The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Memery Crystal is an international law firm, based in London. We are commercially aware, entrepreneurial in spirit, international in outlook and pragmatic in approach.
The star performers
Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Employment: employers and senior executives; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Property litigation
Acted for Rose Petroleum in the reorganisation and subsequent fundraising of £3m through secondary placing of ordinary shares; handled Idemitsu Kosan’s disposal of its entire issued share capital to Rockrose Energy; acted for Marex Spectron in claims brought by a fuel oil broker alleging bullying and harassment; acted for an independent commodities broker and trader, as first defendant, in a nickel sale contract claim for over $32m damages for breach of delivery and title obligations; advised Electric Word on the employment aspects of a takeover bid by Sports Business Acquisitions
ASDA; Nord; Rainbow Rare Earth; Reckon Limited; SigmaRoc; St. Modwen Properties; The Freshwater Group of Companies; The Mall Corporation; Tlou Energy; Travis Perkins
‘The levels of responsibility are high and demanding’ at Memery Crystal. But ‘being on the front line’ is a good thing, because ‘it ensures that you are doing genuine legal work, such as drafting and negotiating share purchase agreements across meaty transactions from an early stage’. The ‘single office, independent firm’ offers ‘high-quality, varied and international work’ and has a ‘strong commercial focus’. Several trainees mentioned the ‘entrepreneurial (rather than crusty institutional) client base’ to which new recruits are granted plenty of exposure thanks to the small intake. Refreshingly, ‘as a trainee you are valued’ at the firm and ‘people know who you are and ask for your opinions’. Indeed, Memery Crystal is ‘always willing to listen to trainees’ suggestions’. We hear that ‘the people at the firm are quality lawyers, but crucially, they are kind’ and recruits feel ‘supported by superiors and peers to get the job done’ and ‘able to ask questions without feeling nervous’. That’s not to say that there aren’t instances of ‘bundling until 1:30 am the day after the Christmas party’, though. ‘Successfully admitting a high-profile client to AIM’ stood out to one respondent whilst another felt empowered after ‘going solo before a Master to request a change of hearing’. There were some complaints about the occasional ‘lack of resources to enable you to get things done quickly’ and the small cohort can mean that ‘you are very exposed’. But this is a small price to pay to work in a firm with a ‘real team spirit’ where ‘training principals take their roles seriously’. If this sounds up your street, apply to Memery Crystal.
A day in the life of...
Departments to date: Real estate, private client, dispute resolution
University:University of Warwick
Degree:Law (LLB) 2(1)
9.15am: I arrive at my desk and check my emails for anything received overnight. Working in the dispute resolution department means you are usually working on a handful of large cases. A few emails have come in from counsel asking for particular documents and for clarification on the timeline of events in one of our matters, which I send over.
10.00am: I am on the Memery Crystal Social Committee so I message a couple of the other members and we head upstairs to our new client floor for the meeting. Today’s agenda includes discussing the potential for Wednesday morning yoga sessions. It’s a great chance to catch up with friends from other departments and to put forward ideas to make work a more social place.
10.45am: After we finish the meeting I head back down to my desk to finish off drafting a witness statement. My supervisor has provided me with a chronology of events in a construction dispute we are dealing with and I’m tasked with piecing together the first draft of the client’s witness statement.
12.00pm: Dispute resolution is a seat where you get a mental and physical workout, and I’m now on my way to the Royal Courts of Justice to file a replacement skeleton argument. It’s a fascinating building with an enormous history.
12.30pm: When I’m finished at the RCJ I grab some lunch from Fetter Lane and nip in to Stella’s, our firm canteen. This is a very busy place at lunchtimes and you will always have someone to eat with. Today I’m with a couple of the trainees, paralegals and junior associates.
1.15pm: Back at my desk now and I see that I’ve been sent a diary invite by one of the partners to be part of a call with counsel. The call isn’t scheduled for another 30 minutes so I look through our filing system to read up on the subject of the call and the general background of the case.
1.45pm: My supervising partner and I go into one of the private rooms on the floor to have our con call. We go in a few minutes before the call is scheduled and the partner gives me some further information about the case and the instructions we have submitted to counsel. As a junior it is my responsibility to take a thorough note of the call as much will be discussed.
3.15pm: I get back to my desk and type up my note of the meeting while it’s still fresh in my mind.
4.00pm: My supervisor sends me over an order we have received from the court. I am tasked with drafting a response to the claimant in the case in view of the order. My supervisor and I discuss what should be included in the letter to the claimant and I prepare a first draft that will be sent over in the morning. The claimant in this case is representing himself so we need to ensure our letter isn’t overly aggressive but still puts forward our client’s requirements.
5.15 pm: I get an email from one of the partners asking if I can look into a corporate insolvency issue for her client. The client is based in America and is considering entering into liquidation, but has assets in the UK. I prepare a note on cross-border corporate insolvency and whether a foreign court can ask for help from the UK courts in dealing with UK-based assets.
6.40pm: I’ve finished my note and send it to the partner so I prepare a list of tasks for tomorrow and check my calendar for any meetings and appointments I may have the next day. I see I’ve got a call with a client at 11am so set a reminder for 9am the next morning.
7.00pm: I leave the office for the day.
About the firm
Address:165 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2DY
Telephone: 020 7242 5905
Fax:020 7242 2058
CEO: Nick Davis
Who we are: Memery Crystal is an international law firm, based in London. We are commercially aware, entrepreneurial in spirit, international in outlook and pragmatic in approach.
What we do: We act for a broad range of clients, from multinational companies to financial institutions, owner-managed businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
What we are looking for: We are looking for high-achieving individuals with a strong academic background, from any discipline, who are commercially minded. We welcome applications from ambitious, driven and enthusiastic candidates who demonstrate a willingness to take on responsibility.
What you'll do:Trainees will rotate seats every six months and we aim to give second-years their preference in seat choice. During their training contract trainees are given on-the-job training and mentoring and are invited to all sessions in the firm’s internal training programme. Due to our partner-led service, trainees will work closely with partners from all departments, and will receive regular feedback in addition to their appraisals every three months with their supervisor and a member of HR.
Perks: 25 days’ holiday (increases to 30 days with length of service), private medical insurance, life assurance, interest-free season ticket loan, subsidised gym membership, group pension scheme, travel insurance, childcare vouchers and cycle to work scheme.
Sponsorship:The firm funds the GDL and the LPC.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 31
Other fee-earners: 46
Total trainees: 9
Trainee places available for 2021: 5
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 15
First year: £37,000
Second year: £39,000
Newly qualified: £63,000
Apply to:Helen Seaward, head of HR
When to apply:For 2021 training contracts apply by 31 July 2019
What's involved:Two interviews following successful application.
Apply by 31 January 2019via the Online application form. During the vacation scheme there will be an opportunity to secure a training contract starting in either September 2020 or September 2021.