Associates in London

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:08 am

Topic has been discussed somewhat in past (seem to be a handful of London-related biglaw threads from 2011-2012). Would be great to get a more present view of work life + career + comp in UK. Despite any Brexit headwinds, seems like Magic Circle firms (besides Freshfields) are unanimously growing in terms of PPP + RPL, etc. Lateral movement to the outposts of US AmLaw 50 firms seems to be a fairly regular and consistent trend. Cap markets is the largest practice group offering, but a strong handful of firms seem to have U.S. JDs doing M&A/General Corporate, Finance, Funds, and FCPA/Arb. Looking forward:
-Are there present numbers out there on COLAs (both from U.S. and Magic Circle firms)?
-Assuming 1 year of corporate experience (V10, primary market), what's the best way to apply? Directly to firms or through a UK recruiter?
-The need for US cap markets attorneys abroad seems pretty clear and specialized. How's the work for other corporate US J.D.s?
-How is the general work/life in the London market for associates and any thoughts on the trajectory moving forward?
Thx!

joefresh
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 9:05 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby joefresh » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:36 am

Can someone please explain what a cost of living allowance is? Like, actually. Do firms give you a whole bunch of money to rent an apartment? surely not right?

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Topic has been discussed somewhat in past (seem to be a handful of London-related biglaw threads from 2011-2012). Would be great to get a more present view of work life + career + comp in UK. Despite any Brexit headwinds, seems like Magic Circle firms (besides Freshfields) are unanimously growing in terms of PPP + RPL, etc. Lateral movement to the outposts of US AmLaw 50 firms seems to be a fairly regular and consistent trend. Cap markets is the largest practice group offering, but a strong handful of firms seem to have U.S. JDs doing M&A/General Corporate, Finance, Funds, and FCPA/Arb. Looking forward:
-Are there present numbers out there on COLAs (both from U.S. and Magic Circle firms)?
-Assuming 1 year of corporate experience (V10, primary market), what's the best way to apply? Directly to firms or through a UK recruiter?
-The need for US cap markets attorneys abroad seems pretty clear and specialized. How's the work for other corporate US J.D.s?
-How is the general work/life in the London market for associates and any thoughts on the trajectory moving forward?
Thx!


Cola is lower these days since pound is down.
No idea as to best way to apply but maybe try a rotation first through your firm before committing.
London market for us jds is capital markets centric, other jds have a harder time breaking. I have heard of PE also at some firms, m&a, but considerably lower volume than capital markets.
London market for us capital markets associates is very up or down. Months where you bill 0 followed by months where you bill 300. Some firms have a sweatshop reputation but that is info that you can gather on conversations with London attorneys.

User avatar
deepseapartners
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:49 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby deepseapartners » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:06 pm

joefresh wrote:Can someone please explain what a cost of living allowance is? Like, actually. Do firms give you a whole bunch of money to rent an apartment? surely not right?

You are given a salary boost in order to account for the increased real cost of living. E.g., a firm will give its US associates in London a $50,000 salary boost in order to account for the currency exchange rate coupled with the high cost of living.

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:59 am

Are there any significant differences between working for MC vs. US firms in London as a US JD?

KijiStewart
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby KijiStewart » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:09 pm

Also, do U.S. JDs at the london office have to work on EST?

I figure thats a super mind-fuck and turn off

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:57 am

KijiStewart wrote:Also, do U.S. JDs at the london office have to work on EST?

I figure thats a super mind-fuck and turn off



Well us jds in London will be doing a lot of international work and might also be doing a lot of us originated work so the short answer it depends by where the client/parties are based.

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:01 am

If anyone is actually working in London (or at least interacts with London-based colleagues on a regular basis), any insight would be great.

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:47 am

I've recently lateraled back to the US but I spent 3 years working in London, at 2 different US firms, doing mainly cap markets / leveraged finance / high yield.

On COLA: top of the market is around $100k (a few firms used to pay a bit more), but almost everyone is cutting back or getting rid of it entirely. If you're considering London for the future, you should assume your COLA will be minimal.

In general I think recruiters are a better way to apply but you need to find a good one. If you work for a firm with a London office, getting transferred out there is probably the easiest way.

There seems to be a lot of FCPA/investigations work in London, I think that's probably a growing area. US JDs doing international arbitration exist but I think it's quite rare. Some firms have US associates do M&A work or English law cap markets work in their London offices, but it's rare. The most marketable thing you can do is cap mkts / high yield.

London market for associates is not amazing at the moment, that was true even a bit prior to Brexit. Things may pick up but they don't seem to be yet.

Work/life is definitely better than New York, but it could still be terrible depending on where you work. Because groups are small it's very easy to get overwhelmed some of the time, and be twiddling your thumbs at other times. Generally English and European clients are a little more humane, and the work culture of the British and European lawyers rubs off a bit.

Ask any questions in thread or let me know if you want a PM.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NoLongerALurker
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:08 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby NoLongerALurker » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:18 am

Can't PM an anon -- can anon above send me a PM?

KijiStewart
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby KijiStewart » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:29 pm

Same. Anon please DM - I would love to do London.

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:42 pm

I'm the same anon who posted above.

In terms of hours worked: London offices tend to have UK and EU clients, so you do most of your work on local time. With EU clients, and with most non-lawyers working earlier than lawyers, you often will have, e.g., a 7:30am call with your German client. Some firms have London associates help out on US matters when they're slow in London, or will have them work on UK/EU-related issues for a US client or US transaction - this puts you into US hours. Similarly, a lot of the cap markets work involves offerings into the US, so you can be stuck on US timing at some points - e.g., if you are doing a USD-denominated offering, you may not price that offering until 5 or 6pm New York time, which means at 11pm or midnight you might be scrambling on the day of pricing. I think there are firms that do Asia work out of London now and then as well - this is obviously just miserable from a timing perspective, but I think it's pretty rare.

In my experience, most of the work was roughly UK time, and while I did plenty of late nights, most of those were at the behest of UK or EU based clients, not because of time zone problems.

Anonymous User
Posts: 287733
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associates in London

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:56 pm

Current SA splitting US firm with office in London. Working in high yield. It's insane. Maybe the firm I'm at is just severely under staffed, but from working with firms on the other side of our deals, they don't seem all that happy either. Associate I'm working with has been working 100+ hour weeks over the summer. He did say it's not always this busy. This is just my experience, I guess, but it seems very stressful in this office compared to the NY office.

JC1229
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:16 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby JC1229 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:22 pm

Former London associate who just lateraled back -- I'd appreciate a DM. Thanks.

juice122
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:09 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby juice122 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:26 pm

Can either of the anons who have worked in London pm me? I would love to work in London as well. Thanks!

User avatar
unlicensedpotato
Posts: 441
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby unlicensedpotato » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:38 pm

FYI for those interested -- I got a recruiter email awhile back for a U.S. income tax associate position in London with a V10. I didn't take the time to figure out which firm(s) that was likely to mean.

guyonabuffalo
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Associates in London

Postby guyonabuffalo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:34 pm

Would also greatly appreciate if any of the anons currently/previously working in London would PM me. I'm trying my damnedest to lateral over (permanently), but it's taking considerably longer than anticipated.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.