What you need to know about… Simmons & Simmons

April 12, 2022

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3 min read

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An intro to the firm

Founded in 1896, Simmons & Simmons (or “Simmons”) has evolved into a multinational law firm, driven by its focus on being a business partner for its clients. With 21 locations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and 22 offices worldwide, Simmons has quickly adapted to the modern world and its challenges. The firm’s innovative and holistic approach when advising clients has led the firm to work with high-profile clients and assist on big deals. The firm has a particular focus on four sectors: asset management and investment funds; tech, media and telecommunications; financial institutions; and healthcare and life sciences. The firm continues to grow, with 25 trainees taken on board each year. Simmons can be described as collaborative, agile and partner-led.

Its key strengths

Simmons has scored a Band 1 ranking for its derivatives and structured finance practice. The firm offers advice rooted in its strong knowledge to clients such as Morgan Stanley, Natwest and BP. Notably, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the firm advised the UK Government on its Covid-19 loan schemes which supported over £75 billion worth of loans to over 1 million UK businesses. Simmons also worked for the European Investment Fund on the EU’s programme of Covid-19 support for European small and medium-sized enterprises.

With an unparalleled depth of experience in hedge funds, Simmons advises over 85% of the largest 50 global asset managers across Europe and the US. This has earned the firm a Band 1 ranking in its Hedge Fund practice, with the firm demonstrating its experience with international launches of new hedge funds in places like Cayman and Delaware. Its clients include East Alpha (a UK-based investment firm), Man Group (a UK-based hedge fund) and Arctis (an International Fund Manager).

Lastly, Simmons has a strong technology department. According to Legal 100, the IP team “combines incredible technical knowledge with thoughtful, commercial solutions” to clients’ IP problems. Simmons works with a range of clients like technology firms, social media companies, and clients in digital health and fintech. The firm is known for being one of the first law firms to set up a fintech fund. The fund was designed in 2016 to help solve difficult legal problems encountered by early-stage fintech businesses by offering free legal advice. It has evolved to become the first of its kind in the legal industry and strengthened Simmons’ relationships with its fintech clients.

Training, training, training...

The training at Simmons is supportive, innovative and inclusive.

The firm focuses on allocating responsibility that is on par with your experience and competence, giving you just as much as you can handle. During the training contract, trainees will rotate between four seats of six months each. There are also opportunities to go on secondment with either a client or one of Simmons’ overseas offices. Alongside the exposure to top work, you can also get involved with the firm’s pro bono schemes like ‘Access to Justice’, which provides free legal advice to society’s more vulnerable people.

Future trainees at the firm are introduced to the firm’s unique ‘Compass’ programme before they even start training! As part of the programme, starting a year before the first seat, and throughout the training contract, future trainees will be exposed to a combination of practical learning and online tools, with a strong focus on soft skills, ensuring they are fully equipped and supported in the training contract experience.

Simmons believes responsible business is about access for people from diverse backgrounds. The partner-level support for the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives ensures that everyone gets involved in increasing diversity and inclusion. The firm has been named a Stonewall Top Global Employer for five years in a row and can be found amongst the top 75 Employers for Social Mobility and amongst the Times Top 50 Employers for Women. With a number of diversity networks, there will always be a place at Simmons to find support for those from any background.

Report written by Dominika Gaber

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