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February, 2022

Clyde & Co Training Contract and Beyond

This is a comprehensive student guide for training contracts at Clyde & Co.

Unlike the other top UK law firms by revenue, Clyde & Co is firmly rooted outside of the corporate world and in contentious work. With 30 insurance seats in their training contract rotation, it’s unsurprising that the firm has unique offerings in this sector, namely speciality reinsurance and Bermuda form. The latter focuses on arbitration rather than court work, giving the firm a niche in the UK market. Clyde & Co began the 2010s as a relatively niche insurance practice, but has since more than doubled in size while keeping a regional presence across the UK. Now the firm has over 50 offices internationally. With the firm moving into Canada in 2021, it’s clear the firm’s ambition will not wane anytime soon.

Alongside its unique offerings, Clyde & Co has been praised for its work in aviation, clinical negligence, commercial dispute resolution and ‘financial institutions directors and officers,’ or professional negligence as it’s known outside the firm. Northern clients have also lauded the Manchester office for its first-rate casualty presence. Clyde & Co has been rewarded for this work with commendations in the Times Best Law Firms 2022 in all those categories. The firm has also achieved Legal 500 Tier 1 status for those sectors, standing against notable competitors like DLA Piper in aviation, Capsticks in clinical negligence and HFW for dispute resolution.

In 2021, Clyde & Co launched an innovative platform with the goal of becoming ‘the lowest overall indemnity spend provider to its clients.’ Aimed at casualty insurance teams, the platform currently offers six products, including an AI-driven solicitor’s cost calculator, a fraud screener and an automated recoveries work assistant. The firm is planning to promote more products in the coming year. Following the COP26 summit, Clyde & Co launched the report Building Better Resilience; A Climate Change Guide for the Built Environment in the UK. The report will help to identify and manage climate risks for construction and property development. Risks are identified through all project stages, offering step-by-step solutions for many grateful organizations.

The level of responsibility trainees will experience will vary depending on seat. Smaller departments will offer the same work as a newly qualified associate, while bigger departments will have bigger cases spread across more people. Regardless, hands-on experience is the main way of learning. The firm has a small intake for its size, so each trainee will have the time and opportunities to get involved and with everyone from other trainees to head counsel and everyone in between.

Most of the trainees will be based in London, but a small cohort go to Manchester. All trainees will have to take on a transactional seat, but London trainees will have to list one seat in the Guildford office as a preference. Aside from that, trainees at either office will have the same possibilities open to them. Socials between offices and departments will offer the opportunity for everyone to get to know each other.

Like many firms of its size, Clyde & Co London trainees can expect to be in the office 9am to 7pm. Different departments will demand nights depending on the work involved, so be prepared to pull long shifts if needed. Manchester trainees can expect a typical Northern day of 9am to 6pm, barring occasional urgent work. However, partners in both offices are very accommodating if given fair warning of any weekend plans. Clyde & Co offers a generous pay packet for those willing to work the hours. London trainees will get £38,000 for one year, £40,000 the next and gain a £68,000 salary after qualifying. Manchester trainees will get a lesser-but still robust-£24,500 for the first year and £26,500 for the second, and expect a hefty increase upon qualifying.

Practice Areas 

Insurance, energy, trade and commodities, infrastructure and transport.

Culture

Attempt to retain a tight knit trainee culture, promoting honesty and encouraging trainee social events, the firm scores well for partner approachability within the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyers Survey 2020-1, has a ‘50 hours’ policy giving fee-earning lawyers credit towards their billable targets for up to 50 hours per year for pro bono.

Involvement with Equality Schemes

Signatories of the UN Global Compact, charity partnership with Together for Short Lives and Orbis a charity fighting avoidable blindness, has ‘The art Award’ providing an opportunity for young local artists to get their work displayed in the office, equal opportunities graduate recruitment and North American Women’s Initiative dedicated to retaining, promoting and supporting female lawyers.

Statistics of Inclusion

57% UK female associates, 24% UK female partners, 10% UK BME associates, 2% UK BME partners.

Covid-19 Response 

Despite the criticism surrounding a lack of tech infrastructure in the firm the transition to work from home overall has been regarded as having gone well.

Interview Process

Negotiation style group exercise, competency style questions.

Facilities

London office boasts an impressive canteen with a lovely view which come the evening turns into a bar, a cocktail social is held every month, there is some criticism out there regarding the lack of tech infrastructure in the firm with laptops and desktop computers being largely old and difficult to use.

Opportunities

International secondments are somewhat common with the San Francisco office being a firm favourite destination.

Spring Vacation Scheme Deadline
2 January 2022 Learn More

Summer Vacation Scheme Deadline
2 January 2022 Learn More

More About Clyde & Co

Learn more about what Clyde &Co has to offer.

Work Experience Opportunities Available

Vacation scheme, Bright Futures (nine-month programme for first years and penultimate year non-law students from lower socioeconomic status groups), insight days.

Entry Requirements 

AAB A-level requirements, 2:1 or on target for one.

Assessment Process

Online application form, assessment centre, partner interview, written exercise.

Location of Offices in UK

Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guildford, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle.

Number of Places Available

35 training contract places, 45 vacation scheme places.

Number of Seats

Four six month seats.

Client and Secondment Seats

21% and 7% chance respectably

Retention Score of Trainees

87%

Introduction by Charles Burton and breakdown by Kirsten Box