Clyde & Co

While historically entrenched in shipping, Clyde & Co also provides reputable services in aviation, insurance, reinsurance and international trade.

7.7 / 10 16 reviews Overall Satisfaction

Excellent for work/life balance.

255 employee reviews - read more


  • Reasonable hours make for a good work/life balance
  • Excellent quality of work, especially in litigation
  • Making partner is not an elusive dream
  • Friendly firm and partners are supportive


  • Pay is not quite on par with the calibre of the firm
  • There could be more secondment opportunities for trainees
  • The firm has not quite adjusted to its size in terms of resourcing and support

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Traditionally one of the three great shipping firms in the City, Clyde & Co was founded in 1933, by Scottish lawyer Richard Arthur Clyde. He had left a firm of City marine lawyers to start up on his own, and the firm immediately began to attract instructions from insurance companies. Befitting a onetime shipping firm, the areas of maritime and aviation remain big business for Clyde & Co, as are insurance and reinsurance and international trade.

There was a time when Clyde & Co was known as little more than a first-rate insurance firm, but since 1981 it has been on a growth curve, expanding internationally and diversifying its practice. It’s now a mid-tier player that punches above its weight in the areas of aviation, transport, insurance and international trade. However, its commercial litigation practice is one of the best in the City and it is fast-developing a technology practice.

Clyde touts that it has 33 offices worldwide – covering the majority of the world’s financial centres – and its lawyers are qualified in 17 jurisdictions, able to speak 37 languages.

Clyde & Co is one of the few firms with two offices in the South East. In 1969, the firm moved the ‘back office’ functions and two partners out of the City, into cheaper digs in Guildford. Since this re-housing, the office has grown to become a significant outfit in its own right.

With a long tradition of providing legal advice on a pro bono basis, Clyde & Co is one City firm truly committed to its community and giving something back. Solicitors use their skills in a wide variety of settings; from free legal advice clinics to radio phone ins. In fact, the firm was a founding member of the Solicitors’ Pro Bono Group – an independent charity formed to support, promote and encourage a commitment to pro bono by UK law firms.

Read all 255 employee quotes

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As well as academic results and a strong commercial acumen, Clyde & Co looks for those with a practical approach to problem solving and an international outlook. Applicants need to have excellent interpersonal skills to enable them to communicate effectively with clients, and Clyde & Co most certainly recruits to retain.

The process begins with the increasingly industry-standard online application, followed by an assessment session with graduate recruitment, culminating with an interview with two partners.

Clyde & Co Graduate Recruitment Info

Tel: +44 (0)20 7876 4387

Application Deadlines:
Training Contracts: 31st July 2014

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No. of lawyers firm-wide: 1108
Total Partners firm-wide: 281
Total Partners UK: 168
Trainee intake: 35-40
Trainees retained: 92% (2013)


# 20 in Top 50 Law Firms (6.59/10)
# 3 in Offices & Dress (8.75/10)
# 5 in Hours (7.92/10)
# 7 in Level of Stress (6/10)
# 9 (tie) in Career Prospects (5.5/10)
# 12 in Trainee Retention (7.2/10)
# 13 in Culture (8.29/10)
# 13 in Partner & Solicitor Relations (6/10)


London 2012
1st year trainee: £36,000
2nd year trainee: £38,000
Newly qualified: £59,000

Compare 2014 Law Firm Salaries


Aviation & Aerospace
Energy & Infrastructure
Insurance & Reinsurance
Professional Practices
Structured Trade & Commodity Finance

The firm is friendly and collegiate. There is no 'stay to be seen' culture but they do expect you to work hard as and when required. Many of the departments organise their own socials - Corporate for example, have a group lunch every month and end of month drinks. In terms of trainee socialising, we are relatively social and do try and go for drinks on a regular basis. Although as there are 37 of us, it is pretty difficult to arrange!

Read all reviews in Culture

Very snazzy. In fact our lifts and ground floor reception area were recently used in the James McAvoy film, "Welcome to the Punch". Rumour has it the BBC asked if the could use our client meeting rooms as Lord Sugars office in the Apprentice! Hands down best views of the City, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf.

Read all reviews in Offices & Dress

Generally seem good; the spread of female partners seems to vary between departments, but does still seem to be smaller than the number of male partners.

Read all reviews in Diversity

Since starting my training contract, I have: managed a deal data room, met with the other side on a deal; some drafting of letters, instructions to counsel and other ancillary documentation; been to Tribunal, etc. Life on the job is busy and varied, occasionally pretty pressured but usually very interesting.

Read all reviews in Satisfaction with Work


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London Office:
The St Botolph Building
138 Houndsditch,
London EC3A 7AR
Tel: 020 7876 5555

No. of worldwide offices: 33
Abu Dhabi
Dar es Salaam
Hong Kong
New Jersey
New York
Rio de Janeiro*
San Francisco
Sao Paulo
St Petersburg*

*Associate Office