Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP

Address: One London Wall, London, EC2Y 5EB

Web: www.joinoc.com

Email: trainee.recruitment@osborneclarke.com


Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘The digital business strength’; ‘I felt a strong affinity with the culture: I could see myself fitting in’; ‘it was clearly going somewhere when I was doing my vac scheme and things haven’t changed – great clients, growing international presence and winning firm of the year awards left, right and centre’; ‘Bristol location’; ‘inclusive and friendly culture’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘I can engage with and ask for guidance from colleagues from all levels, from paralegals to partners and be provided with helpful and meaningful answers’; ‘my colleagues are a pretty pleasant bunch’; ‘initiatives such as flexible working are great for those with family commitments’; ‘the motivated working environment’; ‘it is a really positive place to be’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘The toilets’; ‘it can get cliquey, both among the trainees and within particular teams’; ‘there could be more international secondments: for a firm with circa 20 international offices, it should be offering a lot more’; ‘agile and flexible working can affect training and firm culture’; ‘NQ pay for offices outside of London’
Best moment? 
 '‘Going to the Court of Appeal’; ‘getting a deal over the line against some tight deadlines and with some demanding clients’; ‘being included in a completion dinner’; ‘assisting on the sale of a large maritime engineering firm’; ‘playing in the firm band at the charity Battle of the Bands’; ‘involvement from beginning to end in a private equity buyout of a tech company’
Worst moment?
 '‘Cancelling evening plans’; ‘personalising hundreds of documents via mailmerger’; ‘staying late to check through over 100 documents’; ‘having to cancel two days’ holiday and missing the Christmas party for corporate deadlines’; ‘leaving the office at 3:30am’; ‘making a mistake in an advice document which went out to a demanding client’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Phoebe (Friends) – really friendly but also encourages its people to be (quirky) individuals

The verdict

The firm

Osborne Clarke has an international presence, with offices across Europe and Asia, and also provides on-the-ground support to US clients looking to expand overseas. The future-focused firm works with well-known companies and is renowned for its TMT, infrastructure and real estate practices. 

The star performers

Banking and finance; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Corporate and commercial; Corporate tax; Employment; Energy; Environment; EU and competition; Flotations: (small and mid-cap); Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Pensions; Planning; Professional negligence; Project finance and PFI; Property litigation; Rail; Venture capital

The deals

Advised Credit Suisse on the forward funding in connection with the £56m acquisition of Two Central Square, Cardiff; assisted Deutsche Alternative Asset Management on the structuring and establishment of the Europe II Fund, which achieved €588m at its first close; acted for HSBC Bank on the provision of the buy-out financing for Lloyds Development Capital’s investment in Vista; assisted Brighton and Hove City Council with the construction procurement for the £500m redevelopment of the Brighton Conference Centre; acted for Cross Country Trains on the direct award of the Cross Country rail franchise and the subsequent implementation

The clients

Barclays; Eurostar; Expedia Group; Fred Perry; GAMA Healthcare; Investis; L’Oréal; Microsoft; Mitie Group; Prodigy Finance

The verdict

Osborne Clarke’s ‘expertise and focus on digital business’ universally appealed to trainees. The firm’s ‘strong growth in recent years’ has not gone unnoticed either. A ‘really brilliant quality of work’ paired with ‘approachable colleagues (right the way up to supervisors/partners)’ makes the Bristol-headquartered firm a ‘really positive place to be’. This sentiment is reflected in the impressive eight Lex 100 Winner medals the firm has amassed this year. Recruits respect the firm for its ‘keenness to promote agile working’ and feel ‘encouraged to be individuals and have a life outside of work’. All this whilst being ‘heavily involved with transactions’ and able to take on a ‘high degree of responsibility if you show you want it’. Although complaints were few and far between, ‘the lack of international secondments’ was mentioned, especially as ‘OC has great international scope’. The toilets in the Bristol office were also criticised by a number of trainees, although we are informed that these will soon be refurbished. ‘Being asked to lead the completion process on a deal’ and ‘helping a digital business client complete an AIM Initial Public Offering’ were among the abundance of impressive work highlights, whilst ‘some very late nights (very rare but a real pain when they do happen)’ and ‘missing a key Land Registry deadline’ were singled out as worst moments. Trainees who had undertaken a client secondment saw this as a ‘great opportunity to really understand the sector and business and build strong relationships with the client’. If you want to work with a ‘pretty pleasant bunch’ of colleagues who are ‘always happy to answer questions’ at a ‘vibrant and welcoming, modern and forward-thinking firm’, choose Osborne Clarke.

 A day in the life of...

emma hands

Emma Hands trainee solicitor, Osborne Clarke LLP 

Departments to date:  Corporate, commercial litigation

University:University of Exeter 

9.00am:  I arrive at the office and log on. Before I start work, I check the OC intranet, the FT and LinkedIn – sharing and engaging with news about clients, events or ongoing matters on our intranet site is a good way to build connections with colleagues in other locations and live out our sector focus. Once I’m up to date, I check my calendar to confirm what the day has in store, and have a quick chat with my team about any developments that have happened overnight.

9.30am:  My supervisor asks me to look into what amounts to unfair prejudice under the Companies Act 2006. We are unsure if our client’s circumstances would meet the threshold, so I look into recent cases and draft a research note.

11.00am:  A client has asked if we can help them deal with two misbehaving directors. I check that we do not have any conflicts of interest, find the relevant information on Companies House and then contact colleagues in other teams to obtain press searches and bankruptcy searches on the parties involved.

12.00pm:  We have a case management conference in a few weeks, so I telephone Central London County Court to check what is required. I write up an attendance note of what was discussed and sense-check the clerk’s comments with our know-how lawyer.

12.30pm:  I normally have at least one training session a week. Today, we have a cross-office commercial disputes meeting with a guest speaker from the commercial team. We speak about AI, the types of work that other teams are doing for AI clients, and the opportunities that this might generate for the commercial disputes team.

1.00pm:  I often go outside to get some fresh air at lunchtime. We’re lucky to have a food market just around the corner, and I regularly go there with others from the office.

1.30pm:  I am one of the chairs of our office charity committee, so grab a coffee with the other chairs to chat through our agenda for the first charity meeting of the new financial year. We had a lot of success with an office-based Easter egg hunt, so discuss how we could adapt this for a Wimbledon-themed event (maybe a tennis ball hunt?).

2.00pm:  I am asked to flesh out a basic draft of a particulars of claim about defective works. I review the file to ensure I understand the background of the claim and have sense of the technical language involved. I then track down examples from similar matters that the team has worked on, and make a start. I take my laptop to a sound-proof pod so that I can work through the task – the change of space can help to ‘refresh’ my brain, and the office has an abundance of spaces where you can work or talk away from your desk.

6.00pm:  I check online to see if any interesting judgments have been handed down that we may want to write client updates on. I maintain a database of recent contract law cases which we use for client training seminars, so update this if needed with the key points of a case.

6.30pm:  I shut down my laptop and head over to my gym class.

About the firm

Address:One London Wall, London, EC2Y 5EB

Telephone: 0117 917 3484




Senior partner:  Andrew Saul

Managing partner:  Ray Berg

Other offices: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brescia, Bristol, Brussels, Busto Arsizio, Cologne, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Padua, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Thames Valley, Zaragoza. 

Who we are: Osborne Clarke is an award-winning multinational law firm. We’ve grown rapidly, and with 25 global offices we’re proud to say that our influence and impact can now be applied almost anywhere.

What we do: We think sector first, organising ourselves around the current affairs and future challenges of the industries we serve, rather than traditional legal practice areas. It helps keep us one step ahead. Our core services all thrive on innovation: digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, recruitment and transport.

What we are looking for: Candidates who can: comunicate effectively; think commercially and practically; solve problems creatively; build effective relationships; and demonstrate initiative. Foreign language skills are also an advantage.

What you'll do:Trainees complete four six-month seats, typically in corporate or banking, real estate, litigation and one other area.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday (plus a Christmas shopping day), pension, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance, life assurance and season ticket loan.

Sponsorship:We pay candidates’ GDL and LPC tuition fees, provided that they are no more than half way through either course when they are recruited, along with a maintenance grant.


Facts and figures

Total partners: 258

Other fee-earners: 536

Turnover in 2017: £209m (+17% from 2016). Profits per equity partner: £652,000 (+2%)

Trainee places available for 2021: 20

Applications received pa: approx 1,200  

Percentage interviewed: approx 10% 


First year: £36,750-£42,000 (varies on location)

Second year: £38,000-£44,000 (varies on location)

Newly qualified: £50,000-£68,000 (varies on location)

 Application process

Apply to:Trainee recruitment.

How: Online application form.

When to apply:By 15 January 2019 for 2021 training contract.

What's involved:Online application form, online verbal reasoning test, assessment centre, interview.

 Vacation schemes

Summer:July 2019 (apply by 15 January 2019).