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Trainee solicitors rank top UK law firms

Top UK law firm rankings 2017

TARGETjobs Inside Buzz asked 600 trainee solicitors working at 40 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.
 

Top UK law firms for: overall satisfaction

Ranking Law firms with the best overall satisfaction Score
1 Osborne Clarke LLP 9.3
2 Baker McKenzie LLP 9
2 Bird & Bird LLP 9
2 Bristows 9
5 Burges Salmon LLP 8.9
6 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.9
7 Taylor Wessing 8.8
8 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.6
9 Foot Anstey LLP 8.6
10 Ashfords LLP 8.5
11 Travers Smith LLP 8.4
12 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.4
13 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.4
14 Clyde & Co LLP 8.3
15 RPC 8.3
  Average 8.7

Top UK law firms for: satisfaction with work

Ranking Law firms with the best satisfaction with work Score
1 Foot Anstey LLP 9.4
2 Osborne Clarke LLP 9
3 Burges Salmon LLP 8.9
4 Bird & Bird LLP 8.8
5 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.6
6 Baker McKenzie LLP 8.5
7 Ashfords LLP 8.4
8 Kirkland & Ellis LLP 8.4
8 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.4
10 Bristows LLP 8.3
11 Penningtons Manches LLP 8.3
12 RPC 8.3
13 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.3
14 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.2
15 Macfarlanes LLP 8.2
  Average 8.5

Top UK law firms for: culture

Ranking Law firms with the best culture Score
1 Osborne Clarke LLP 9.8
2 Bristows 9.5
3 Baker McKenzie LLP 9.3
4 Burges Salmon LLP 9.2
5 Travers Smith LLP 9
6 Mills & Reeve LLP 9
6 Taylor Wessing 9
6 Foot Anstey LLP 9
9 Pinsent Masons LLP 9
10 Ashurst LLP 8.9
11 Reed Smith 8.8
12 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.7
13 Simmons & Simmons 8.6
14 Bird & Bird LLP 8.6
15 RPC 8.6
  Average 8.4

Top UK law firms for: green initiatives

Ranking Law firms with the best green initiatives Score
1 Burges Salmon LLP 9.4
2 Ashfords LLP 8.5
3 Taylor Wessing 8
4 Osborne Clarke LLP 7.9
5 Irwin Mitchell 7.6
6 Foot Anstey LLP 7.5
7 Browne Jacobson LLP 7.4
8 Baker McKenzie LLP 7.3
9 White & Case LLP 7.2
10 DWF LLP 7.1
11 Bristows 7
12 Hogan Lovells 6.9
12 Simmons & Simmons 6.9
14 Allen & Overy LLP 6.8
15 Travers Smith LLP 6.8
  Average 7.5

Top UK law firms for: working hours

Ranking  Law firms with the best working hours Score
1 Foot Anstey LLP 8.6
2 DWF LLP 8.6
3 Bristows 8.5
4 Ashfords LLP 8.3
4 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.3
6 Baker McKenzie LLP 8.3
7 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.3
8 Bird & Bird LLP 8.2
9 Kennedys 8.1
10 Burges Salmon LLP 8
10 RPC 8
12 Pinsent Masons LLP 7.9
13 Womble Bond Dickinson 7.9
14 Clyde & Co LLP 7.8
15 Irwin Mitchell 7.7
  Average 8.2

Top UK law firms for: salaries

Ranking Law firms with the best salaries Score
1 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 9.7
2 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.9
3 Sidley Austin LLP 8.8
4 Baker McKenzie LLP 8.8
5 Covington & Burling LLP 8.8
6 Dechert LLP 8.7
7 White & Case LLP 8.6
8 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.5
9 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.3
10 Bristows 8.2
11 Travers Smith LLP 8.1
12 Hogan Lovells 7.8
13 Foot Anstey LLP 7.8
14 Allen & Overy LLP 7.8
15 Simmons & Simmons 7.8
  Average 8.4

Top UK law firms for: formal training

Ranking Law firms with the best formal training Score
1 Burges Salmon LLP 9.1
2 Osborne Clarke LLP 9.1
3 Foot Anstey LLP 8.8
4 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.8
5 Macfarlanes LLP 8.6
6 Bird & Bird LLP 8.6
7 Bristows 8.5
8 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.4
9 Taylor Wessing 8.3
10 Baker McKenzie LLP 8.3
11 Allen & Overy LLP 8.2
12 RPC 8.2
13 Travers Smith LLP 8.2
14 Ashfords LLP 8
15 Clyde & Co LLP 7.9
  Average 8.5

Top UK law firms for: informal training & mentoring

Ranking Law firms with the best mentoring Score
1 Osborne Clarke LLP 9
2 Baker McKenzie LLP 8.8
3 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.7
3 Taylor Wessing 8.7
5 Bird & Bird LLP 8.6
6 Bristows 8.5
7 Burges Salmon LLP 8.5
8 Travers Smith LLP 8.4
9 RPC 8.4
10 Mills & Reeve LLP 8.4
11 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.3
12 Foot Anstey LLP 8.2
13 Simmons & Simmons 8.1
14 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.1
15 Penningtons Manches LLP 7.9
  Average 8.5

Top UK law firms for: trainee retention

Ranking Law firms with the best trainee retention Score
1 Burges Salmon LLP 9.5
2 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 9
3 Travers Smith LLP 8.8
4 Baker McKenzie LLP 8.8
4 Foot Anstey LLP 8.8
6 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.7
7 Macfarlanes LLP 8.7
8 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.5
9 Browne Jacobson LLP 8.2
10 Kennedys 8.2
11 Womble Bond Dickinson 8.1
12 Covington & Burling LLP 8.1
13 White & Case LLP 8.1
14 Ashurst LLP 7.9
15 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 7.9
  Average 8.5

Top UK law firms for: diversity

Ranking Law firms with the best diversity Score
1 Baker McKenzie LLP 9.6
2 Reed Smith 9.1
3 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.9
4 Osborne Clarke LLP 8.8
5 Irwin Mitchell 8.7
6 DWF LLP 8.7
7 Hogan Lovells 8.6
7 Simmons & Simmons 8.6
9 Travers Smith LLP 8.4
10 Norton Rose Fulbright 8.4
10 White & Case LLP 8.4
12 Bristows 8.3
12 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.3
14 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.3
14 Taylor Wessing 8.3
  Average 8.6

Top UK law firms for: pro bono

Ranking Law firms with the best pro bono Score
1 Reed Smith 9.6
2 Baker McKenzie LLP 9.4
3 Dechert LLP 9.2
4 Hogan Lovells 9.1
5 Simmons & Simmons 8.9
6 DLA Piper UK LLP 8.8
7 White & Case LLP 8.6
8 Travers Smith LLP 8.5
9 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 8.5
10 Allen & Overy LLP 8.4
11 Covington & Burling LLP 8.3
12 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.3
12 Taylor Wessing 8.3
14 Ashurst LLP 8.2
14 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.2
  Average 8.7

Top UK law firms for: offices

Ranking  Law firms with the best offices Score
1 Burges Salmon LLP 9.6
2 Kirkland & Ellis International LLP 9.5
3 Reed Smith 9.3
4 Allen & Overy LLP 9.2
5 Bird & Bird LLP 9.2
6 Norton Rose Fulbright 9.1
7 Bristows 8.8
7 Taylor Wessing 8.8
9 Ashfords LLP 8.6
10 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 8.5
10 Travers Smith LLP 8.5
10 Foot Anstey LLP 8.5
13 Pinsent Masons LLP 8.4
14 DWF LLP 8.3
15 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 8.3
  Average 8.8

The methodology behind the TARGETjobs Inside Buzz law rankings

In 2017 TARGETjobs Inside Buzz conducted an independent survey of 600 first- and second-year trainee solicitors at 40 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 places) 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 points).

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