What you need to know about… Osborne Clarke

September 30, 2021

3 min read

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An intro to the firm

A regionally rooted firm with growing international force, Osborne Clarke has moved onwards and upwards in recent years to become globally established. The three UK offices (Bristol, London and Reading) stand strong in each location with 35 trainees. Becoming the first firm in Europe to open an office in Silicon Valley sets the tone for Osborne Clarke’s international outreach to 25 locations, leading to a comfortable position in the top 150 firms globally. The firm takes pride in their focus on industry sectors (digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, retail, recruitment, transport) which helps them to remain aware of the biggest issues facing clients and tailor their approach accordingly. Overall the firm can be described as reliable, encouraging and innovative.

Its key strengths

The firm boasts high profile clients, and their approach to their client relationship focuses on reliability, efficiency and value for money. Despite being deemed a mid-market firm, Osborne Clarke represents big names such as Vodafone, M&S and PwC. Their hard work certainly paid off in 2020 when the firm won both the Corporate Law Firm of the Year and Deal of the Year at the Insider Dealmaker Awards for advising LDC (leading mid-market private equity firm) on its investment in Plimsoll Productions. This deal notably drove global growth for all parties involved and demonstrates Osborne Clarke’s pioneering prowess.

Osborne Clarke is also known for the welcoming and supportive environment it creates for trainees. The turnover for employees remains low across all the offices in the UK. With a trainee retention rate as high as 96% it’s clear that the effort invested in taking care of employees is at the height of the firm’s priority list. Newly qualified lawyers and trainees have reported feeling comfortable enough to check in with others, no matter their position in the firm, and have felt supported no matter what team they’re in.

At the 2021 Legal Cheek Awards, Osborne Clarke won Best Law Firm for Legal Tech, surpassing high profile firms like Allen & Overy, Simmons & Simmons and Ashurst. Such recognition is reflected in how the  firm has developed  practical, efficient solutions for clients. From tracking projects, and sharing information to discovering insights, either in office or at home, the transparency of these technologies increases clients’ trust in the firm, giving Osborne Clarke an edge amongst competitors.

Training, training, training...

Osborne Clarke’s training remains balanced and inclusive despite gaining traction internationally.

The training experience enables trainees to become more fully-rounded within the profession as quickly as possible. Current and newly qualified trainees recall the senior members of the firm always pushing for them to be busy and go outside of their comfort zones, yet consistently ensuring they are not overworked. This can be dependent on the seat, as the Banking seats are especially known for being heavily transactional and more likely to create some late nights. However trainees hark back to these periods as short-lived and positive experiences, as their seniors understand the impact of overworking on mental health and general work/life balance, ensuring their newbies are well grounded. There are plenty of opportunities to mingle in the sociable offices, and while London trainees pick up a handful of extra hours than the regional firms, their hard work is worth the Christmas parties at the Oxo Tower or The Hilton.

Trainees are often welcomed, because they are heavily involved in a variety of work from the get-go. Senior partners are very keen to be involved with the development of trainees, and any hierarchy on paper becomes insignificant. Hands-on learning is the way Osborne Clarke prefers to train their lawyers, forcing trainees to get involved and be exposed to as much as possible early on. Whether that be in discussions with clients, active roles in tasks or practical development and application of skills, trainees can comfortably embrace the opportunities that come with early responsibility.

Report written by Emma Hooper

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