Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

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Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:42 am

Hi, I am currently debating whether to apply for the London magic circle firms or a London office of a US firm. Mostly because London offices of US firms are obviously smaller than the magic circle offices and I think I would prefer a more intimate environment.

Thoughts on any of the following would be great:

Covington
Latham
Shearman
Weil

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:01 am

Latham has a very strong London-based US practice, but if you are serious about London, you should really look at Magic Circle firms.

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:15 am

There are some decent threads on various London issues (pay, practice area, hours, applying, culture, impact of Brexit) in this forum if one puts in the time to search for and through them, though some are a bit old, and they're pretty inconsistent in their advice. Magic Circle firms are much larger than US satellites in London, but the US-qualified practices of Magic Circle firms likely are not (and MC firms will admit this in interviews, in my experience). In terms of prestige perception within London, Magic Circle firms can still be viewed as on top by virtue of size, particularly by non-US qualified lawyers, which may be a general concern if you're thinking of London long-term. I don't think it's possible as a US-qualified associate to work in anything other than a relatively small group in London. All that said, Latham dominates the field in high-yield debt, but other offices may have more diverse work for US JDs both within capital markets, and outside it. Can't say too much more about your list, though there are many more US offices in London if you wanted to investigate.

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Latham has a very strong London-based US practice, but if you are serious about London, you should really look at Magic Circle firms.


Op here. You don't think going to a respectable US firm would set you up in London? But what is the point of going to a big firm if I don't want to work in a big office. Lots of Magic Circle associates lateral into US firms because of their smaller more amiable office culture. If i started at a US firm that I like, where else is there to go?

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:33 pm

on a relevant note, does anyone know how to get a position in the Paris office of a US firm? Is French a prerequisite?

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:33 pm

on a relevant note, does anyone know how to get a position in the Paris office of a US firm? Is French a prerequisite?

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:34 pm

..

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Latham has a very strong London-based US practice, but if you are serious about London, you should really look at Magic Circle firms.


Op here. You don't think going to a respectable US firm would set you up in London? But what is the point of going to a big firm if I don't want to work in a big office. Lots of Magic Circle associates lateral into US firms because of their smaller more amiable office culture. If i started at a US firm that I like, where else is there to go?


Where the heck did you hear the bit about "lots of magic circle associates" lateralling into US firms for their smaller, more amiable office culture? I moved from a US firm to a Magic Circle firm and my group here is every bit as close-knit and amiable as my last firm, just with more institutional support than we got at a US satellite office. There are both Magic Circle and US offices in London that have occasionally toxic office culture, based on what I've seen in my half a decade over here, and it varies more by the partners running the group than by nationality of the firm.

I've known a number of US associates who've been told they had to go back to NY if they wanted to stick around with the firm long-term, but the lateral market over here still seems fairly strong given how small the market is for US-qualifieds, so not sure I'd weigh that point too heavily.

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:28 pm

Isn't the bigger question here whether op wants to do capital markets? Can you do much else in london as a US lawyer

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:on a relevant note, does anyone know how to get a position in the Paris office of a US firm? Is French a prerequisite?


Hmm... It is not a study abroad program. Of course French is prerequisite and even then this is a unicorn job.

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Re: Thoughts on London offices of US BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:54 pm

Bumping to ask about laterals back to the States from US offices in London. Elsewhere on here I've read posts saying it can be difficult, but in some of my interviews for London I was told that they look for signs of commitment to stay London specifically because associates tend to return to the States so often. My career counselor told me that they know of people who move back pretty frequently. Interested if anyone on here has some personal experience they could share on the whole issue. Thanks!



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