The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Tracing back its roots over 250 years, London-based Fladgate is organised into three departments: corporate, real estate and litigation. The firm advises a wide range of corporate, institutional and private clients on their business and personal interests.
The star performers
Commercial contracts; Commercial property: corporate occupiers; Construction (contentious); Family; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Fraud: civil; Gaming and betting; Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Property finance; Property litigation; Residential property; Sport
Acted for Hodson Developments on the £150m financing of the acquisition and development of Chilmington Green, a mixed-use community in Ashford; advised Penguin Books on the employment aspects of the sale of its travel guide business to APA Publishing; acted for Glorious Brands Limited in the negotiation of an exclusive distribution agreement with US-based Astral Brands Inc for the distribution in the UK and Ireland of beauty products under the PUR brand; advised Sponserve on licensing agreements, including with the Premier League, regarding a new software solution to help clubs and governing bodies manage and deliver their sponsorship asset; acted for Castex Technologies in proceedings in the Commercial Court, brought by various hedge funds, which alleged rigging of stock prices in connection with the conversion of foreign currency convertible bonds
Aspers UK Holdings Limited; Audiobloom; Baskerville Capital Plc; Build-a-Bear Workshop; Europe Arab Bank; Mindspace; Monster Energy Europe; Odeon Cinemas; Opus Group; Paul Smith
With an ‘entrepreneurial client base and strong corporate reputation’ it’s easy to see why aspiring solicitors were drawn to Fladgate. The firm is ‘ambitious, progressive and growing’ which makes it a great place to train. The firm was rated highly for approachability, inclusiveness and client contact and became a Lex 100 Winner as a result. Trainees have no problem asking questions as supervisors are ‘happy to explain complex legal points or the strategy behind the deal’. Such a supportive and inclusive environment makes ‘the firm a very easy place to work hard’. ‘Being given responsibility to liaise with clients directly and run small matters autonomously’ delighted recruits who craved the opportunity to engage in ‘high-quality’ work as opposed to solely ‘traditional trainee admin tasks’. Fladgate trainees have ‘far greater exposure to high-level issues and more partner contact’, and even with all this responsibility recruits still enjoy a decent work/life balance: ‘I’ve usually left the office by 6:30/7pm’ revealed one. Only in the lead up to a deadline do trainees stay ‘so late that I saw the cleaners coming round the next morning’. Nevertheless, getting ‘invites to completion parties ’were pleasing conciliatory gestures. Where recruits feel the firm is lacking is in its secondment opportunities. Also requiring improvement is the firm’s approach to social life as there is a perceived ‘lack of interest from the majority of staff’, but the ‘social calendar is improving enormously’ according to one respondent. ‘Completing multi-million pound IPOs’ and ‘assisting in the administration of an estate worth over £30 million’ are all in a day’s work at Fladgate; if you’d like to join the fold, get writing your application.
A day in the life of...
Wing Tang first year trainee solicitor at Fladgate LLP
Departments to date: FFR (funds, finance and regulatory) within the corporate department, property
8.30-9.00am: I arrive at the office and review emails that have come in overnight. I am currently in my property seat; the department is renowned for being one of the busiest departments in the firm, so it is very important to keep on top of things.
9.15am: I draft responses to emails; these include responding to enquiries from the other side, emails to clients and to agents. I also received emails from associates/partners to assist in a new matter, so I diarise a time to see them during the day.
9.30am: As a trainee at Fladgate, I am given a lot of responsibilities and matters to deal with. In order to keep track of the ongoing matters I am involved with, I keep a spreadsheet tracker showing each matter with its number and current status. After reviewing my emails, I will check the tracker to see whether I need to chase for a response from the other side, and any follow-ups I need to do today.
10.00am: I review changes on a lease that came in overnight. I mark up the lease to show what changes I will accept/reject before showing these to my supervisor and discussing them. My supervisor explains the changes to me and confirms them before sending them back to the other side.
11.30am: A partner asked me to assist in drafting a licence to assign and a rent deposit deed; we act for the landlord. I write to the client and the tenant’s solicitors confirming that I will be dealing with this matter.
12.30am: I finish the first draft of the licence and send it to the partner for review.
1.00pm: I head out to lunch with fellow trainees. As Fladgate has a small intake we try to meet up often and share our experiences in the different departments.
2.00pm: I come back to an email from the partner telling me that the licence is fine and to send it out. I email the draft to the tenant’s solicitors for comments.
2.30pm: I receive an email from our client saying that they have now agreed the sale of a property, attaching the heads of terms for our information. The partner in charge asks me to create a dataroom containing the legal pack to be sent out by the end of the day.
4.30pm: The dataroom is now up and running. I send the link to the partner to approve the contents. The partner thanks me for my hard work and tells me to send the dataroom out. One of the attractions of Fladgate is the culture of the firm. I always feel that my work is appreciated and it really does brighten a trainee’s day!
5.00pm: An associate emails me asking if I have capacity to draft an urgent lease report.
6.00pm: I send the draft lease report to the associate for review and ask if he needs my assistance for anything else.
6.10pm: I double check that there is nothing outstanding I need to do for today.
6.15pm: I head out for dinner with some of my friends.
About the firm
Address:16 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DG
Telephone: 020 3036 7000
Fax:020 3036 7600
Chairman: Richard Reuben
Who we are: An innovative and progressive international law firm servicing corporate, institutional and private clients from modern offices in the heart of Covent Garden.
What we do: Corporate (including tax, private capital, IP and employment), litigation and real estate (including planning, construction and real estate litigation). 40% of our business is derived from international clients.
What we are looking for: We seek candidates who demonstrate high levels of commercial awareness and business acumen, enthusiasm and leadership potential. We value strong academics, previous work experience and an eagerness to take responsibility.
What you'll do:Training at Fladgate combines a first class education programme with real hands-on experience and client contact. A small intake of trainees each year means exposure to high quality work with lots of responsibility from an early stage. Each of our trainees will complete core seats within corporate, real estate and litigation, with the fourth seat either being a repeat of an old favourite or within one of our more specialist areas.
Perks: Contributory pension, flexible holiday scheme, life assurance, private medical, sports club loan (GymFlex), season ticket loan, childcare vouchers.
Sponsorship:GDL/LPC sponsorship with The University of Law (ideally Moorgate campus). Maintenance loan of £6,000 or £5,000 if undertaking the course outside of London.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 77
Other fee-earners: 10
Total trainees: 12
Trainee places available for 2021: 6
Applications received pa: from 700 to 1000
Percentage interviewed: 20%-25%
First year: £38,000
Second year: £40,000
Newly qualified: £65,000
Apply to:Hayley Webster, recruitment advisor
When to apply:Applications for 2021 open January 2019 and close July 2019.
What's involved:An application form with a series of competency based questions. If selected, you will be selected to do a critical reasoning test. If you pass this the next stage is an assessment day with both individual and group exercises. Finally, a face-to-face interview with a member of HR and a partner.