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Trainee solicitors rank top UK law firms

Top UK law firm rankings 2018

TARGETjobs Insider Reviews asked approx 500 trainee solicitors working at 36 UK law firms to rate their own firm's culture, training, hours, offices – and more. Study the following 12 categories of law firm rankings as part of your research before applying for training contracts or vacation schemes

If you want to see all of the law firms that took part in the TARGETjobs Insider Reviews employer reviews 2018, you can see the landing page (complete with all trainee comments) here: TARGETjobs Insider Reviews – law solicitors.

 

Top UK law firms for: overall satisfaction

Ranking Law firms with the best overall satisfaction Score
1 Osborne Clarke LLP 9.3
2 Mills & Reeve LLP 9.2
3 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 9.1
4 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 9
4 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 9
6 Latham & Watkins 8.9
7 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.8
7 Mayer Brown International LLP 8.8
7 Taylor Wessing 8.8
10 Macfarlanes LLP 8.7
11 Bristows 8.7
12 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.7
13 Addleshaw Goddard 8.7
14 Gowling WLG 8.6
15 Stevens & Bolton LLP 8.6
Average 8.9

Top UK law firms for: satisfaction with work

Ranking Law firms with the best satisfaction with work Score
1 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 9.3
2 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 9.1
3 Latham & Watkins 9
3 Mills & Reeve LLP 9
3 Osborne Clarke LLP 9
6 Covington & Burling LLP 8.7
7 Irwin Mitchell 8.7
8 Macfarlanes LLP 8.7
9 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.6
10 Addleshaw Goddard 8.6
11 Gowling WLG 8.6
12 Stevens & Bolton LLP 8.5
12 Taylor Wessing 8.5
14 Bristows 8.5
15 DLA Piper UK LLP 8.4
  Average 8.7

Top UK law firms for: culture

Ranking Law firms with the best culture Score
1 Osborne Clarke LLP 9.8
2 Browne Jacobson LLP 9.8
3 Mills & Reeve LLP 9.7
4 Bristows 9.5
5 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 9.3
6 Taylor Wessing 9.3
6 Womble Bond Dickinson 9.3
8 Pinsent Masons LLP 9.1
9 Gowling WLG 9.1
10 Ashfords LLP 9
10 Latham & Watkins 9
12 Addleshaw Goddard 8.9
13 Bird & Bird LLP 8.8
14 Covington & Burling LLP 8.8
15 Macfarlanes LLP 8.8
  Average 9.2

Top UK law firms for: green initiatives

Ranking Law firms with the best green initiatives Score
1 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 8.9
2 Burges Salmon LLP 8.9
3 Slaughter and May 8.2
4 Gowling WLG 8.2
5 Browne Jacobson LLP 8
6 Morgan Lewis & Bockius 8
7 Osborne Clarke LLP 7.9
8 Mills & Reeve LLP 7.9
9 Stevens & Bolton LLP 7.9
10 Macfarlanes LLP 7.6
11 Travers Smith LLP 7.6
12 Ashfords LLP 7.5
12 Bristows 7.5
12 Taylor Wessing 7.5
15 Irwin Mitchell 7.3
  Average 7.9

Top UK law firms for: working hours

Ranking  Law firms with the best working hours Score
1 Browne Jacobson LLP 9
2 DWF LLP 8.9
3 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.8
4 Irwin Mitchell 8.8
5 Ashfords LLP 8.8
6 Gowling WLG 8.6
7 Penningtons Manches LLP 8.5
7 Womble Bond Dickinson 8.5
9 Bristows 8.4
10 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.3
10 Stevens & Bolton LLP 8.3
12 RPC 8.3
13 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.2
14 Kennedys 8.1
15 Dechert 8.1
  Average 8.5

Top UK law firms for: salaries

Ranking Law firms with the best salaries Score
1 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 9.5
2 Cooley (UK) LLP 9.4
3 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 9.2
4 Dechert 9.1
5 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 9.1
6 Jones Day 8.7
7 Latham & Watkins 8.6
8 Covington & Burling LLP 8.5
9 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.5
10 Macfarlanes LLP 8.2
11 Stevens & Bolton LLP 8.2
12 Morgan Lewis & Bockius 8.1
13 Gowling WLG 8.1
14 DLA Piper UK LLP 8.1
15 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 8
  Average 8.6

Top UK law firms for: formal training

Ranking Law firms with the best formal training Score
1 Macfarlanes LLP 9.4
2 Mayer Brown International LLP 9.3
3 Slaughter and May 9.1
4 Osborne Clarke LLP 9.1
5 Burges Salmon LLP 8.8
6 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.7
7 Gowling WLG 8.7
8 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.5
9 Bristows 8.5
9 Shoosmiths 8.5
11 Stevens & Bolton LLP 8.3
12 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.3
12 Latham & Watkins 8.3
14 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 8.1
15 Irwin Mitchell 8.1
  Average 8.6

Top UK law firms for: informal training & mentoring

Ranking Law firms with the best mentoring Score
1 Osborne Clarke LLP 9
2 Latham & Watkins 8.9
3 Gowling WLG 8.8
4 Shoosmiths 8.8
4 Taylor Wessing 8.8
6 Gibson Dunn 8.7
7 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.6
8 Bristows 8.6
9 Macfarlanes LLP 8.5
10 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 8.5
10 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 8.5
12 Covington & Burling LLP 8.5
13 Irwin Mitchell 8.4
14 Burges Salmon LLP 8.4
15 Bird & Bird LLP 8.3
  Average 8.6

Top UK law firms for: trainee retention

Ranking Law firms with the best trainee retention Score
1 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 10
2 Burges Salmon LLP 9.5
3 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 9.4
4 Travers Smith LLP 9.4
5 Mills & Reeve LLP 9.2
6 Slaughter and May 9.2
7 Covington & Burling LLP 9
8 Macfarlanes LLP 9
9 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.8
10 Addleshaw Goddard 8.8
11 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.7
12 Latham & Watkins 8.5
13 Shoosmiths 8.4
14 Mayer Brown International LLP 8.4
15 Irwin Mitchell 8.3
  Average 9.0

Top UK law firms for: diversity

Ranking Law firms with the best diversity Score
1 Latham & Watkins 9.5
2 Gowling WLG 9.1
3 Reed Smith 9.1
4 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.9
5 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.8
6 Shoosmiths 8.8
7 Irwin Mitchell 8.7
8 Bristows 8.7
9 Morgan Lewis & Bockius 8.5
10 Simmons & Simmons 8.4
11 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.3
12 DWF LLP 8.3
12 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 8.3
14 Travers Smith LLP 8.2
15 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.1
  Average 8.6

Top UK law firms for: pro bono

Ranking Law firms with the best pro bono Score
1 Dechert 9.7
2 Latham & Watkins 9.7
2 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 9.7
4 Gibson Dunn 9.5
4 Morgan Lewis & Bockius 9.5
6 Covington & Burling LLP 8.9
7 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 8.8
8 DLA Piper UK LLP 8.7
9 Mayer Brown International LLP 8.6
10 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 8.3
10 Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP 8.3
12 Gowling WLG 8.3
13 White & Case LLP 8.3
14 Travers Smith LLP 8
15 Simmons & Simmons 7.9
  Average 8.8

Top UK law firms for: offices

Ranking  Law firms with the best offices Score
1 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 9.9
2 Weil, Gotshal & Manges 9.4
3 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 9.4
4 Gowling WLG 9.4
4 Taylor Wessing 9.4
6 Reed Smith 9.3
7 Burges Salmon LLP 9.2
8 Mills & Reeve LLP 9
9 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.9
9 DWF LLP 8.9
11 Bird & Bird LLP 8.8
12 Bristows 8.8
13 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.7
14 Macfarlanes LLP 8.7
15 Slaughter and May 8.7
  Average 9.1

The methodology behind the TARGETjobs Insider Reviews law rankings

In 2018 TARGETjobs Insider Reviews conducted an independent survey of approximately 500 first- and second-year trainee solicitors at 36 law firms across the UK. We asked trainees to assess their own firm according to 12 categories, which resulted in the above sets of useful rankings.

Top law firms by category

Trainees were asked to rate their own firms on a scale of 1 to 10 in the 12 different categories above. Provided sufficient responses were received for each firm, an average score was then calculated for each category. All firm scores were then collated and ranked to create our ‘Top firms by category’ rankings.

Note: Whenever two or more firms have identical scores (to one decimal place) but have not been marked specifically as a tie, it is because these firms are ranked in accordance with their full score (taking into account three or more decimal places).

Where data for 2018 is not available for some firms, the previous year's responses may have been included.

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