Clifford Chance Reviews | Glassdoor

Clifford Chance Reviews

Updated January 18, 2017
17 reviews

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Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton
Matthew Layton
2 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • t have to hot desk), gym, swimming pool, canteen, parking, laptop, blackberry (in 7 reviews)

  • Recently there have been talks given by a professional stress expert which helps our work life balance (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Inspiring a strong work ethic can create work life balance challenges (in 11 reviews)

  • Long hours and occasional weekend work- (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "There are very few if any benefits to work for Clifford Chance US if you are in any support services roles."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I was able to develop my skills so I can now find a job where they value my contributions.

    Cons

    I work in IT and have seen this firm decimated since the Roger Wells merger with Clifford. Every year for the last seven has seen more and more lay offs. After the AMP abdicated power to a London transplant for a COO things have escalated down hill. The London management team continue to communicate and demonstrate their disdain for the US. London refuses to recognize the talent of any staff member that works outside of London. They only hire Directors who are weak then so their is no open discussion or push-back on their decisions -- I'm not even sure our Director knows the difference between a SAN and a fan. Their style of management benefits the weak and underperforming. On the attorney side they drove off all the rain-makers and have been unable to attract any solid laterals. They bled their talent and the only ones left are those that can't find a job any where else.

    Advice to Management

    Respect and value the contributions of all your employees.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "long working hours - poor internal climate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    high salary and top transactions

    Cons

    Partners have only limited social competencies, neither do the counsels or other Senior Team members; is not such a career pusher as expected

    Advice to Management

    Think about the future: where are the personalities, natural born leaders instead of billing machines


  3. Helpful (9)

    "What a mess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Shopping center right underneath the building. Gym in the building. Bar in the building. The top floor has lovely views of the city.

    Good work / life balance. You control when you start and finish which is great. Nice and flexible.

    Cons

    The senior and middle management have no idea what is going on right under their noses in the IT department and its resulting in chaos. Fighting and bickering amongst the teams has resulted in a situation where not only can nothing get done but where people are quitting or getting sacked for not delivering results. Aggressive attitudes and borderline bullying culture.

    Advice to Management

    Take a long hard look at the last 2 years and how things have been done. Sit together and hug and make up. Just be nice to each other and everyone else will start to do the same. A nice friendly environment is so much more productive.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Some Really Awful People. Zero IT Leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time

    Pros

    The cons far outweigh everything.

    Cons

    The Senior IT Directors are the worst I've ever experienced. The CIO has no Man management skills and relies upon 2 awful directors of which one is completely disengaged and out of touch with all his teams and the other a nasty piece of work with no idea of what he's doing.

    The result is complete chaos. Projects running over, no strategy, rock bottom morale and all the good people leaving or already left.

    Advice to Management

    To our MD and COO.ACT, NOW before these 3 bring the firm further to its knees.

    It's not like people haven't tried. How much longer can this be ignored?


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Awful experience - IT Department dept in a very bad way"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Clifford Chance full-time

    Pros

    Free gym for f/t employees, p/t employees pay GBP50pcm
    Nice offices
    Can't find any other redeeming features unfortunately

    Cons

    A stressful and horrible experience!

    I joined CC thoroughly impressed by the offices, facilities, and vision/values of the Firm. The reality was very different, in IT at least.

    In 20 years of IT experience I have never experienced attrition rates like it, and that is a great shame. The IT department in Clifford Chance is a poisonous environment and even those still there are actively looking for new roles. Sadly, the IT department operates like a 'boys club' with those who ingratiate themselves towards senior managers/directors safe and able to do as they please. If you are not 'in', the environment is very different, with fear and intimidation the order of the day. Periodically, CC will hold some sort of open forum where employees can speak freely. The reality is that they are too frightened of the backlash so they say nothing and suffer in silence, or vote with their feet. The department is rife with backstabbing and bullying, with the expert opinions of teams ignored and belittled, and morale the lowest I've ever seen in any company.

    The entire structure needs a vigorous shake up, and indeed the offshore support contract in particular should be revisited. It is difficult when lawyers and partners (who are our customers at the end of the day) refuse to log tickets due to the poor service they consistently receive when they call in, and as a result various members of the IT department have to waste time doing this on their behalf whether it's their job or not. Again, concerns (and proof) fed back to senior management are ignored, or worse, you get a mouthful of abuse for daring to criticise. Perhaps this reluctance to address offshore contracts is due to the regularity of 'jollies' to visit offices where the contractors they are there to visit rarely see them. However these regular trips are the only chance of respite for the rest of the department, as when the senior managers and directors are out of the country, there is a heady and palpable air of relief from those who remain in the UK.

    It truly is a great shame as there are/were some fantastic team members within the IT department, and highly skilled within their specific areas. The core team members keep their heads down and try not to get involved, but morale is at an all time low, and staff will not speak up for fear of the repercussions.

    Even more worrying, I have met up with contacts from recruitment agencies who have confided that they are becoming reluctant to deal with IT in CC as the turnover is so high that they're finding it hard to find candidates. Whilst I still believe the agencies will put business interests before moral ones, I think that the quality of future employees will plummet as a result. Certainly the reputation of CC has plummeted already.

    Advice to Management

    I implore senior management, partners and HR to take this seriously as nobody working there currently will speak out for fear of constant bullying. I am genuinely concerned for the future of a fundamentally good Service Management team, which is an essential customer facing part of IT, being led by an inept lead team. Please take action before even more people leave!


  7. Helpful (8)

    "The IT does not have a clear direction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is a good company overall; it is one of the leaders in the legal field. Employee compensation is in line with current market rates.

    Cons

    Due to the intense internal politics, stagnation reigns.
    There is no clear IT vision for the company: the IT strategy appears to change every other moment.
    One would like to think that IT is the change agent in every company, but in the instance of Clifford Chance, the IT slows everything down.
    The management style is extremely old-fashioned and not in line with cutting-edge styles; management turnover is very low.

    Advice to Management

    Start listening. Top management is completely disconnected from what it is happening on the ground. The CIO trusts the wrong people.


  8. Helpful (8)

    "Worst experience ever"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - IT Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Clifford Chance full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free gym on site

    Cons

    The worst ever experience: (IT) manager with no people management skills but arrogant control freak who terrorises his staff. Most top management (CIO, Directors, Heads Of) has been there 10+ years which means major protection over each other over everything and also not having the clue what the word is doing out there and how to improve things. Most senior managers cannot stand each other and spend more time arguing than delivering. Horrible, poisonous environment.

    Advice to Management

    Introduce proper exit interview which is taken seriously; look at your attrition rate at a lower level; refresh your staff and take HR complaints seriosuly


  9. Helpful (7)

    "IT isn't working"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time

    Pros

    Some very good people still left in IT, nice office and nice gym, pool and restaurant albeit in a different building. Allowed to work from home one day per week.

    Cons

    Relationships between management and staff in the IT department is generally characterised by a lack of engagement with staff and poor communication. Certain areas of IT management are letting the firm down badly by demonstrating poor man management and communication skills, and a lack of insight into the technical areas which they manage with too much focus on blame reallocation exercises when things go wrong, frequently delegating blame to team members whom they manage. Good basic package but bonuses and pay increases are practically non-existent and dedicated hard work and going the extra mile is neither recognised or rewarded, and is more likely to be used as a scapegoat mechanism if and when issues do arise. This has created a culture of negativity and distrust within the IT department and as a result morale is poor, staff turnover is high, and good staff have been leaving in droves. Sadly, the flight of these talented and highly qualified employees is costing the firm dearly.
    This has been compounded by poor two way communication with certain offshore teams who generally show a lack of initiative and thoroughness when it comes to proactive working practices, and which management for the greater part seem oblivious to, despite obvious and frequent manifestations of this.
    Much of the technology is old and a constant drain on resources to maintain, yet there seems little appetite to coherently address this and upgrade to more robust and secure up-to-date systems, moreover attempts to address this are generally given little cooperation and often encounter stringent opposition or inertia.

    Advice to Management

    Engage with and improve communication and relationships with IT staff, build a culture of co-operation and collaboration rather than a negative counter-productive blame culture.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "IT letting down the company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    good location, good salary, good benefits

    Cons

    so much potential to do great things here in IT but badly let down by the senior IT directors. Lots of IT staff including the managers work very hard but achieve little due to the poor decision making of the IT directors. The most senior IT decision makers are stuck in internal politics, too much positioning going on. same IT directors are literally in every single decision making meeting or group. Seems incapable of empowering others in the IT function to make decisions. Too London centric. No opportunities for the very capable regional IT staff and managers. Morale is very low.

    Advice to Management

    Make some radical decisions, bring in fresh blood at the top, enable IT To support the lawyers better


  11. Helpful (7)

    "IT Hell"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Team Lead in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - IT Team Lead in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time

    Pros

    salaries are at the right level

    Cons

    Awful place to work currently. IT in the doldrums. Too much internal politics. Problem is top down. Too much empire building going on. CIO doing a good job. His Direct reports are destroying IT. Aggressive management. if your face fits your get promoted. They ignore feedback from the majority of employees.

    Advice to Management

    restructure, show the teams that you actually want to make it a good place to work



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