The legal view of the cheek
Withers has made a one-time payment of £1,000 this year to all trainees, secretaries and paralegals in the EU and Asia, and all corporate services staff below managerial level, to help raise the cost of living, a payment you can certainly make.
The firm deals with high net worth individuals and has been a busy place for the past ten years. Turnover has more than doubled since 2007, reaching £243.7m in the latest published figures. The firm weathered the Covid-19 pandemic unscathed and saw partner profits increase by 42% in 2020 after increased client demand in arbitration, employment, personal clients and tax during the lockdown. The latest financial figures show profit per equity partner has risen by almost a third from £501,000 in 2019-20 to £660,000 and has since risen to £668,000.
Over the past year, Withers has strengthened its London office by recruiting a secondary partner in the exciting field of international art, as well as recruiting several partners in its overseas offices. On the other hand, a respected litigator left her office in Hong Kong to establish her own practice.
As a provider of legal services to the world's super-rich, Withers has some big-name clients, including luxury brands Moncler and MaxMara. Most prefer to keep their names private, but the company claims to have accounted for 70% of the top 100 on Thesunday weatherrich list.
This is interesting work for trainees, although it "varies a lot by department." Litigation is said to be particularly attractive, with front-line tasks including "drafting documents and assisting in court cases", but be wary of "more tedious tasks like pooling". The firm's large family law practice (think million-pound divorces, some involving celebrities and plenty of media coverage) is "heavy on paper" but often highly thought-provoking. Withers also boasts an extensive portfolio of intellectual property following its merger with Cambridge tech boutique JAG Shaw Baker in 2018. Not that all the work given to trainees is convincing. Newcomers inevitably end up with "less exciting" and "less stimulating" administrative work, even though supervisors "tend to be apologetic" when they hand it over.
Once qualified, the administrative effort is reduced. A junior lawyer says: “As an NQ, I work on a mix of smaller matters where I am expected to lead and larger matters where I have a team of associates. It is a very good opportunity to learn.”
Training is "generally good," we're told, with sessions led by partners or senior staff at the start of each specific department job. There is also "whole team training" to keep trainees up to date with the latest legal updates. "I think the training is great overall," reports a newbie. "I received the right balance of early responsibility and support to enable my development."
In fact, as the trainees gain their first experience, they will be closely monitored (the small number of 13 who help in that regard) "with a reasonable level of accountability and a strong commitment to the client", accompanied by "interviews of periodic monitoring to verify how". "students progress" and "clear feedback" on work. The colleagues are a "really supportive group and always willing to help each other." They're usually "happy to share their experiences and walk you through some tasks they're more experienced at."
Partners, nearly half of whom, especially in the legal profession, are women, are "generally very approachable." A former trainee tells the story.lawful cheek:: “I have never bothered to ask anyone a question, not even the partners who have been in the firm longer than I live! Everyone is very friendly and I think that's something that really sets Withers apart from other companies." and employees - so that the trainees can "get to know the departments as a whole."
What sets Withers apart from other companies that have a high proportion of retail banking is its international reach, with 18 offices in eight different countries. Fortunately, the firm ensures that this scope translates into a reasonable level of international secondments. Popular destinations are Geneva and Milan, where trainees prepare for their time on the continent with weekly language classes. Although posts have been temporarily suspended by Covid-19 (we have been informed they will be offered again from March 2023), posts in Milan generally work on business deals for people in the sports and fashion fields. We understand it's rarer to land a position in one of Withers' US offices, where the firm has a large presence following its merger with Bergman Horowitz & Reynolds in 2002. One newcomer, however, enjoyed an assignment to the British Virgin Islands. , which lasted one year and two months. Client secondments can also be secured, with terms including six months with an international hotel company and three months with a London family office.
The downside of Withers' global status is that it behaves more like a megacompany than a private company when it comes to hours worked. Typical work hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. m. to 7 p.m. m., but some people can work 12 hour days. The culture is definitely the rights of the city, which is reflected in the choice of the company's headquarters on the edge of London's financial district. The newly qualified salary straddles the gap between the private client and the city and sits at £77,000. On the subject of work-life balance, one insider reports: "Longer working hours than the company projects to the outside world, but still much better than many companies. There is no culture of having to 'facetime' in general". Another tells us he's "very happy with my work/life balance. A few late nights, but usually until 7:30pm/8pm. I've worked weekends a few times, but management strongly advises against it."
The company recently moved into a 'sleek' glass and steel structure at 20 Old Bailey (opposite the infamous 'Old Bailey' aka Central Criminal Court). "It looks a bit like a hotel," quips one trainee, but "there are cozy cubicles to work in with lots of nimble workspaces," and early risers who manage to snag a window seat can expect "a great view of the Old Bailey." ," explains another. The "nearly paperless" open-plan office is also home to a modern client lounge, which is regularly praised by passers-by. You might even know the office building from the BBC political thriller.bodyguard, which one fan says is "always a great way to start a conversation." Holiday-themed meals are indeed a thing at Wither's "big subsidized canteen." Pupils also enjoy "special meals for Eid al-Fitr and the 4th of July" which are "fun and impressive". We hear the canteen cookies are "excellent" too.
As for other benefits, Withers attorneys enjoy flexible hours, a free barista coffee every day, access to an interest-free travel card loan, private health care, monthly theater ticket drawings, and paid dining and travel by taxi home at certain times (though not if they work from home, we were told). However, it seems that students looking for better performance need to look for hidden gems. “We have access to a number of discounts, but I don't think they're being used well and a lot of people don't know about them, but if you look around they're probably pretty good,” reveals one respondent. .
A policy that allowed most of the company's workers to work from home one day a week meant that Withers was able to make "near seamless integration" with remote work during the global pandemic. Withers provided a WFH budget in 2020 and increased IT equipment and furniture in 2021. Junior staff were given special priority with the provision of a second desktop screen and other IT equipment, he said, which "marked a big difference". However, trainees are not given service phones, "and that seems to be an advantage, but it can make things difficult in the home office," complains another newcomer. And while Withers' IT systems have held up through the shutdown, they appear to be "very old and slow," particularly the e-packet software, and "could use an upgrade." Newcomers dismiss technology as "could be better" or, more diplomatically, "legal technology moves very fast so there is always room for improvement."
Elsewhere, complaints about the company's rather weak social life date back to before Covid-19. "Company-wide events are few and far between, limited to summer parties and Christmas," notes one trainee. "Work-life balance means people get to spend time with their non-working friends, and that usually takes precedence over any company socializing," says another.
quality of work
partner routing capability
respect for the environment
Insider Scorecard grades range from A* to D and are derived from thelawful cheekJunior Apprentices & Associates Survey 2022-23 of over 2,000 junior apprentices and associates at leading UK law firms.
Apprenticeship salary in the first year of apprenticeship£ 45.000
Training salary in the second year of training£ 49.000
Newly Qualified Salary90.000€
Profit per capital partner£ 668.000
GDL Stipend£ 8.000
Beca LPC£ 8.000
average start time08:52
average completion time19:07
annual target hours1.400
annual holiday25 take
The mean arrival and departure times are derived from thelawful cheekJunior Apprentices & Associates Survey 2022-23 of over 2,000 junior apprentices and associates at leading UK law firms. Withers offers 23 days of annual leave, increasing to 25 days (one day per year of service).
Opportunities to publish abroad18%
Customer Posting Possibilities9%
The affiliation probabilities are derived from thelawful cheekJunior Apprentices & Associates Survey 2022-23 of over 2,000 junior apprentices and associates at leading UK law firms. Please note that due to COVID-19, the chances of publication are lower than in typical years.
Latest Apprentice Retention Rate92%
Minimum requirement for a high school diplomaAAB
minimum degree required2:1
Employed women in the UK60%
British BME staff15%
British partners of BME8%
Universities the trainees are currently attending
Is Withers a city law firm? ›
One of the City's oldest blue blood private client practices, the past decade has seen Withers take everyone by surprise with a US merger and an international roll-out to some pretty flashy locations. The merger was intended to create the "world's first international law firm dedicated to the globally wealthy".How many people apply to Withers? ›
|Training contract applications:||500 (2022)|
|Retention rate:||92% (2022)|
|Partner diversity:||50.0% male (2022) 50.0% female|
|Lawyer diversity:||37.0% male (2022) 63.0% female|
Description. With $367,499,000 gross revenue in 2021, the firm placed 150th on the 2022 Global 200 ranking. Withersworldwide has 665 attorneys and the firm placed 30th on the 2021 UK 100 ranking.How many trainees do Withers take? ›
Indeed, as trainees cut their teeth they are given close supervision — the small intake of 13 helps in this respect — “with decent levels of responsibility and strong client engagement” accompanied by “regular catch-ups to check how trainees are progressing” and “clear feedback” on work.What are the 5 magic circle law firms? ›
Based in London, these firms are:
- Allen & Overy.
- Clifford Chance.
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
- Slaughter and May.
Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC have used their brand recognition, global reach, technological capabilities, and huge existing client bases to rival mid-market and even top tier firms. The Big Four are now looking to seize an even larger share of the legal market, after making record gains over the past few years.How many lawyers does Withers have? ›
With 200+ partners, over 600 lawyers and around 1,300 staff globally, our team is brimming with creativity, personality and legal knowledge.How much does Withers Khattarwong pay? ›
The average WITHERS KHATTARWONG LLP monthly salary ranges from approximately $2,566 per month for Mailroom Clerk to $13,998 per month for Tax Associate. The average WITHERS KHATTARWONG LLP salary ranges from approximately $15,345 per year for Tax Associate to $17,890 per year for Associate.What is Withers known for? ›
Withers specializes in tax, trust and estate planning, as well as litigation, employment, family law, and other legal issues facing high-net-worth individuals.What type of firm is Withers? ›
' 'Withers is a leading law firm with a strong global presence. It is valued in the industry for its high calibre of service and its expertise in complex legal disputes with particular experience representing high net worth individuals and international clients.
How many offices does Withers have? ›
We are proud to work with many of the leading families and corporations in North America, servicing all of their business, personal and philanthropic needs from our eight office locations across the US.What law firm is Depp using? ›
Brown Rudnick, a Boston-founded firm that American Lawyer ranks just inside the top 150 firms by revenue, gained heavy publicity in Depp's June 1 win of $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages from ex-wife Amber Heard.