Clifford Chance Reviews

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Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton
Matthew Layton
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9 Employee Reviews

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  1. Job Insecurity while Maintaining Employment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Administrative in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is in the median range for other law firms of this size. Profit sharing is good. Vacation time generous. Management willing to be flexible with scheduling.

    Cons

    The firm has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs and nobody is ever quite certain there won't be another one. No recognition for a job well done but this may be an industry standard. Firm has cut back so much financially in an effort to boost partner bonuses that the environment is negative. Holiday parties are minimal. Annual bonuses are stagnant. Pay increases were frozen for a year, then we were given a small percentage the following year. Workload is oppressive at times since so many people were let go. This Firm has a history of managment sticking their heads in the sand in an effort to keep their vulnerable jobs. (Out of sight, out of mind I guess.)

    Advice to Management

    Don't just smile and nod your head when an employee has a valid complaint and seeks resolution. The problems will not go away by ignoring them and you're just making your loyal employees feel unappreciated. And yes, financial compensation goes a long way to prove how appreciative you are since the words are rarely spoken.


  2. Typical law firm

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good compensation, somewhat interesting work

    Cons

    Constant layoffs and partner upheaval. Firm management is not transparent at all. London impacts all of New York's managing decisions

    Advice to Management

    Talk more to associates and actually explain firm developments.


  3. Big firm, no soul

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Lawyer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Associate Lawyer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you want to get an excellent training and have a fantastic record on your CV - this is the firm for you. Also, the facilities are wonderful.

    Cons

    If you want a life, have a family and not have to spend all your money on therapy, move once you have finished your training. The facilities are also intelligently designed to keep you there. There is an obsession with billable hours beyond any sense.

    Advice to Management

    Try and adopt a more holistic approach to your employees. The squeeze every juice out of them so they will leave early is actually a bad investment choice. What's the point of investing so much time and money on trainees and associates if you will drive the best out? Remember, the most talented and intelligent people are those that have a lot more to them as people rather than pigeoned hole lab rats. If you're looking for longevity as a firm, you need to look at what individuals can contribute overall to the firm and their overall talents - not just billable hours.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    IT projects that never work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great facilities onsite, some great people.

    Cons

    Money is poured down the drain by higher management working to their own blinkered agendas with no business benefit to most of the projects. Inept design teams create unworkable solutions that engineering teams then have to fix during implementation, usually at additional cost and delay. Political and juvenile games played by higher management, including passing the blame down the chain when it goes wrong, and hiding the mess from the business and partners through misrepresentation of the facts.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to and trust the experts in their fields instead of just formulating your decisions by hearing only the facts that fit into your agenda, and Gartner is not the answer to everything!


  6. Great financial law firm but...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Lawyer in Milan (Italy)
    Former Employee - Associate Lawyer in Milan (Italy)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Clifford Chance full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Very good exposure to clients and involvement in important deals - top tier financial law firm with some of the best lawyers specialised in finance -excellent organization

    Cons

    - work/life balance - salary is good (compared to other law firms) but considering the long hours it should be much higher - low career perspectives

    Advice to Management

    Hire more lawyers and pay better to retain top talents


  7. I felt like I was working a sweat shop... long hours.... little reward!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Associate in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    CC brand is huge; people are really friendly and supportive; top class legal work (if that is what you are interested in)

    Cons

    long hours, low pay, not meritocratic (everyone paid the same, but good people overworked), some partners show little respect for empoloyees

    Advice to Management

    change compensation system, look at incentive system, cut deadwood, become less of a sweat shop!


  8. Stay away unless you love the golden handcuffs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay package and health insurance are very good, you have access to a BA airlines discount and hotel discounts around the globe. During travel generally stay at very lovely hotels and pending on the partner traveling with dine well.

    Cons

    long hours and unlike the NY office with no recognition perks, poor communication, poor management, partner management, very quick at cancelling vacations, illness' and pregnancy is quietly frowned upon, after-hours support is rather limited (to say the least), the taxi memos (office-wide emails reminding us bad times - justify cabs home) and being located in Canary Wharf.

    Advice to Management

    Ever wondered why recruiting has been so difficult


  9. Helpful (2)

    Gutes Gehalt, langweilige Arbeit, langweilige Leute Good pay, boring work, boring people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Praktikant in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
    Former Intern - Praktikant in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Clifford Chance as an intern (Less than a year)

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    - weniger als 50 Stunden pro Woche - überhaupt kein Druck

    - less than 50h/week - no pressure at all

    Cons

    - überhaupt kein Druck ist noch untertrieben, es war tatsächlich so, als ob meine Existenz überhaupt niemanden interessiert hat - Ich habe alle Leute auf meiner Etage gefragt, ob sie Arbeit für mich haben, weil mein "Mentor" (also der Typ, der herumsaß und sich nicht um mich gekümmert hat) mir nicht viel zu tun gegeben hat. Dabei kam jedoch fast nichts raus, außer das in meinem Praktikumszeugnis stand, ich hätte mehr Initiative zeigen können. - Die Leute, die in den Kapitalmärkten arbeiten, strahlen Langeweile aus. Wenn man einen Geigerzähler bauen könnte, um den Grad der Langeweile zu messen, müsste man innerhalb weniger Wochen das Gebäude wegen Verstrahlung schliessen.

    - no pressure is still an understatement, it was like nobody really cared if I existed or not - I asked the whole floor to give me some work as my "mentor" (i.e. guy sitting around not caring about me) didn't have much to do for me. That resulted in hardly anything but in my review it said I could have shown more effort. - People working in the Capital Markets department have radiate boredom. I bet if you'd build a Geiger counter for it, the building would be closed down for contamination within weeks

    Advice to Management

    Dem Personal etwas Interesse entgegenbringen. Geld allein bringt es nicht.

    Show some interest in your people. Money isn't goin to make it.


  10. Das Leben als assoziierter Anwalt Life as an associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
    Former Employee - Associate in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Clifford Chance ist ein großes, internationales Unternehmen mit einem exzellenten Ruf. Das Unternehmen kommt an spannende Projekte, so dass man jederzeit mit guten und herausfordernden Aufgaben betraut wird. Die Fortbildungsprogramme und Wissensdatenbanken sind absolut erstklassig. Die meisten Anwälte verfügen über eine außergewöhnliche Fachkompetenz.

    It is a large, global firm with an excellent reputation. It gets the best deals, which can mean much better and more challenging work. The training programmes and knowhow databases are definitely world class. Most of the lawyers are exceptional in their technical capabilities.

    Cons

    Bei einer solch großen Firma, ist man nicht mehr als eine Nummer. Einigen Partnern gefällt es, einen daran zu erinnern, dass man jederzeit ersetzbar ist. Man spezialisiert sich am Ende auch so sehr auf ein Fachgebiet, dass es schwer ist, sich einen anderen Job zu suchen. Überlegen Sie daher genau, in welches Team Sie gehen.

    At such a large firm, you are a number. Some of the partners seem to enjoy reminding you that you are completely replaceable at any time. You also end up specialising too much, and there is little room to move so make sure you choose wisely when you go into a team.

    Advice to Management

    Clifford Chance ist eine fantastische Kanzlei mit extrem guten Anwälten. Ein paar kleine Änderungen am Management- und Führungsstil würden dabei helfen, den schlechten Ruf der Kanzlei als Fabrik, die die Menschen ausbrennt, zu verbessern.

    Clifford Chance is an amazing firm with extremely good lawyers. Perhaps a few small changes to management and leadership style would help cut down on its bad reputation as a factory that churns people in and out.



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