Herbert Smith Reviews

Updated July 29, 2014
Updated July 29, 2014
9 Reviews

3.3
9 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Henry Raine
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Very efficient organisation with very qualified people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Trainee  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Graduate Trainee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Herbert Smith full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I met people that were willing to support fellow employees and who were always open to socialising outside of work, which made the long hours so much more bearable

    Cons

    The work can be a bit boring at trainee level and it is sometimes difficult to retain any enthusiasm for the more administrative tasks. There is also a lot ofpolitics, which can mean that working is about a lot more than just doing your job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask employees' opinions more

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Back office

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Back Office  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Back Office in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at Herbert Smith full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good culture and respected employees

    Cons

    no promotion opportunity and limited career further development

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    NO comment

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to train, not great place to work...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Trainee  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Graduate Trainee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Herbert Smith full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Many excellent, experienced, leading lawyers to learn from and work with.

    Cons

    The management of the firm could be improved on...

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good exposure to high profile transactional deals, and litigation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trainee Solicitor  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Trainee Solicitor in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Herbert Smith full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good exposure to high profile transactional deals, and litigation. Well paid - hours can be good at times. Early international exposure.

    Cons

    Lots of paper work, photocopying at times. Bundling. Long hours. Menial tasks. Requires humility!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    poorly managed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Herbert Smith

    Pros

    generally easy going co-workers and staff

    Cons

    Their HK office lied the world that they never laid off. They did it in a creepy way by forcing people to leave and claimed it voluntary departure. Their over reliance on HK IPO work by the HK corporate group and low retention rate of experienced lawyers/partners led firm fally into a third tier player in the market.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disappointing that they are so reluctant to change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Herbert Smith

    Pros

    For the most part, there is a great bunch of people who are there that are passionate and proud of their work. Very good internal training (both technical and soft-skilled) on offer. They still have a great reputation. It's a place where you can coast along.

    Cons

    For the support side of the business there's very little evidence of any career progression. I'd go as far as to say it's borderline insulting despite a well managed and thorough appraisal process. There's a huge reluctance for a change in process and in the lower echelons of the firm it's nigh on impossible to effect change at a higher level. It's a place where people coast along.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Demonstrate that you actually know what you're doing rather than going to meetings discussing how you're doing. Don't patronise. If you care about the staff then listen and more importantly respond to them. If you don't then be honest about it. Recognise that you're for the most part you're managing the average, not the elite. Stop the political in-fighting.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, professional, and good learning environment - but perhaps limited progression opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Manager  in  City of London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Team Manager in City of London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Herbert Smith

    Pros

    Although Herbert Smith is one of the worlds pre-eminent litigations firms - and litigators are usually seen as a scary bunch - Herbert Smith is full of great people with a good attitude, high levels of professionalism and who take pride in their work. This means it is a great environment to work in. As a big law firm, it invests heavily in training - technical (expertise) and non-technical (soft, general) skills. Conditions and work-life balance, again comparing to other big law firms, are very good, and they have a strong flexible-working ethic. Many good people have stayed with the firm for a decade or more because it's a good place to work.

    Cons

    Although Herbert Smith is a large law firm, with around 14 offices in several countries, and more than 2500 people working there, the opportunities for career progression (promotions) are limited by the small pool of managers and even smaller pool of senior management. This can mean that good people have to leave if they wish to have promotion - but many good people stay because a position becomes available, and also because other benefits (flexible working and the good working atmosphere) can outweigh promotion concerns.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's not a law firm - it is a professional service industry, and there are legions of professionals who are not lawyers at the firm. Don't focus too much on the lawyers. Similarly, it is headquartered in London, but the international offices need to be at the centre of decisions and the organisation, not at the margins. Some improvement still could be made here.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    A friendly law firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate  in  City of London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Associate in City of London, England (UK)

    I worked at Herbert Smith

    Pros

    Great people (lots of antipodeans), decent work and a good work culture: no one expects you to work weekends, although you will have to work hard especially as a trainee.

    Cons

    Better, more high-profile work is available in the bigger law firms - especially in corporate and finance. The litigation work is excellent, as are the partners.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more responsibility to associates for networking with clients! Most of the rainmaking is expected to be done by partners, with associates more or less treated as drafting or document reviewing drones.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    HS is a decent place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trainee  in  City of London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Trainee in City of London, England (UK)

    I worked at Herbert Smith

    Pros

    International, good people, close-knit group.

    Cons

    Lack of recognition, standing amongst peers not as high as it should be

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk to your employees!

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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