What you need to know about… Eversheds Sutherland

November 25, 2021

3 min read

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An intro to the firm

After the 2017 transatlantic merger between UK-based Eversheds LLP, founded in 1982, and US-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Eversheds Sutherland continues on a steep upward trajectory. Known as one of the biggest full service firms worldwide, it doesn’t like to promote one key service sector nor one key jurisdiction, leaving no weak links in its global chain. With 63 international offices – most recently including in Mozambique, Portugal, and Prague – and 11 UK offices, the firm really does cast a wide net for service and trainee opportunities. 

In the UK at least, Eversheds Sutherland gives out a substantial 50 trainee places per year, spanning its regional offices. In 2021 Eversheds Sutherland kept its place in 2nd of the UK Law Firm Brand Index, ranking higher than many of its magic circle counterparts, and most importantly indicating its central place in the remit of its Fortune 500 clients. In fact, it prides itself on its creativity and innovation in providing cost-effective solutions for nuanced legal problems.

Its key strengths

Clearly “the stats don’t lie”. In 2021, Eversheds’ global revenue broke firm records at $1.3bn with profit per equity partner (PEP) up 9% at $1.3m. Though the firm revels in its full service spread from energy and employment to consumer and construction, the bulk of the UK revenue comes from its main financial services sector. It has amassed dozens of Chambers Band-1 rankings in corporate & M&A, real estate, and mid-market banking. In the latter area in particular, Eversheds Sutherland has managed to become a deeply established competitor working regularly with financial institutions including multi-bank and syndicate facilities in international markets as well as with leading private equity houses. 

A track record of major deals and high-profile financial clients speaks for itself, but some examples might help you get a flavour for what it actually does. In 2020, the firm advised a bank syndicate on the £180m refinancing of Halfords, then advised G4S on the corporate reorganisation of its global cash businesses. On top of this, a key service area focused outside the capital in the Birmingham office is real estate. In 2020 the firm’s expertise was put to use while acting for Homes England on the land acquisition agreement with CWC Group for its gargantuan £800m development scheme. More recently Bruce Dear (head of London real estate for Eversheds Sutherland) spoke of the “intense speed” at which the cross-office due diligence team were able to deliver assistance in the £345m off-market asset swap between SERGO plc and Schroders. 

These big ticket high revenue deals aren’t all Eversheds Sutherland has to boast about. In August of this year it became the first global law firm to be accredited by the Good Business Charter in light of a commitment to being net-zero by 2050 and as a founding member of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance. This sense of corporate responsibility is echoed in their bid to break down barriers to social mobility with multiple pro bono initiatives including Legal Solidarity and the Amicus Project.

Training, training, training..

In three words Eversheds Sutherland’s training can be described as extensive, unique, and inclusive – having just been ranked 6th in Vault’s 2021 Best Law Firms for Diversity. 

As rigorous as the recruitment process might be, once you’ve secured your training contract, the opportunity to hone your skills alongside the world’s top ranked lawyers is second to none. With various seats including real estate litigation, competition, pensions, and construction, each on a six month rotation, it is unsurprising that the firm held a 90% retention rate for NQ trainees in 2021. 

Alongside these seats is a full schedule of personal development and commercial development skills training which will serve to hone your presenting, business writing, communication, and client care skills. With such a vast global reach, the secondment opportunities are a big pull factor for the firm, most recently offering places in Dubai, Hong Hong, and Paris.  To get one requires a separate application process including handing in a CV and undergoing an interview, so start practicing your languages now! 

So what’s a day on the job like? Varied. While you might undertake some of the administrative legal tasks typically handed down to trainees, the firm’s growing investment in legal technology is fast automating some of these more mundane jobs and opening the doors for juniors to get hands on experience in dealing with more complex assignments like drafting and reviewing documents.

Report written by James Evans

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