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Insider reviews

Get the inside view from graduates at CMS UK

8.2 / 10 Overall Satisfaction
(based on 26 ratings in 2016)
"A busy and forward-thinking law firm."
8.8 / 10
Formal Training
8.1 / 10
Offices & Dress
9.1 / 10
7.8 / 10
7.8 / 10
9.1 / 10
Pro Bono
9.2 / 10


  • International expansion at the firm means that there are various opportunities for overseas placements.
  • The work on offer is top quality and has a broad scope. Trainees feel supported while undertaking it.
  • Social elements of the firm are strong with regular socialising both between teams and firm-wide.
  • Efforts towards diversity are notable – especially in terms of networks for women and LGBT staff members.


  • The high level of responsibility on offer can cause some trainees to feel under pressure.
  • There are unavoidable long hours in some departments, though the firm is flexible with them.
  • While most of the firm's offices have recently been updated, some are still undergoing this.
  • Retention rates have fallen since the firm's latest merger. These should hopefully pick up soon.

What insiders say about...

"After the written application, the firm has a single assessment day where candidates..."

"As with all large law firms, there are unpredictable working hours in a lot of departments...."

"Legal training sessions are well organised, frequent and often compulsory. Attendance..."

"Senior fee earners are very accessible and there is a strong appraiser and buddy..."

"Good location and space. It's a little tired but is being refreshed next month. There's..."

"Hours are generally flexible. If you need to get away for a certain reason that is..."

"I think we're getting a decent deal for the hours worked. Trainee pay is roughly..."

"50% gym subsidy salary uplift if required to move from Glasgow to Edinburgh office..."

"Full day assessment centre, which is tough, but at least gives a more rounded process,..."

"There were lots of questions about me - my interests, subjects I had studied, my..."

"I think that the new offices and technology have helped in terms of reducing the..."

"There are many diversity groups for women, LGBT, minorities, etc."

"We have a new scheme which aims to recognise and reward performance. I believe if..."

"I'm satisfied. As I am the sole trainee in my team, the fee earners probably rely..."

"There is a great deal of pro bono work, both legal and non-legal, available."

"People are very friendly and approachable. There are a lot of opportunities to get..."

"There's quite a low retention rate."

"Blue-chip clients and friendly atmosphere. Amazing secondment opportunities."

"Retention rates are currently poor. Whether they pick up is likely to depend on market..."

"All trainees are guaranteed a secondment to either an international CMS office or..."

"Personable, innovative, client-focused."

"There are many great initiatives to promote pathways into the law from less privileged..."

"Up and down depending on the workload/deal."

"I think that the way trainees have work allocated to them in big departments could..."

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