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Culture

8.8 / 10

(based on 27 ratings in 2019)

2019

"There is an open-door culture at the firm and an emphasis on teamwork and partners are (for the most part) very approachable. There are socialising events put on at all levels of the firm from trainee parties to departmental drinks to firm-wide events. It helps to create a collegiate culture."
Second year trainee, London
"The culture of the firm is great and you only feel the hierarchy in some departments. I frequently find myself socialising with people from across the firm by drinking with trainees, associates and partners alike on a Friday night at the pub. There are regular firm-wide drinks, departmental drinks and then the Culture Club events such as the annual Burns Night Supper, which often goes on well past the scheduled finish time."
Second year trainee, London
"Teamwork is highly valued and supervisors are very welcoming and supportive. Trainees are friendly and get along well."
First year trainee, London
"It's very inclusive with a clear hierarchy but not in a negative sense. Partners and senior solicitors are approachable, knowledgeable and willing to help. There is some socialising although this is often limited to trainees rather than cross-level socialising."
First year trainee, London
"The culture varies by department but is generally very open and friendly with a real cohesive family feel."
First year trainee, London
"There is a strong culture of inclusivity at the firm and a genuine open-door policy."
First year trainee, London
"Everyone has been friendly and willing to discuss technical issues in each of the departments I have worked in. It very much feels like working as part of a team. There are also many social events and people are able to get involved as much or as little as they would like."
First year trainee, London
"The firm prides itself on its non-hierarchical nature and that comes with great cooperation and teamwork. There is also a great emphasis on socialising among colleagues, which further enhances cooperation and teamwork."
Second year trainee, London

2018

"People work hard but there is a genuinely friendly feel about the firm and it's small enough that you quickly get to know people. Social events are frequent and monthly firm-wide drinks are held in the canteen. There's very little sense of any 'dog eat dog' atmosphere, which is nice, and people make a real effort to help each other with colleagues at all levels popping in and out of other offices to ask for advice."
First year trainee, London
"The open-door policy means that you can pop into partners' offices to discuss matters and, although this varies between departments, partners are generally very hands on. There are firm drinks every other month and most practice areas organise their own informal drinks at least once a month as well as socials and other department events."
First year trainee, London
"We have a very inclusive culture due to the small size of our firm. Everyone works well as a team, including support staff and fee-earners. You are very rarely in late on your own as, if you're in late, it's for a distinct reason and it's as part of a team."
First year trainee, London
"I remember my first late night in corporate when several senior solicitors and a partner popped their heads in to see if I was okay. I have never worked a late night or a weekend on my own or 'just for the sake of it'. You are in this as a team and if you need to work late and pull that dreaded all-nighter then everyone clubs in and does it together."
First year trainee, London
"There are lots of opportunities to socialise, whether it is at firm-wide drinks, department socials, or various activities such as choir or netball etc. Everyone is very friendly, approachable and kind."
Second year trainee, London
"The culture is very positive. Some departments have a reputation for being hierarchical (but I have not experienced that in any of my seats) but, for the most part, management communicates well with the entire firm and I do not feel that we are kept in the dark about anything. Unlike some other firms I have experienced, the partners at Macfarlanes seem to work together 'for the firm' rather than individually 'at the firm'. This means that they encourage trainees and associates to develop and work well with each other rather than compete against one another."
First year trainee, London
"It's extremely civilised and everybody is nice to each other. There is a hierarchy but it's not rigid. Colleagues are supportive in developing trainees and socialising is often informal but crosses seniority divides."
First year trainee, London
"Macfarlanes prides itself on being a firm known not only for its excellent legal advice but also its well-rounded nature. There is no hierarchy at Macfarlanes and everybody gets stuck into the extracurricular activities. These extracurricular activities include: netball, football, rugby, table tennis and yoga. It is a wonderful environment and when somebody asks you how your weekend was, they actually want to know and would rather hear you did something a little adventurous as opposed to continued to pour over emails and documents pertaining to the cases you are currently involved in."
First year trainee, London

2017

"The firm has a collegiate atmosphere and is very social. There are firm-wide and department-specific social events that help us to get to know those in other teams."
Second year trainee, London
"It can be hierarchical but the partners are generally good sorts. Almost everyone behaves with courtesy and friendliness."
First year trainee, London
"The culture is friendly, respectful and open. Associates and partners are generally approachable and open to being asked questions. There are often treats in the kitchen (for birthdays, after trips, and sometimes just because we've been working hard!) and regular social activities organised by practice areas for all members of the team. These are great to get to know everyone in a department, not just the people you have been working directly for. The trainee cohorts are close and socialise outside of work. They are a support network both in the office and after hours."
First year trainee, London
"The structure differs between the teams. Sometimes you'll be working in a big team and sometimes you'll be running your own matters with support from a senior associate or partner. There is a strong emphasis on cooperation and learning and development and I always feel comfortable asking for guidance or feedback."
Second year trainee, London
"Anyone who is up for socialising can generally find someone else who is too. You just have to ask and be social yourself. There are also plenty of firm, departmental, trainee and seasonal events to attend."
Second year trainee, London
"There is a very strong firm culture. The people are ambitious and hard-working, but also fair and I have found some very strong friendships. There is a general culture of supporting each other."
Second year trainee, London
"There's not too much hierarchy but it's traditional in its ways. There's lots of socialising among trainees but not so much with partners. Work is always very cooperative and team-based."
Second year trainee, London
"Although (like at any firm) there is a hierarchy at Macfarlanes, partners are normally approachable and there is usually an open-door atmosphere, even for trainees."
First year trainee, London

2016

"We have a culture club, which is fantastic and enables socialising between different departments. There is also very much an open-door policy at Macfarlanes."
Second year trainee, London
"Socialising is very good, particularly among trainees. Fairly hierarchical in some departments but, in others, partners and trainees get on well on a social level and there are less recognisable boundaries."
First year trainee, London
"There could be more social activities outside of office hours. Being spread across different buildings means there is degree of segregation between certain departments, but hopefully this will improve with the new office."
First year trainee, Macfarlanes LLP
"There is definitely a hierarchy – but that doesn't mean people at the top are isolated, far from it. There is a genuine sense of team spirit and people tend to have a good sense of humour."
First year trainee, London
"The structure and hierarchy is very defined and remains fairly obvious even at social events. The social events are wide ranging (sports, music etc) and reasonably well participated. There's regular socialising among trainees."
Second year trainee, London
"Office culture is polite and friendly. Trainees/associates socialise after office hours."
First year trainee, London
"There is a friendly attitude around the firm and no face-time culture. Usually matters are staffed by one partner, an associate and a trainee. This is small enough for a trainee to be heavily involved in a matter. The sociability of colleagues depends on what team you are part of."
Second year trainee, London
"Everyone is very friendly, there's a good amount of cross-departmental mixing and lots of events and groups to get involved with."
First year trainee, London
"Although the firm has a definite hierarchy, everyone is approachable and personable. People go out of their way to help each other and the internal atmosphere is not overly competitive."
Second year trainee, London
"Teamwork and co-operation is good. Socialising among trainees is good and this should hopefully improve firm-wide once we are all in one office (late 2017)."
First year trainee, London

2015

"The majority of partners are very nice, normal people. There are very often drinks after work at one of the local pubs/bars."
Second year trainee, London
"The culture here is very friendly, and social activities have increased over the last year."
Second year trainee, London
"There is a clear hierarchy, but everybody is approachable. Teamwork and cooperation is everywhere; rarely is a project manned by one lawyer. The level of socialising is high - informal drinks are common while the new 'Culture Club' puts on a lot of organised events, sports and drinks etc."
Second year trainee, London
"Teamwork is excellent and partners are very approachable, treating trainees as real members of the team without a huge sense of hierarchy. Socialising is pretty good and fairly regular."
Second year trainee, London
"Office hours are relatively relaxed, with teams getting to know each other well. In the main, people have a very good sense of humour. There is a strong after-hours social scene, with sports events and drinks regularly happening. We have a 'Culture Club'."
Second year trainee, London
"Socialising amongst colleagues is encouraged - we have a firm wide 'Culture Club'. This has featured music quizzes, art classes and guest speakers galore. We have an active trainee solicitor committee, too. There is cooperation across the levels and there is definitely an 'open-door' policy."
First year trainee, London

2014

"The office culture is friendly but professional amongst all levels of staff. After-hours, the culture is professionally friendly between junior and senior members of staff."
Second year trainee, London
"There is a good team ethic, with an 'everyone is in it together' attitude. I think that there is a little hierarchy, but people at all levels are approachable, and we have a good amount of social events."
First year trainee, London
"There is little sense of hierarchy and the partners and senior solicitors make a big effort to speak to trainees and teach us."
First year trainee, London
"Macfarlanes is a fun place to work and everyone is very supportive. The fact that it's a smaller firm means that everyone knows each other."
Second year trainee, London
"People are very friendly and respectful at Macfarlanes. There is an expectation to work hard but people are always recognised for it."
First year trainee, London
"I think that the culture differs from department to department, with some being slightly hierarchical, but mostly very open and friendly."
Second year trainee, London
"Macfarlanes has pleasant, intelligent and interesting colleagues, but I have found there to be little socialising outside of work premises."
First year trainee, London
"Everyone seems friendly and the fact that it is small - for the type and level of work it does - makes it easier to feel like I know everyone."
First year trainee, London
"'Face-time' is not a thing here - you are expected to get your work done, but not to stay late for the sake of it. I think that the working culture is excellent, but there could be more socialising after hours."
First year trainee, London
"The firm has a very good working environment, with team-ethic in each department. I've found it easy to look for additional work from other assistants/partners, and everyone is always willing to point you in the right direction. The firm is sociable out of hours, especially on a Friday night. Cooperation from other departments is great, and there is strong sense of friendship amongst trainees."
First year trainee, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.
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