Compare the London law firm

22nd February 2016

Comparing the London law firms

Whilst legal recruitment agencies and firms can help you get the best positions in the market, it is still worth putting in some groundwork to identify which law firms are the best in their sector as this can help you decide which firms you could see yourself working for.

Likewise for Magic Circle law firms and other employers, attracting the most promising lawyers is vital as well.

So, to save the potential employee some time, we have created a guide to the top London law firms. Don’t compare the market, compare the London law firm.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law is an award-winning, full-service firm that has set law free by combining the best in technology with an agile business structure that places human relationships front and centre.

The firm boasts over 180 partner-level lawyers, each with an average of 23 years’ post-qualification experience gained from some of the UK’s leading law firms and in-house teams, Keystone offers clients access to a largely unparalleled strength and depth of legal expertise.

In some respects, the firm presents something of a dichotomy. Whilst clients receive advice that is comparable to the nation’s biggest law firms - Keystone’s collegiate culture, ceaseless pursuit to find better ways of working and, most importantly, its dedication to building deeper relationships, means that the firm’s brand philosophy is much more akin to the entrepreneurial spirit of its clients.

Practice areas

Keystone’s offering ranges across a total of 25 different practice areas, including Corporate and commercial, Finance, Dispute resolution, Employment, Intellectual property, Property, Planning and Tax.

Benefits

75% of fees earnt for work undertaken for own clients and additional remuneration on internal referrals of work, unrestricted flexible working including unlimited annual leave, hierarchy-free business structure, 100% autonomy over legal practice and no billing targets, active social calendar, annual firm ski trip, numerous golf and sports events.

Offices

London, Bristol, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Sydney and Melbourne.

Keystone Law

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has offices all over the world and has multi-national clients such as Barclays, HSBC and BP, among others. Their strengths include superior international delivery, an exceptional track record, business-relevant judgement, people understanding and client commitment, making them a highly competitive player in the field.

Practice areas

General practice; Antitrust, competition and trade; Corporate; Disputes; Employment, pensions and benefits; Finance; Intellectual property and information technology; Real estate; Tax.

Benefits

Pension scheme, private medical insurance, permanent health insurance, life assurance, car share scheme, cycle to work scheme, interest-free loan, interest-free travel loan, gym, and subsidised restaurant.

Offices

Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bahrain, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Vienna, Washington DC.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells offers a range of lawyer jobs in London across their practice areas and with over 2,500 lawyers working for them, they are proven to deliver exceptional service to their clients and provide a high standard working environment for their employees.

Practice areas

General practice, Corporate, Finance, Government regulatory, Intellectual property, Litigation and arbitration.

Benefits

25 days of leave; private medical insurance; life assurance; private health insurance; season ticket loan; in-house gym; subsidised staff restaurant; access to a dentist, doctor and physiotherapist; discounts at local retailers.

Offices

Alicante, Amsterdam, Baltimore, Beijing, Brussels, Budapest, Caracas, Colorado Springs, Denver, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Monterrey, Moscow, Munich, New York, Northern Virginia, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, Rome, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo, Ulaanbaatar, Warsaw, Washington DC, Zagreb.

Hogan Lovells

Irwin Mitchell LLP

Nationally acclaimed Irwin Mitchell offers services to both individuals and businesses, making their working environment unique and diverse. The firm employs over 2,200 people across their 10 UK offices and the perks of working for them reflect their status as one of the UK’s largest and most respected firms.

Practice areas

General practice, Corporate, Employment, Real estate, Commercial litigation, Banking and finance litigation, Employment, Intellectual property, Pensions, Planning, Property litigation, Tax.

Benefits

24.5 days of leave, pension, professional subscriptions, health plan, death in service and critical illness cover.

Offices

Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southampton.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters are one of the leading global firms but they have ambitions to be the leading law firm in the world. Linklaters have an impressive client list as they are constantly focusing on them, but the firm also has thousands of employees that profit from their array of employee benefits.

Practice areas

General practice, Banking, Corporate and M&A, Employment and incentives, Intellectual property, Pensions, Private equity, Real estate, Tax.

Benefits

Eligibility for a personal performance-related bonus, pension, private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, in-house healthcare services, family-friendly benefits, in-house gym, subsidised staff restaurant, interest-free season ticket loan, holiday travel insurance, time bank scheme, cycle2work and Give As You Earn.

Offices

Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington DC.

Clifford Chance LLP

International firm Clifford Chance has been a consistent high player in the legal sector for many years and as a result has attracted the biggest clients and, subsequently, some of the most high-profile lawyers. Having been awarded International Law Firm of the Year in the Chambers Awards 2013 and IFLR Europe Awards 2014, their reputation really does speak for itself.

Practice areas

Banking and finance, Capital markets, Corporate and M&A, Litigation and dispute, Resolution, Real estate, Tax, Pensions and employment.

Benefits

25 days of leave; contribution to a pension of up to 6%; interest-free season ticket loan; private health insurance; life assurance; eligibility for our income protection scheme (permanent health insurance); access to the firm's subsidised restaurant and shops; concierge service; free use of the fitness centre, swimming pool, squash courts and wellness centre; up to six weeks' leave on qualification.

Offices

Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta*, Kyiv, London, London Coleman Street, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Moscow, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Riyadh, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington D.C.

*Linda Widyati & Partners in association with Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

A City Law Firm

A City Law Firm is located in the heart of London and works for clients based all over the UK as well as international companies too.

The firm provides a high level of service, but one that is personalised to a specific legal need and this is done in the way of assigning a dedicated client manager to a specific case. This means clients benefit from straight-talking and easy-to-understand legal advice.

Practice areas

Family law, Child law, Private client, Business law, Dispute resolution, Employee’s legal advice, Employer’s legal advice.

Offices

London.

Allen and Overy LLP

With over 5,000 staff across 42 offices located all over the world, Allen & Overy boast an impressive portfolio of clients that often attract the most ambitious lawyers.

With an 83-year history, their status as one of the world’s leading firms is fully deserved and their developed relationships with law firms in over 100 countries where they do not hold offices means that their worldwide presence and reputation is strong and growing.

Practice areas

General practice; Banking and finance; Corporate and M&A; Employment and benefits; Environment and Regulatory law; Financial services regulation and Investigations

Insurance; Intellectual Property; Litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution; Real estate; Tax.

Benefits

Life insurance, pension scheme, an interest-free season ticket loan, on-site gym and sports hall, medical, dental and physiotherapy service, beauty treatment centre, dry cleaners, music rooms, multi-faith prayer rooms and two restaurants.

Offices

Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Belfast, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Mannheim, Milan, Munich, Moscow, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Riyadh, Rome, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington DC. Associated office, Yangon.

Pinsent Masons LLP

With over 500 of their 1,500-strong team based in their London headquarters, Pinsent Masons works hard for both its clients and staff, developing and strengthening relationships through empowering lawyers to achieve the best that they can.

The firm has a diverse client base and work ensures that they are constantly delivering fresh ideas as they dedicate their time to ‘tipping the scales in your favour’ either in court or in the marketplace.

Practice areas

Banking and restructuring; Construction advisory and disputes; Employment; Insurance and reinsurance; Litigation and international arbitration; Projects; Regulatory; TMT and sourcing; Commercial; Corporate; EU and competition; Intellectual property; Pensions; Property; Tax.

Benefits

Annual Bonus scheme, Eye care vouchers, Employee assistance programme, Flexible working, Flu vaccinations, Gym loan, Life assurance, Loyalty award, Maternity/Adoption leave package in excess of the statutory allowance, Occupational health, Paternity leave, Private medical health insurance, Staff introduction scheme, Travel season, Ticket loan, Permanent health insurance for all eligible staff.

Offices

Aberdeen, Belfast, Beijing, Dubai, Edinburgh, The Falkland Islands, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Munich, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai and Singapore; and within England, in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester.

Pinsent Masons

These are just a handful of London’s most prestigious and well-respected law firms and what they can offer their staff. To learn more, speak with an experienced legal recruitment agency who can offer unbiased insight into the legal field in the City and help you secure the role and firm that is right for you.

Image Credit: Günter Hentschel, Keystone Law, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, University of Exeter, Bob Hall.