UK 2021 edition
Next generation law
Where will your
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04 04 Who we are 05 Our core values
08 08 Corporate
06 Global commercial disputes
12 Energy and natural resources
14 Entertainment and media
16 Financial services
18 18 IP, tech, and data
24 24 Real estate
26 26 Transportation
28 28 Innovation
30 30 Work-life balance 30 Sports and social
22 Labour, employment, and benefits
32 Inclusion in practice 32 Responsible business 33 Diversity, equity & inclusion 40 Pro bono
44 Your path at Reed Smith 44 Application process 45 Vacation schemes 46 Training contract
47 Our benefits 47 Dates for your diary
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Who we are
Our core values Our core values define who we are and how we move our business forward. They guide how we behave, make decisions and treat others. They’re what make us, us.
integrity We are honest, ethical, equitable and authentic. We do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. excellence We operate at the highest levels, and we are committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for ourselves and our clients. teamwork & respect We work together and treat each other with dignity and respect at all times. We prize our differences, knowing they are essential to our great culture, our performance and our service delivery. innovation We embrace change. Our ability to innovate enables us to exceed expectations and ensures that we are driving progress for our clients and our firm. impact We strive to deliver the greatest positive impact for our clients, our communities and our firm, working to achieve their and our goals.
30 offices globally
Where will your career take you? You have a big decision to make. To ensure you make the right one for your career, you’ll want to know what sets us apart from other law firms. We’re all about driving progress. Which means everything we do is focused on helping our clients move their business forward – from the people we hire, how we train them and the technologies we implement, to the way we practice law. This is our promise – it’s why we exist. Most importantly for you, our promise makes our firm a very supportive place to learn, develop and gain experience. We know that helping you build your career is vital to our collective success. Which is why we’ve developed an environment where everyone, at every level, is willing and able to nurture and guide you. Be part of a dynamic and forward-looking firm From your very first day, you’re important to us. You’ll soon be in client-facing roles, and work closely with partners and associates in small teams. In a diverse and inclusive workplace, we’ll help you build your career as you want it. And, as we’re a global firm, you’ll have the chance to work with clients and colleagues around the world. A distinctively human approach Our clients tell us that our way of doing business is respectful, fair and human. And this runs through everything – especially the way we invest in the next generation of lawyers. We encourage collaboration, believe strongly in diversity and value an entrepreneurial spirit. All of which helps us provide smarter, more creative legal services that achieve our clients’ goals – and all while shaping the future of law.
4 global regions – Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States
3,000 people, with more than 1,700 lawyers
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Global Commercial Disputes
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As one of the largest global disputes firms in London, and ranked in the elite GAR 30**, commercial disputes are at the heart of what we do, working with clients such as Bauer Media, PwC, and ITV. Whatever issue our clients encounter – whether involving complex provision of services, interpretation of contract terms, fraud or fiduciary duty issues, or claims concerning the structure, governance, or operation of companies and other entities – we are on hand to provide experienced, strategic, and commercial
What do you do? I am an associate in our Global Commercial Disputes group. Like most of our associates, I have a fairly broad commercial practice, but have developed a particular expertise in insurance recovery disputes and international arbitration. One of the parts of my work that I enjoy the most (and what keeps it interesting) are the range of clients and industry sectors. The insurance recovery work (broadly, complex insurance claims) involves a range of sectors and types of insurance policies. I have active cases in the marine, retail and leisure sectors, but historically have also advised clients in the financial and energy sectors. My commercial arbitration cases are equally diverse and I am currently involved in advising clients in the pharmaceutical and defence/security sectors. I am also involved in a range of commercial cases including high value negligence claims against both individuals and manufacturing companies. Why did you choose global commercial disputes? My family would say it is because I am argumentative, but I have always been attracted to contentious work. In one sense, the role is complex-problem solving – ensuring that your put your client’s claim (or defence) forward in the strongest way possible to achieve the best overall outcome for the client (whether through settlement or success at trial). The other element of the work necessarily involves a love of the law and its impact on the strength of the client’s position. I chose GCD because the team encourages all associates, particularly at the junior and mid- level, to develop a broad practice area. Having exposure to a broad range of disputes and clients keeps the day-to-day work varied and interesting, and also enables one to draw on a wide-range of experience when advising clients on their position.
What does your group offer a trainee? GCD is a large group and covers a broad range of contentious work. There are a number of opportunities for trainees which will enable you to get a flavour of some of the types of work the department does – including regulatory (and other) investigations, international arbitration, commercial litigation and insurance recovery. As a trainee, you will be encouraged to take on work from partners and associates other than your direct supervisor.
Some of the main trainee tasks, including preparing accurate hearing/application bundles, drafting correspondence and legal research, form the foundations of the strong legal skills that are expected of litigators. As a trainee you will also get the opportunity to attend client meetings and (depending on the stage of cases you are working on) hearings (which have been virtual since early 2020 but we are seeing a return to in-person hearings).
advice, in the context of their business. Our sector-focused approach combines
Next generation law Reed Smith 7 ” hard work Everyone’s is really recognised.
industry-specific knowledge with our strong disputes and tactical experience to deliver creative solutions and powerful results. Should the situation be time-sensitive, we have significant understanding of acting in emergency situations, including obtaining preemptive remedies such as injunctions and asset-tracing orders, as well as extensive assistance with coordination of multi-jurisdictional litigation.
Catherine Lewis Associate
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Corporate From Microsoft Corporation, Daily Mail Group to CBPE Capital, our Corporate Group acts on cross-border transactions for leading multinational organisations
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Your favourite memories so far? Working in the Corporate team has provided a vast array of memorable moments which include hosting in-person negotiations in Kazakhstan and Athens, negotiating the proposed acquisition of a Premier League Football Club and assisting a client to dispose of a UK hotel portfolio after working on the original acquisition. I do remember being provided with the opportunity to travel to New York and Chicago, pitching to a client with our Global Managing Partner. The fact that our Global Managing Partner was so supportive and willing to give his time to support the pitch was an invaluable and inspirational experience and represents a strong message about the culture of Reed Smith globally. How would you describe your group? The polar opposite of hierarchical. What I have always enjoyed about our Group is that everyone works as a team and as a single unit. Partners always encourage you to raise questions with an open door ethos. In addition, the Group is extremely entrepreneurial and supportive if you have an idea or opportunity you wish to explore. By way of example, the Partners supported an associates only client event at Namco London whereby we invited and hosted our junior contacts at firm clients to facilitate business development at all levels. It was a great evening other than one person splitting his trousers whilst exiting the dodgems!
across a number of industry sectors. Working across all forms of mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, private equity transactions and commercial arrangements, the Group focuses on the commercial strategies and objectives of the client to develop long lasting relationships. Lawyers use their in-depth industry specific, local and business practice knowledge to work with clients throughout the life cycle of a business or investment, planning ahead for the future. Graduates in this Group will work with a wide variety of businesses from start-ups to some of the most sophisticated multinational organisations, gaining first- hand experience of high profile strategic decision making and corporate transactions.
Favourite memories One of the great things about working in a Corporate team is that we have a number of deal completions/ closings. Whilst the build-up can be stressful, being able to attend a signing meeting and seeing your clients through the process is really rewarding. Whilst not necessarily glamorous, setting up an organised closing meeting and receiving compliments from experienced clients is a great feeling. At the beginning of my career as an associate I worked on a number of deals which closed within a two week period – closing deals every few days was the closest I have been to feeling like Harvey Specter (and the celebrations to mark the end of each of these deal definitely made the hard work worth it!). Describe your group The Corporate Group is one of the friendliest teams I have had the pleasure of working in. The lawyers within the team are hardworking and at the top of their game but they are always willing to take the time to explain points and to teach – this has been invaluable to my growth and development as a lawyer. The open-door policy and the keenness to hear different views have meant that I have always been able to feel like I am contributing to the deals I am working on and that my opinions are worth raising. Most interesting matter One of the reasons I joined Reed Smith was for its great Entertainment & Media practice, which is one of the best in the country. I have been lucky enough to be seconded to two companies operating in this space. Upon my return, I have done a number of deals within this space, one of which being the acquisition by ITV plc of the TV production company, World Productions, which is behind some of the biggest shows on TV at the moment (Line of Duty, Bodyguard and Save Me, to name a few). From the due diligence to negotiating the transaction documents it was a really interesting deal to work on, especially as you read about the contracts with the stars of the shows!
Daryl Cue Senior Associate
Can you tell us about the most interesting matter you have worked on to date? I have always enjoyed watching Dragon’s Den. In 2017, we were instructed by Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones CBE on the sale of Red Letter Days to Smartbox Group, the owner of Buyagift. Working with the clients was an amazing experience and I continue to provide regular advice to Peter’s in-house legal team and will be joining Peter’s upcoming charity clay pigeon shooting event.
Ravi Pattani Associate – Corporate
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Graduates in this team will be working within the
highest levels of world business.
What do you most enjoy about being a Corporate lawyer? Whether we’re helping a company to list on the London Stock Exchange, buying or selling a company or completing a funding round that means the company can implement the next part of their business plan, I love being part of the team that helps them to get there. With any transaction there will be bumps along the way but thinking up innovative solutions to help the client to reach their aim and developing the close working relationships with our client as part of that process is something I really enjoy. How would you describe your group? Corporate is a really friendly and welcoming group. We have a collaborative approach and from the first day I joined I felt like a key member of the team. The team is also entrepreneurial and from an early stage of your career you’re encouraged to develop your own relationships with clients, particularly those of a similar level to you – they’re our clients of the future.
Can you tell us about the most interesting matter you have worked on to date? That has to be the first deal I worked on as part of the Corporate team; the acquisition of Fabergé Limited by our client Gemfields plc. Spending weeks researching information about diamonds and other precious stones was certainly one of the more glamorous verification projects I have been involved in. It was particularly exciting when the deal was reported on the front of the Financial Times and after months of having to keep the deal quiet I could tell people that was what I had been working on.
Fiona McFarlane Senior Associate – Corporate
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Energy and Natural Resources
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Our Energy and Natural Resources Group is global in reach and scope. Our team of over 160 lawyers works across our global network, advising businesses engaged in the extraction, production, distribution or financing of energy and natural resources, and in related projects, products and services. Combining regulatory, transactional and litigation disciplines, we represent many of the world’s largest players in this market. We are involved in commodities, power, oil and gas, nuclear energy, mining, metals and minerals, and renewable and clean-tech energy – which means graduates have the opportunity to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world. What sets us apart is the time we dedicate to the sector. Ranked by leading legal directories as a Band 1 practice, our lawyers work day in, day out to maintain our position as a market leader.
What do you do? I am an environmental, health and safety lawyer sitting within the Energy and Natural Resources group. My team covers a range of topics including pollution liability, land remediation, health and safety, chemicals, products regulation, product liability, food safety, producer responsibility and waste management. I am fortunate to get interesting matters across my desk every day, and the work feels very tangible, especially when you see products you have advised on being sold. How would you describe your group? ENR is a friendly and approachable group. There are a variety of specialists within the group, designed to best serve the sector, which leads to opportunities to work with a wide variety of colleagues. People are keen on the social side as well, with a group usually willing to have lunch in the canteen or go for a drink after work. What would appeal to a graduate joining your group? The immense breadth of work and opportunities you’re exposed to within the department. Because of the structure of the group, you get involved with matters that are fundamental to the global energy and commodities industry – such as financing, financial regulation and environmental, health and safety.
What sets us apart is the time we dedicate to the sector.
Jennifer Travers Associate
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Entertainment and Media
How does your group drive progress? We undertake a lot of technology-related law and are always at the cutting edge of what businesses are doing with regard to technology. This includes how music is being distributed, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. We’re forging new paths where rules haven’t existed, and we’re constantly looking at innovative ways of doing things. we’re constantly looking at innovative ways of doing things. We’re forging new paths where rules haven’t existed, and “ ” Back to contents.
From SoundCloud to Sony, our Entertainment and Media Group advises some of the most dynamic companies, global superstars, and the latest tech start-ups in one of the world’s most exciting industries. We represent 90 per cent of companies involved in consumer music propositions: the major video streaming businesses, broadcasters and film studios, numerous start-ups, and many major brand advertisers. Graduates will work closely with experienced entertainment, media, and technology lawyers based in our London office, as well as entertainment and media lawyers in our Century City (Los Angeles), New York, Paris, Munich, Miami, Dallas and Chicago offices, along with lawyers from right across the rest of the business, globally. The group advises across the entire industry, from sports, film and TV, to social media and music, and advertising and marketing.
Why a career in law? I enjoy writing, solving problems, and logically thinking through intellectual challenges – I think that’s probably why I like law. I’m also quite competitive, which helps as a litigator, and I love a good intellectual argument. Constantly learning from the range of experts in our broader team provides me with the opportunity to grow and progress. Why entertainment and media? I’m a partner in the Entertainment and Media Group, which combines my love of the law and all things media. It’s an amazing privilege working alongside creative people, and the buzz of working in a fast-paced media environment is difficult to beat. The scope of my working remit is really broad, with a new challenge every day.
Carolyn Pepper Partner
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Our Financial Industry Group acts at the cutting edge of the financial sector, advising on cross-border transactions for clients including multinational organisations, global banks, and financial institutions. Our graduates benefit from being part of one integrated team, renowned for its global strength and capabilities. As a group, we offer graduates the opportunity to gain experience from the full spectrum of financial services, including structured finance, lending, investment management, restructuring and insolvency, and financial regulatory transactions. Additionally, we are market leaders in the hot topics of financial innovation, including impact investing, alternative financing, and FinTech.
Tell us about joining Reed Smith? I did a vacation scheme at Reed Smith in 2009 whilst I was at university, and joined as a trainee in 2012. I had a great and really varied training contact, in the London office I did seats in Funds, Structured Finance and Energy and Natural Resources – Derivatives, and I also had the opportunity to go on secondment to the Reed Smith Abu Dhabi office, to do my litigation seat. I qualified into Structured Finance (which is a sub-team within the Financial Industry Group) in 2014, and was promoted to Senior Associate 5 years later, in 2019. What are you working on now? I am currently really busy on the Firm’s IBOR transition project. Inter-Bank Offered Rates (or IBORs – such as LIBOR) underpin so many of our deals – whether it’s an interest rate on a bank account, or publically traded notes which carry interest linked to IBOR. IBORs are being discontinued at the end of 2021, meaning all our affected deals now need assistance with moving to a new rate. The Firm has developed some cutting edge ‘AI’ technology, which we are pioneering on this project alongside our legal expertise, it’s a really interesting one to be involved in! What next? Last year I worked on a crypto asset deal, it was a market leading deal and was an interesting indicator of where market appetite currently lies. The programme (which was initially established for Bitcoin) has built in scope for expansion into other crypto assets – so I will be interested to see how this sector of the market develops and innovates over the next few years.
Next generation law Reed Smith 17 ” We are market leaders in the hot topics of financial innovation, including impact investing, alternative financing and FinTech.
Katie Grace Associate
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IP , Tech & Data
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“ It’s an extremely environment collaborative ”
Our IP, Tech, and Data Group brings together our information technology, privacy, and data security capabilities with our traditional intellectual property practice. In today’s information driven economy, data is the new oil. The IP, Tech & Data Group offers a full spectrum of data protection, privacy and security services with a truly global network of support. We assist clients in navigating the increasingly complex body of legislation affecting how organisations collect, use, manage and share personal data. Our Group regularly advises organisations around the world on a wide range of matters and challenges, including data protection, privacy and compliance and risk management, outsourcing, data breaches and investigations by data protection authorities. Our experience spans the full range of industry sectors including healthcare and life sciences, financial services, construction and engineering, technology, manufacturing and electronics, retail, telecommunications and media. By joining this team, graduates will gain exposure to matters relating to new information technologies and services and work at the forefront of policy change.
Life at Reed Smith Exciting! It is not (all) about sitting at your desk. Depending on the nature of your work, you might find yourself in court, at a client meeting or in a conference. Graduates are encouraged to get involved with pro bono work, corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects and charity fundraising. We also have a very active social scene ranging from various sports teams to evenings out. What sets Reed Smith apart? Reed Smith does more than advise on the letter of the law. We are strategic business partners to our clients. To do this, we take a lot of time to understand our clients and how their businesses work. When we know what is important to them, we can provide advice that cuts straight to the heart of the matter. We pride ourselves in our extremely collaborative environment and draw on the expertise of other practice areas across Reed Smith.
Angelika Bialowas Associate
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20 Reed Smith Next generation law extensive knowledge We have of the key sectors we work in… ”
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Labour , Employment , and Benefits
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We are widely recognised as the go-to firm for employment issues across a number of industries, with some of the world’s largest corporate, media, and financial companies counted as our clients, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Microsoft, Nokia, AECOM and Heidrick & Struggles. Our London team works in tandem with employment lawyers in France, Germany, the Middle East, and the United States to help our clients with their important, most critical employment needs, from day-to-day counselling to high-profile disputes to strategic global projects. We have extensive knowledge of the key sectors we work in, giving us valuable insight into the market pressures our clients face and enabling us to provide advice that is commercial and pragmatic. We seek to add value to our client relationships by understanding and taking into account the commercial implications of the advice we deliver.
Tell us about your path to law? I studied English literature at Bristol University and joined Reed Smith in 2003 as a trainee. It’s been a really interesting 15 years, with a broad variety of work – work here (and in the law more generally) is always a challenge, but in a really good way. Why employment law? I enjoy employment law for the constant variety it offers. It’s one of the few areas where you regularly work on both contentious and non-contentious work, which I find really interesting. Employment law is also constantly developing, which keeps us on our toes.
What has been your highlights to date? A highlight for me was defending a complex discrimination, harassment, and constructive unfair dismissal claim. After months of preparation, we had a seven-day hearing in the Employment Tribunal; it was nail-biting watching our witnesses give evidence, but the client was delighted when the Tribunal found in our favour on all claims. In addition to the case load, I’ve enjoyed making and maintaining good relationships with both our clients and within Reed Smith. This is a really important and fun aspect of my role.
Jo Powis Counsel
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Our Real Estate Group is on the front lines of an ever-changing global industry. Our lawyers advise on high-value acquisitions and dispositions, ranging from London skyscrapers to critical data centres. As a trainee within the Real Estate Group, opportunities exist within the full range or commercial real estate including leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, land use, and finance. You will work on matters worth hundreds of millions of pounds in London, one of the world’s largest and complex real estate markets. Some of our largest clients include Reuben Brothers and London and Regional Properties. What would appeal to a graduate joining your group? I’m really lucky; I joined a group with a lot of experienced and knowledgeable partners who really have invested a lot of time in my career over the years, which I try to emulate now. Real estate is a really great seat for having a lot of day-to-day responsibility and client contact. It’s a seat that allows you to to begin to cut your teeth and have a real involvement in negotiation meetings.
What excites you about law today? I think now more than ever, the people coming into the firm at graduate level have so much to offer because of their experience with technology. The graduates coming through are all digital natives and therefore have a completely different approach and perspective. There’s no doubt that the whole legal profession is going through a massive transformation and the right hires at graduate level are making all the difference. How does your group drive progress? We know our clients’ needs are continuously evolving, so we spend a lot of time in our innovation hub breaking down repetitive processes and identifying transactions where bottlenecks happen – we really are able to drive progress for our clients.
day-to-day responsibility Real estate is a really great seat for having a lot of and client contact.
Brigid North Partner
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Transportation Transportation – and the many ways in which we use it – has changed dramatically in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the transportation sector with many airlines grounded and supply chains disrupted. We are looking at a future of crewless ships in a more sustainable shipping industry, at the global commercial aviation fleet increasing by over 10,000 new aircraft in the next decade due to demand for air travel, and at the developing ability to track and communicate with items anywhere in the world through the Internet of Things. Our lawyers have been part of the transportation industry for nearly a century and our services have evolved to match the needs of our clients. Our transportation practice covers the full spectrum of legal needs for owners, operators, manufacturers or investors in transportation, whether they move people or goods by sea or air, manufacture ships, aircraft, spacecraft or components, invest in aerospace – or anything else the future might hold.
What do you do? I’m a counsel in the Transportation Industry Group, focusing on transactional work such as ship financing, joint ventures, ship sale and purchase, and shipbuilding contracts. My role is hugely varied, and we work on some of the most complex and innovative transactions in the industry. Shipping is so global and I also enjoy the international angle my work affords me. What is next for transportation? The transportation industry is facing a lot of challenges, from an ever-changing sanctions landscape to an increased emphasis on technology and the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many clients rethinking their priorities and modernising the way they do business in a remote-working landscape. We are working to ensure that we can support our clients through these changes and ensure they are prepared for whatever comes their way. How does your group drive progress? Technological solutions are very important, enabling us to increase client value. Using technology for automated drafting and client databases allows us do things more quickly and efficiently, creating a tangible impact for our clients.
” to increase client value. Technological solutions are very important, enabling us
Susan Riitala Counsel
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What does all this mean for you?
constantly evolve To continue meeting client needs, we need to the way we do things. “ ”
Our approach to client relationships will affect every aspect of the way you work. It’s an exciting time to enter the profession. The lawyers of tomorrow will have a wider skill set, and take a highly creative approach to providing legal services. This is the future we focus on as we build new opportunities for you to gain the capabilities it takes to provide genuinely pragmatic solutions to our clients’ needs, while building deep and lasting relationships. Our innovation hub A collaborative approach to designing legal services starts with asking the question ‘what are you trying to achieve?’ Our innovation hub is a creative space where we co-create with our clients and look at how technology is changing their world and how we can help drive their progress. It’s about getting the right technology, and involving lawyers in the design and application process. Innovation hours program We want you to help us lead the way in shaping the future of law – to be curious and to challenge conventions, working together with clients to find new solutions to their most difficult problems. To encourage you to develop the skills you need for this approach, our innovation hours program gives you time to devote to thinking freely and developing new ideas. Our innovation infrastructure We are focusing on how innovation can improve our business globally. We work with a combination of people, process, and technology to improve our clients experience of working with us. Our technology stack comprises artificial intelligence solutions, matter and document management tools, no-code software, and a range of bespoke products designed and developed by the firm and its legal technology subsidiary, Gravity Stack.
Adam Curphey, Innovation Engagement Senior Manager
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Sports and social Our sports and social committee is made up of a cross-section of people from our London office.
What part does sports and social play?
The sports • 11-a-side football
The socials • Annual Christmas social • Summer social • In-house social evenings
Will Young Associate
Chu Ting Ng Associate
• Netball • Hockey • Softball
Being involved in the football team has been really important in my time at Reed Smith – as it’s a great way to make friends across the firm. Different people with various degrees of seniority get together to play, so the sporting field is truly a great leveller. I think this also reflects the open, inclusive culture at the firm.
Aside from a great team and a partner who really cares about my professional growth, I also love the extracurricular stuff. Ray-Shio and I are co-captains of the softball team. Through the years, we have managed to rise from the bottom of division two, to the top of division one.
and • Our choir • Charity days • Theatre tickets
• Reed Smith running club • Running & Racket Sports
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practice Responsible business Tell us about responsible business at Reed Smith?
Through our diversity equity and inclusion programmes we focus on promoting social inclusion for young people. We work with various charities and non-profit organisations to provide young people from primary schools, secondary schools, sixth forms, colleges, universities, career changers and those from alternative routes of education, the opportunities to gain a better insight into the vast and exciting careers within our firm. Our volunteers are able to share their career and educational experiences with the young people they meet, at the same time showing the diversity of our workforce.
Being a responsible business is vitally important in making us a better law firm and a better place to work. I manage all of all our community volunteering outreach projects, diversity equity and inclusion programmes and our London office fundraising activities. Through our outreach projects we focus on combating social exclusion among some of the vulnerable communities. We are currently partnered with two charities to support people suffering from homelessness and housing difficulties, an adult carers centre and a Mind centre, supporting people recovering from or who have experienced mental health issues.
Diversity, equity & inclusion
DE&I is part of the very fabric of our firm. We try our best to promote and embrace diversity in every aspect, including race, gender, sexual identity, religion, background, age, or where they were born. Everyone matters here. Our business is only as good as our people and through our DE&I efforts, we encourage stronger performance, collaboration, teamwork, and innovation in all we do. As leaders in driving the progress of dDE&I, we have a unique approach to DE&I. Our DE&I efforts are intertwined with our culture and are open to the whole firm : unlike traditional diversity programs, ours is focused on inclusion. We want everyone to be included, at every level. Our inclusive culture also makes commercial sense. By focusing on how all our diverse individuals can feel included and comfortable being their true selves, we increase their engagement, opportunities, and involvement. We boost their chances of promotion and compensation. And this supports our recruitment of the best people – from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of experience – who brings us the best results.
Our internal networks Multicultural Network (MCN) – promotes cultural diversity within the firm, with a focus on attracting, recruiting, and promoting BAME individuals. LEADRS (Looking for Excellence and Advancement of Persons with Disabilities at Reed Smith) supports and enhances the professional and personal development of those with all types of disabilities, both mental and physical. It helps us show that jobs for people with disabilities are both available and achievable at the top of the legal profession. PRISM (Pride, Respect and Inclusion Simply Matter) champions inclusion for LGBT+ individuals, and acts as a forum for socializing, mentoring, and networking in our firm and the wider LGBT+ community. WINRS (Women’s network) is a growing global community dedicated to enhancing our workplace to more effectively develop, reward, engage, and attract women in the legal profession. A great example of this is the new mentoring scheme we have launched this year. The scheme has been organized by our MCN network and seeks to provide invaluable developmental support to participants, open to both our fee earning and support staff.
What about fundraising efforts?
We are proud to support many different charities with fundraising activities. With the assistance of our sports and social committee we fundraise throughout the year for six different charities. We also take part in our four London based initiatives: the London Legal Walk, Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace cycle ride, the Children’s Christmas Shoebox collection and the Tour de Law cycle challenge. These events are great ways to team-build across the firm, as well as raise awareness and much needed funds for the charities.
Carole Mehigan Responsible Business Manager EMEA
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34 Reed Smith Next generation law we take the lead with our organization-wide diversity, equity and inclusion framework. ” We don’t wait for our clients to request more diversity; instead,
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Diversity, equity & inclusion
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Your path? I graduated from Warwick University in 2007, completing my LPC the following year. This cemented my passion for the law and led me to complete an LLM in air and space law in 2009. I have trained at Reed Smith with seats in Shipping Admiralty, Banking & Finance, Competition and Financial Regulation. Qualified in Sept 2018.
Your path? Legal education (LLB, LLM and Law Society Finals) in London; trainee solicitor from 1991-1993; qualified as a solicitor in 1993; and becoming a partner in 2000 What do I do? International commercial litigation and arbitration, and other areas of dispute resolution, in various business and industry sectors. Since 2017, I have been a member of Reed Smith’s global board, its Executive Committee Why Reed Smith? A global firm, with recognized market-leading expertise in several areas of practice, with a great culture and set of core values which shape what we do What does driving progress through partnership mean to you? Working closely as part of truly diverse and inclusive teams in the most effective and innovative ways to get the best possible results for our clients, and enjoying ourselves while doing it!
Now? I am an Associate in the Global Regulatory and Enforcement Group focusing on Antitrust and
Competition as well as Financial Regulation matters. I am also an active participant in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives and a member of the Business Inclusion Group – LEADRS. I was recognised as the D&I Future Leader at the Chambers Europe Awards 2021. Why Reed Smith? I always wanted to find a firm where the brand of the firm is synonymous with the person and vice versa. So, as the firm’s brand grows, your career and personal brand develops as well. Reed Smith ensures that individuals get the best and most suitable environment to fulfil their goals and ambitions. “I think being a lawyer with a disability is a privilege. My goal is not only to be the best lawyer I can be, but also to fulfil a desire to make a lasting difference that goes far beyond my own success.”
Vaibhav Adlakha Associate – Competition/Financial Regulation
Gautam Bhattacharyya, Partner
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Diversity, equity & inclusion
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Now? I’m an associate based in Reed Smith’s London office, specialising in contentious and non-contentious UK, EU and international environmental, health & safety, product compliance and product liability law. I am also co-chair of Reed Smith’s LGBTQ+ business inclusion group, PRISM. Your path? Prior to commencing my legal career, I worked on Western Balkan issues at the European External Action Service in Brussels. I gained further professional experience at the German Embassy in the Dominican Republic, a political think tank in Washington, D.C., and at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia. As a member of several youth leadership communities, including Sandbox, One Young World and Global Changemakers, I have a keen interest in civic society. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Law with Politics (University of Manchester) and two Master’s degrees in Public International Law (University of Cambridge) and Commercial Legal Practice (BPP University, London). Why Reed Smith? I chose Reed Smith because of its active track record of issues relating to diversity and inclusion. I was less concerned about department rankings than seeing how seniors treat their employees: it affects how committed you are to your workplace and, as a result, how productive (and happy!) you can be. For me, being my true self at the workplace was my number one priority, and I am so glad that Reed Smith has lived up to that reputation.
I am currently a fund finance specialist and a senior associate in the banking and finance team.
Your path? I joined Reed Smith as a trainee in September 2013 and qualified in September 2015. After qualifying into the funds formation and private investment management team (as it was then called), I shifted practice areas into banking and finance with a particular focus on lending to private equity funds. Why Reed Smith? Reed Smith has always been the type of firm that gives you the room to fully develop into who you are. On top of its commitment to diversity (whether ethnicity, gender, sexuality or social mobility), the firm also encourages variety of personalities and skills in its recruitment strategy. This, to me, is a key component of diversity as well and it makes for a refreshing work environment and culture. What does driving progress through partnership mean to you? The firm has a clear focus on partnering with its clients to build long term sustainable relationships as part of its business model. However, progress through partnership also has an internal dimension – this includes the partnerships that Reed Smith seeks to build with its employees. The internal partnership element is not only for those who want to pursue a lifelong career as fee earners, but also those who seek to remain at the firm or in legal industry in other capacities. In the current times, law firms recognise that not every employee has the same long term objectives. However, only the firms with real commitment to its people will take active steps to promote and enable the varied career objectives of each individual. I can say with confidence that Reed Smith is one such firm, as I have personally seen this at Reed Smith with my colleagues and in my own career.
Chu Ting Ng, Senior Associate
Oliver Rieche, Associate – Environment, Health and Safety
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81% 66.99 22,000 participation in London* hours on average per lawyer London hours in London
What do you like about your job? I get to work with amazing charities, supporting
Making a difference Pro bono legal work lies at the heart of our
individuals who would not otherwise be able to access legal advice. I collaborate with lawyers across our offices. A recent highlight was securing status for our clients – a mother and her two children from Nigeria – to remain in the UK; that was wonderful. The best part of pro bono work? The people. Our clients are inspirational and motivate us everyday. I love working with fantastic colleagues inside Reed Smith and also our external legal partners. How can trainees get involved? Trainees can work on pro bono cases from day one and see the real impact of their work. We have a brilliant trainee secondment to Liberty and Reprieve where you get to do strategic casework on human rights and the death penalty.
responsible business programme across EMEA. It allows us to make a positive difference to the lives of people who would otherwise not be able to afford legal advice. Our pro bono relationships include charities, not-for- profits, social enterprises, and low-income individuals. We have an associate and a partner who volunteer their time to drive our pro bono initiatives in every office in EMEA, and in each group within the London office. Our work has three main focuses: 1. Improving access to justice 2. Advising charities and not-for-profit 3. Supporting intern ational human rights projects
Becca Naylor Senior Associate, Head of Pro Bono EMEA
*figures for 2020
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participated for 8 years running. We encourage all our lawyers to get involved in pro bono and are delighted that all our trainees have “
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From Stephanie, a current trainee, who recently completed the Pro Bono secondment:
Why did you choose to do the Pro Bono secondment?
As Reed Smith trainees, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to secondments. But having the chance to undertake human rights work while training at a City law firm struck me as a particularly special opportunity. Challenging injustice has always been important to me, and to be able to do so from within two powerhouse NGOs like Liberty and Reprieve is a real privilege.
What have you enjoyed most about the secondment?
Above all, it’s been incredibly motivating and rewarding to know that the work you’re undertaking has such an essential objective. The range of cases I have worked on has also been stimulating – I know much more about Bahraini domestic law now than I ever thought I would and I’ve researched memos on topics I wouldn’t have imagined. I’ve been given significant amounts of responsibility and autonomy, which I really appreciate and have thoroughly enjoyed. Would you recommend the pro bono secondment to other trainees? Why? Without a doubt. This secondment is such a unique opportunity to assist with incredibly meaningful work and to be part of a really supportive, inspiring network of passionate people. I’ve gained significant research and drafting experience over the past months through engaging the various UN mechanisms and have also had rare exposure to highly-respected human rights experts. I cannot overstate how valuable these experiences have been to both my personal and professional development.
Additional information is also available in the 2019 Reed Smith Responsible business report.
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your path at reed smith
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Vacation schemes You can chose between our spring or summer vacation schemes which offer students the opportunity to gain a strong insight into life at Reed Smith, as well as providing a solid account of the type of work encountered as a trainee. Through our vacation schemes in 2022 we will be recruiting for Qualifying Work Experience from February 2024 onwards. Your seats Our aim is for both of our vacation schemes to be held face to face, however subject to covid restrictions they may be virtual. Our vacation schemes will allow you the opportunity to experience one or two practice areas of your choice along with having an experienced supervisor, bieng integrated into a team and assigned to live projects. You’ll also have a trainee buddy who will act as an informal guide – you can catch up with them at any point, and ask any questions.
Application process We encourage applications from a wide range of degree subjects and value the diversity of thinking that candidates from different backgrounds can bring to the firm. Using a strengths-based assessment approach, our focus is on what you enjoy doing, rather than simply what you can do. This ensures a positive candidate experience and a fair and consistent recruitment process. Your journey to law with Reed Smith The changes brought about by the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) provide us with an exciting opportunity to truly innovate and transform the route to qualification in the legal profession. We offer you a unique opportunity to earn while you learn – to work with us in an innovation, knowledge, business services, pro bono or a client-facing capacity; while also engaging in a commercially-focused legal education and training course that includes the knowledge and skills needed to pass the SQE examinations. More details relating to the SQE can be found under the Qualifying Work Experience section of this brochure.
Assessment and sessions Alongside your seats, you will have the opportunity to attend various sessions to improve your legal and business skills. These include a pro bono exercise and a variety of workshops, covering topics such as cultural intelligence. These sessions alongside feedback from your seats will allow the Graduate Recruitment Team and other people from across the business to assess your suitability for becoming a Reed Smith Trainee. Getting to know us Throughout the vacation scheme, you will get to experience the real culture of our firm through informal, relaxed socials alongside our trainees. This will give you a chance to really gain a deeper insight into each person’s path to Reed Smith, allowing you to get to know fellow team members and begin to network and build your own profile. Salary: you will receive a weekly salary of £379.75
Eligibility Academics • 2.1 in any degree discipline (please inform us of mitigating circumstances) • Penultimate and final year Law and non Law Undergraduates • Law and Non Law Graduates • Career Changers • Graduates who have completed their LPC (please read more information on the SQE) “My vacation scheme was a fantastic introduction to the firm and a great opportunity to work alongside dedicated and friendly people.”
Lauren Wylie Trainee
Online Application form
Situational Strengths Test
On-demand Video Interview
Feedback and Assessment
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