Clifford Chance Reviews | Glassdoor

Clifford Chance Reviews

Updated August 1, 2017
16 reviews

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Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton
Matthew Layton
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16 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Leading law firm with an excellent reputation in the market (in 8 reviews)

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

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

  • Long hours are the norm in most large law firms (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Clifford Chance (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people and very nice office

    Cons

    work hours and some groups seem busier than others.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing - it is difficult to be a subsidiary of the British mother ship.


  2. "Associate, Capital Markets"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time

    Pros

    prestige and compensation opens new and broader job opportunities; global international firm; nice staff and secretaries; opportunity to meet associates from other offices

    Cons

    stiff work environment and demanding partners can lead to low morale among associates; no light - offices have windows but there is no view since the office is located on the lower floors

    Advice to Management

    I don't even know what to say; I guess my advice would be to stop turning the other way and let partners and senior associates or counsel berate you on a regular basis

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Job Insecurity while Maintaining Employment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  4. "Typical law firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. "Not a employee company at all"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Gurgaon, Haryana (India)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Gurgaon, Haryana (India)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Clifford Chance full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Team, Client InterAction, Quarterly parties

    Cons

    1) Monotonous Work
    2) Increment is decreasing every year
    3) Poor transport
    4) Partiality among employees. If they are managers favorites, all the rewards, promotions are given to them. NO matter, if you are working hard or you are loyal to your company for 5 years.
    4) No Appreciation

    Advice to Management

    Please start a feedback system where we can provide the feedback for our supervisors without any fear as there is so much of favoritism in this organization.


  6. "Fee Earner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Often complex high status work
    Gym in the office
    Great breakfasts and a 24 hour canteen/cafe
    Full offering of facilities (dry cleaner etc.) in an enviable location compared to the City
    Good springboard to careers elsewhere

    Cons

    No work life balance. Not unusual for most of the year to be after midnight.
    Departments hit and miss. Some Partners can shout, use profane language etc. Some teams excellent.
    No flexible working for juniors.

    Advice to Management

    Ignore firm status and address new ways of working (better pipeline planning with hiring to suit, mentors for fee earners etc.).
    Monitor behaviour (and provide training if appropriate) as some seniors have little experience in people management.
    Many work life challenges can be assisted by Partners being more realistic with clients and doing the above.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Under Market"

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

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Sometimes interesting work, some people are friendly and nice. Work/life balance isn't too bad. Quality of work distinctly feels "2nd tier" at times.

    Cons

    Significantly less pay than US market leaders but for the same amount of work. Some partners are outright horrible to work for and there is an intense focus on client management and marketing starting at the junior level, when one should be more focused on developing their skills.

    Advice to Management

    Too big too fast. Listen carefully to what associates have to say about certain partners, if you care about retention. Also, pay us more if you don't want to lose us to US firms.

  8. Helpful (10)

    "IT Management needs shake-up, department has lost its way"

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

    I have been working at Clifford Chance full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Nice offices (if you don’t have to hot desk), gym, swimming pool, canteen, parking, laptop, blackberry. Used to get lots of training and there used to be some options for travel but less in recent years on both those fronts.

    Cons

    Too much process, bureaucracy and pointless box ticking meetings to get the work done and introduce new systems, it’s gotten to the point staff don’t bother attempting to innovate or look at new solutions anymore. Management don’t help staff navigate this or encourage innovation. This is not the place to work if you just want to get on with your job.

    Lots of work is based in India but you have to double check everything they do, invariably there is 20 or 30 emails to get something done rather than 2 or 3.

    Hot desking office is ok but it’s a pain finding a desk each day, not sitting with your team, trying to find other staff, getting phone and laptop connected and logged in, screen setup, desk arranged etc., then packing up every day into a tiny locker.

    Some staff work hard, stay late, lunch at desk etc. others are coasting, going to gym every day, out for lunches, leaving early or on the dot every day. Management don’t seem to notice or care and there is never recognition of hard work or going extra mile but they are always ready and happy to criticise if smallest thing goes wrong.

    Low pay and bonuses are a joke no matter how well you perform.

    Re-org’s happen every 18/24 months but management stays the same, a few months later the structure reverts by stealth. New CEO and COO started recently, everyone hoped things would change with IT management, it hasn’t.

    Lots of IT management are just self-preservationist “yes men” who would never get jobs this good again, they are scared of the business and therefore have no interest rocking the boat to push the department forward (better to leave as is approach). To much focus on the short term with little understanding of what needs to be done to run the department, lack of support for you and your ideas. Some have very little IT knowledge, it feels embarrassing explaining basic IT concepts to them.

    There is a cycle of good IT staff being hired, after a few months figure out IT Management are useless and don’t support you so they leave. They money and time wasted on recruitment fees interviewing all added up must be shocking.

    Advice to Management

    Shake-up, overhaul and simplify IT management, streamline processes, kill off the massive and pointless travel budgets invest more in staff instead, hire the best in the market and let them get on with the job, try to regain that sense of pride staff used to have working at CC.

    Dangerously worrying amount of IT systems out of date and out of vendor support with little evidence within IT management of anything being done about it. Upgrade plans should be in place years before end of life, the blockage at Application and Architecture management level causing this needs to be addressed.

    The setup in India isn’t a great way for those staff to work so anyone talented leaves. The staff at the other office in Bangalore seem to be cheapest in town, mostly graduates who leave after getting a year or so experience. Stop IT Management taking jollies to India in the guise of “service review” or other pointless back slapping meetings. Look at the long term and true cost of the inefficiencies of moving work to India, not just the bottom line staff costs.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Intern"

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

    Pros

    Leading law firm with an excellent reputation in the market. Chance to work on some very impressive deals with some of the biggest players in the industry.

    Cons

    Working hours. As with any law firm environment the idea is to squeeze everything out of low-mid level lawyers. No one cares if you quit as there is an army of eager graduates who would love to take your place.

    Advice to Management

    Why not create an environment where people can have normal working hours and will not be subject to burnouts and quit the firm. This may, in the long term create a better cohesive teams.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Big firm, no soul"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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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