With offices in London, Leeds and Manchester, Addleshaw Goddard is one of the UK’s most credible law firms, and in addition to some glitzy clients, is regarded as having a corporate practice to rival the biggest and best.
- Staff are encouraged to leave early when the work load isn’t heavy
- Flexible working hours, job sharing and the option to work from home
- Lots of direct contact with partners and clients
- Exciting clients – from celebrities to the FA
- Good record of diversity and the firm encourages female talent
- Some departments don’t allow trainees very challenging work
- No offices outside the UK
- Reputation for toughness
Addleshaw Goddard is one of the UK’s most credible law firms, and in addition to some glitzy clients, it is regarded as having a corporate practice to rival the biggest and best. Created from the merger of two UK firms, Addleshaw Goddard offers services in all core commercial disciplines, with particular strength in corporate and real estate, as well as an historical association with private equity.
In 2003, Leeds and Manchester firm, Addleshaw Booth & Co, and London firm, Theodore Goddard, merged to create Addleshaw Goddard. Reputable Theodore Goddard was known for its media practice, advising celebrities on their wrangles with the media, but it had lost potency, with partners defecting to the corporate and finance practices of cheque waving US firms. Addleshaw Booth, on the other hand, was a big fish in a smaller Northern pond and was looking for some bright lights and big city credibility. With these complimentary motivations and a shared desire to expand in an increasingly competitive industry, the merger suited both parties. The joint venture accelerated the firm’s development, with Addleshaw Goddard attracting some of the best partners from its rivals. However, the conjoining process was not entirely painless, with some partner exits and strict performance measurements implemented.
The merger quickly led to reorganisation, with lawyers being divided into main business divisions: finance and projects, contentious and commercial, corporate and real estate. Within these divisions the firm also branched out in specialist areas, including intellectual property, employment, private client and media. Much like the rest of the legal pack, Addleshaw Goddard has developed its corporate and finance groups over recent years, and with good success: it’s reeled in big ticket clients such as Barclays, Sainsbury, Diageo and 3i.
Addleshaw Goddard’s range of clients and deals reflects its good coverage across the country. Although the firm recently sought to set up a network of referral firms overseas, particularly in India, the Middle and the Far East, Addleshaw Goddard currently has no overseas offices and maintains a ‘one-firm’ approach across its London, Leeds and Manchester offices. In 2009 it moved into a swanky new Milton Gate London office, designed to bring almost all of the London-based staff under one roof.
But it’s not all just about work at Addleshaw Goddard. There’s a real desire to give back to the community. Partners at Addleshaw Goddard actively encourage everyone to get involved with pro bono work and charity support. Even before starting, trainees spend a week in Romania with Habitat For Humanity, an international charity dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide by building homes for families in need.
Addleshaw Goddard has also taken on summer interns on behalf of the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity that helps A-level students from state schools explore a professional career. And as if that wasn’t enough, the firm also offers free legal representation to parents of autistic children who are challenging the provisions for their children’s educational needs.
On the diversity front, the firm also encourages people from different backgrounds to join the legal profession, by offering eight summer placements to students without training contracts who come from less conventional academic backgrounds. Since its launch in 2007, the Diversity Access Scheme has proved to be immensely popular, and the firm has so far offered training contracts to 11 of these students.
Addleshaw Goddard has a history of appearing in the Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work for’ so it’s no wonder the firm is so popular amongst graduates. Competition for places is fierce and you’ll need more than a strong academic background to impress – three Bs at A-level and a 2:1 are bare necessities. While the firm does not require you to have a law degree, a strong desire to work within the legal profession is of course pivotal and this must come across at all stages of your application.
Addleshaw Goddard receives a huge volume of applications for only 45 training contracts so make sure you know how to stand out from the crowd. As always, any extracurricular activities you have undertaken are worth mentioning in the application, whether you are a keen musician, athlete or president of your law society. Commercial awareness is another quality the firm looks for in its candidates so being attentive to current affairs that affect the legal sector is a real must. You also need to show you are genuinely a team player so, by any means, don’t forget to demonstrate any experience you have. It can also safely be said that the more outgoing you are, the better – keep in mind that Addleshaw Goddard is eager to hire good communicators with great interpersonal skills so that smooth client interaction is ensured. Thoroughly research the firm before applying so that you are able to express clearly your reasons for applying, should you make it to the interview stage.
As like most other law firms, the training contract at Addleshaw Goddard involves four six-month seats. The firm encourages graduates to undertake these in corporate, banking or real estate, as well as litigation. Foreign secondments are available, but cannot be guaranteed as they are usually very popular. Past trainees have also been able to do client secondments with, for instance, RBS or Volkswagen. As expected, training will also be an important part of your life as a trainee, starting with a two-week induction at the beginning of your training contract.
If all of this sounds alluring, make sure you apply online by the given deadline. Law students can start applying when in their second year, whereas non-law students are eligible for application in their final year. You’ll have to master an online aptitude test before being granted a 30-minute phone interview. Be prepared to be quizzed on your competencies and motivation for applying. If you’re able to convince the interviewer, you’ll be invited to the final stage consisting of an assessment centre. This will involve some group exercises, commercial awareness tests, and a further interview. It’s good to keep in mind that Addleshaw Goddard has three UK offices so you need to know why you want to work for the specific office you’ve applied for when it comes to the interview!
Addleshaw Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate Recruitment Team
Training Contracts: 31st July 2013
No. of lawyers firm-wide: 700
Trainee intake: 45
Trainees retained: 84% (Sept 2012)
1st year trainee: £36,000
2nd year trainee: £37,000
Newly qualified: £58,000
1st year trainee: £24,500
2nd year trainee: £26,000
Newly qualified: £40,000
Finance & Projects