"We all hang out a lot and would never leave someone drowning if they were the only one swamped."Trainee
During your Training
- Trainees rotate seats every 6 months with seats available in all our departments.
- All trainees like to have their choice of seats, we start communicating with you as early as day one as to your preferred choice. However, preference is given to our second year trainees.
- As a trainee you will be a key team member, working directly with a Partner and other fee earners within the team and across departments.
- All trainees have a supervisor allocated to them in each seat, who provides support and guidance. This runs alongside a formal mentoring scheme to assist trainees during their training contract and beyond.
- You will have a formal appraisal with your current supervisor and HR every 3 months during your training contract.
- Memery Crystal runs a comprehensive training programme which is available for all trainees to attend. This is in addition to the informal day – to day supervision and external compulsory SRA training.
- You will be encouraged to use your initiative and to contribute your ideas and insights. We strongly favour the ‘hands on’ approach; our trainees do not spend their time photocopying or making tea!
- We currently have 8 trainees in total and aim to recruit 4 trainees each year.
Why not read more from the trainees themselves:
Trainee Profile - Danny Rosley
After thoroughly enjoying my law degree at Bristol University and the work experience I’d undertaken with the Bristol Law Clinic and other law firms, setting my sights on a career in law was a natural choice for me. The harder decision lay in which law firms I should apply to for my training contract. Initially I adopted a rather blind approach to the process, pursuing firms with the glossiest brochures, the best water bottles or (not-so-ashamedly) the most delicious canapés. However, I soon realised that this approach was not productive, and I had to think carefully about the qualities I would hope to find in a working environment and narrow my search accordingly.
Why Memery Crystal
I came across Memery Crystal in the Chambers and Partners Guide which at the time described the firm’s epic ‘David and Goliath’ case for which it won the Best Litigation Team of the Year Award. Delving into the firm’s website and reading more about its recent work, I was immediately attracted to its size, the type of work it does and the firm’s core values.
The first interview with the head of HR and a senior associate gave an incredibly positive first experience of being in the firm. The overriding impression I came away from the interview with was that the firm was truly interested in finding out more about me as an individual. This was further confirmed during the two-day assessment centre which involved an interview with two partners, a lunch with the current trainees, a dinner with fee earners from across the firm, as well as various group and individual exercises and tests. At no point did I feel that anybody was trying to catch me out on something, rather the whole assessment centre was designed to encourage individuality and openness from all involved.
My Trainee Experience
Having started my training contract this September, I am delighted to report that there have been no surprises – the positive impressions gained during the application process and from the Christmas and Summer parties I attended since, have all been confirmed. I am currently sitting in the Corporate Department and have been warmly welcomed by all. I have been involved in varied and interesting work, and asked to help with tasks which I feel some larger firms may leave for more experienced members of the team. The firm’s open door policy is truly refreshing and while everyone is busy and takes work seriously, people make time to chat and take an interest in each other. This is also invaluable in terms of gaining experience; being surrounded by people who are great at what they do and who are also motivated to share details about the transactions and cases they are working on, has enabled me to get a fascinating insight into the workings of the department from day one.
Trainee Profile - Suresh Patel
I will spare you the grisly details but, prior to pursuing law, I had studied Classics at Cambridge, and then worked variously in theatre, academia and politics. Though I surely had one of the most bizarre CVs of all would-be trainees in the City, I was at least clear on the sort of firm I was looking for: I wanted high-calibre and interesting work; I wanted to be surrounded by experts at the forefront of their practices; and I wanted the rich opportunities to develop that come with a small trainee intake.
Why Memery Crystal
From my own research, and from talking to friends and acquaintances, it quickly emerged that Memery Crystal could satisfy my rather vague criteria. However, a deeper compatibility materialised, too. After working for a barrister for a year, I was immediately drawn to Memery Crystal’s recent accolade of being the first firm to win in the same year both “Dispute Resolution Team of the Year” at the Legal Business Awards and “Litigation Team of the Year” at the Lawyer Awards. With my background in the arts, often facilitating the ambitions of enterprising self-starters, I also felt an affinity with Memery Crystal’s entrepreneurial client base. I was even heartened to hear that a few trainees had enjoyed previous careers in such areas as corporate transactions, publishing and property.
So Memery Crystal had that magic blend of general and specific appeal. But the Open Day clinched it. The Legal 500 will tell you that Memery Crystal’s partners are recognised leaders in their fields; but it won’t capture the way in which they spoke. They were passionate about their work. They were thrilled by the firm, its independence and its future. They were fanatical about attracting good lawyers and making good lawyers great. And yet they prized individuality, personality and a healthy work-life balance. By way of example, one partner, who has just been awarded “Property Tax Lawyer of the Year” by Legal Awards 2016 – Corporate LiveWire, conducts a choir in his spare time which has played the Barbican and Royal Festival Hall. That energy and those values may not have been for everyone, but for me it was a glimpse into precisely the sort of culture I was after.
My Trainee Experience
Two years later, I am currently in my first seat and, without the need for bribery, have landed in the Dispute Resolution team. My apologies for resorting to cliché, but it is true that no two days are the same. On gentler ones, I have drafted documents, compiled exhibits and undertaken legal research on a range of fascinating issues. Scarier moments have seen me attend client meetings, call foreign lawyers for advice, and sprint to the Royal Courts of Justice to file papers on time. I even appeared before a Master in my second week, which I am still working through with my therapist.
But that is exactly what I signed up for: to be on the front-line and to grow through doing. And though I have felt out-of-my-depth, I have never felt lost at sea. Colleagues are supportive, concerned and forever willing to share their knowledge. As daunting as tasks might seem, I am in no doubt as to the profound ways in which they contribute to my development as a lawyer, nor the experience of those pushing to get the best from me. It is a phenomenally rich and generous environment in which to learn.
Finally, Memery Crystal has the slightly odd reputation of being one of the nicest law firms in the City, and I can see why. People socialise together, raise money for charity together, and genuinely enjoy each other. As hard as we work, there is a palpable sense of having each other’s backs. And while a number of things may have led me to Memery Crystal, above all else this, I think, is what will keep me here.
Trainee profile - Emily Parker
Originally from Preston (North-West England), I moved to London in the summer of 2012, having graduated from Durham University where I read Law. Rather than jump straight into a training contract, I was fortunate enough to get an in-house role within a merchant bank whilst I found my feet in my new home. It was whilst working full-time in this position that I received my offer for a training contract from Memery Crystal LLP. I subsequently undertook my LPC at College of Law and commenced my training with the firm in September 2015.
Why Memery Crystal
You will undoubtedly hear about the abundance of firms and training contracts out there, and the importance of knowing the type of firm you want to work for. I knew that I wanted to work in a mid-size firm where I would get to manage my own files, have valuable client-contact and be able to work with a diverse range of high-profile clients. This is exactly what I have experienced so far.
Memery Crystal is typically renowned for its corporate work, especially within the context of AIM listed companies. However, the award winning Dispute Resolution Team, vastly expanding Real Estate Department and other highly regarded areas of practice, including Tax, Commercial, Media and Technology and Employment, should not be overlooked. Memery Crystal is a growing firm, going from strength to strength, which offers trainees the opportunity to get involved in high-quality work. Our recent strategic partnership with Yingke (China’s largest and fastest growing law firm) is evidence of this.
The application process with Memery Crystal is both a demanding yet enjoyable experience. It involves a first round interview, followed by a two day assessment centre where your legal knowledge and commercial awareness will be tested through a variety of different means. The final interview takes place once you have given a presentation on a commercially relevant topic, which changes every year. Unlike with other firms, you are able to socialise with both the HR Department and lawyers of varying seniority throughout the firm (including Partners) during the thoroughly enjoyable drinks events and meals which are embedded within the assessment process.
My Trainee Experience
From day one, you are made to feel welcome in the firm. The ‘open-door’ policy isn’t just a marketing ploy to prospective trainees; you are invited to ask questions, get involved in discussions and make suggestions to your co-workers, who are always more than happy to help out if you get stuck. You are actively encouraged to be and think for yourself, with ideas and innovation being at the forefront of our culture.
I am currently doing a split seat between our Employment Department and the Commercial, Media and Technology Department. The unique opportunity to divide my time between two very different areas of law has enabled me to broaden my legal knowledge, whilst also learning to manage the practical difficulties that can arise from sitting between two teams.
My previous seats, in Real Estate and Dispute Resolution were equally interesting and challenging. In Real Estate, I was given early responsibility and involved in a range of commercial and residential property matters. During my time with the Dispute Resolution Department, I assisted with a range of domestic and international matters involving contract disputes, company law, fraud and bankruptcy.
Memery Crystal is infamous for being a sociable and friendly firm. Since starting my training here, I have been actively involved with numerous social and charitable events:
- I have twice helped in the virtual cycle ride from London to Paris, more commonly known as the ‘Tour de Law’ in aid of Breast Cancer Care;
- with the help of my fellow trainees, I helped to organise the annual ‘Landmark Challenge’ to raise money for our charity of the year, ‘Josie’s Dragonfly Trust’;
- I have also (unsuccessfully) taken part in the firm’s very competitive annual pub quiz; and
- most importantly, I have been to my fair share of summer and Christmas parties too (which you are invited to, once you have accepted your training contract offer but in advance of started your training).
- Departments also generally have drinks every Friday, which is always an enjoyable way to end a busy week.
A day in the life of... - Rebecca Mohan-Kenny
8.30am: I arrive at work and check my inbox. The nature of the real estate department means that as a trainee you take ownership of many of your own files, as well as assisting on larger scale transactions, so it is important to take stock each day and prioritise matters so that nothing is overlooked.
9.00am: We have work experience students with us this week so I check with my colleagues to see if there is any work that the students can assist with, or hearings that they can attend to try and gain some experience during their week at the firm.
9.45am: My supervisor asks me if I have availability later in the day to attend a planning project team meeting at the offices of one of our client’s project manager and take a note in the afternoon. After confirming that I do, I prepare copies of the necessary documents to bring to the meeting so that we are not unduly delayed. I then re-visit my to-do list to reorganise my day in light of the new meeting in the afternoon.
11.00am: I attend a meeting with the finance director and a representative from Thomson Reuters regarding the firm’s use of online resources such as Practical Law and Westlaw . As trainees, we spend a large amount of time using these online resources in all departments. During the meeting we discussed a number of things including which features are and are not utilised, what potential training may be of assistance firm-wide and the development and progression of the online resources themselves.
12.15pm: When I return from my meeting, having bought some lunch, I see that I have received some documents back from the solicitors on the other side in a re-financing that I am working on. I review the documents in light of the previous correspondence and then send them on to my client for instructions.
1.00pm: We are struggling to obtain contact information for one of the neighbours on a development project as the property is owned by an international company. I complete an international company search directly with the relevant corporate registry but I am told that the results can take five-seven working days. I update the client accordingly in order to manage expectations.
2.30pm: My supervisor and I leave the office and travel to the planning project team meeting. There is a lot to discuss and the meeting is long and detailed, however ultimately very productive.
5.30pm: I get back to the office after the meeting and because it is relatively quiet I dictate my attendance note while the discussion is still fresh in my mind so as to ensure that it is an accurate, contemporaneous note.
6.15pm: I receive further drafts for a matter I have been involved in relating to the ongoing negotiations for an assignment which have been progressing for a few months. I speak to the client on the telephone to discuss the developments in the latest draft and take their instructions. I then revert to the solicitors on the other side with comments.
7.00pm: I leave the office and make my way to join a few colleagues at the pub.