The result of an Anglo-Germanic alliance, Taylor Wessing was traditionally known for its work in TMT. Today, the firm covers a wide variety of practices – from corporate to private client – and has offices all across Europe, the Middle East and China.
- Plush offices
- Freedom to explore a range of areas during training
- Enjoyable and collegial ethos
- Not the strongest reputation/brand
- Trainee work tends to be menial
- Very few female partners
Taylor Wessing is the Anglo-German product of the 2002 merger of the City’s Taylor Joynson Garrett and Germany’s Wessing. Both firms, of roughly 280 lawyers, came together to create an international firm, devoted to servicing the technology, media and telecoms sectors.
It is certainly an ambitious firm and has fast developed into the international presence we see today – with offices in the major economic zones of Belgium, Germany, France and the UK. The move has allowed Taylor Wessing to score lucrative cross-border work, in addition to selling itself in the US as a well connected outfit. In 2007 the firm merged with associated law firm Key and Dixon to form Taylor Wessing Middle East. The firm also has two representative offices in China.
The firm faced a minor image problem post-merger after the collapse of the dot-com boom; as while it was doing all the work one would expect from a decent corporate boutique, the firm was difficult to define. Now, while traditionally known for its work in TMT, Taylor Wessing covers a broad spectrum of areas – from corporate to private client to venture capital. Practices in venture capital and private equity have been joined by commercial property, pensions, employment, biotechnology and insurance.
Taylor Wessing is among those firms savvy enough to realise that its corporate clients might also want some advice on how to manage all their moolah. Furthermore the firm is now establishing a reputation advising on cleantech funds, climate change and environmental practices. The UK still accounts for more than half of the firm’s total revenue, the majority of which is brought in by corporate work.
Taylor Wessing takes on 22-24 trainees a year and has places for around 40 students on their summer vac schemes – so expect competition for both to be fierce. The recruitment process is the same for those applying to both the vac scheme and for a training contract and starts with candidates filling out a form online.
If the firm likes what you have to say, you’ll be asked to attend an assessment centre. This takes place over either a morning or an afternoon and comprises a group exercise in which you’ll be assessed on your teamwork, presentation and debating skills; and an interview with a partner and a member of the HR team. During the interview, you should be ready to field questions on you CV, your academic record and any extracurricular activities you’re involved in, as well as commercial awareness scenario.
Throughout the day you’ll be rated on a number of different things, including your communication skills, commercial awareness and ability to think laterally. Candidates who have clearly done their research always have an edge, as do those who are personable and friendly throughout all tasks.
The training contract follows the ‘four six-month seats’ format with two compulsory seats as trainees are required to gain both corporate and contentious experience. The remaining two seats are decided between each trainee and the firm based primarily on the trainee’s preferences but taking into account the needs of the firm.
Taylor Wessing Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate Recruitment Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 7000
Training Contract: 31st July 2013
No. of lawyers firm-wide: 900
No. of lawyers in the UK: 320
London Partners: 100
London Associates: 220
London Trainee Intake: 22-24
London Trainees Retained: 86% (Sept 2012)
TAYLOR WESSING: 2013 LAW RANKINGS
# 29 Most Reputable Law Firm (5.99/10)
1st year trainee: £37,000
2nd year trainee: £41,000
Newly Qualified: £60,000
1 year PQE: £65,000
2 years PQE: £69,000
3 years PQE: £70,000 – 78,000
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5 New Street Square
London EC4A 3TW
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 7000
No. of worldwide offices: 22