Clifford Chance Reviews | Glassdoor

Clifford Chance Reviews

Updated August 20, 2017
122 reviews

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3.3
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Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton
Matthew Layton
23 Ratings

122 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. Helpful (5)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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. "Worst job ive ever had"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Unix Administrative in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Unix Administrative in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Over market rate pay and no work to do

    Cons

    no work to do there

    Advice to Management

    realise the IT department has double the staff they need and actually make work for themselves because there is none to do.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Life as a Security Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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)

    Pros

    Remuneration and onsite facilities (canteen, gym, etc - all great). Good down to earth team in IT. Well managed security operations. Effort is maxed out in terms of the attention given to the team by the on-house security ops manager.

    Cons

    Lack of understanding of security. The tech side of security in CC is management of firewalls, proxies, etc. There is no holistic technical, overarching side of security. There is a compliance/non-tech focussed team in a different arm of the organisation, but the tech team is not really even a secops team. The lack of understand of the difference between operations and security is the root of all problems. The view of security is firewall administration, proxy administration, anti-virus administration, etc. This is ops.
    Lot of in-house political bickering in IT.
    Every 18 months the whole department believes it will be made redundant.
    Legal partners bully IT. The CIO has no real power at all.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "a very sad place"

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

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

    Pros

    Looks good on the CV. If you're after a career in law it's one of the best places to start out. Once you realise big firm law will crush your spirit, it's of limited value if you're looking to leave law.

    Cons

    Everyone in Clifford Chance is miserable. People are treated with no compassion, the work is dull, there's no control over your hours, the culture is beyond dreadful. Most of the partners have had broken families and rarely see their spouses or kids. With the exception of a very small few senior partners who grew up in an easier time, no one is happy about where there life has taken them, most wish they'd taken different paths and realise that they are smart enough to have made enough/more money doing far more interesting things, but never had the guts to take a risk and make it happen. You can have all the money in the world but CC is living proof that it doesn't buy you happiness.

    Advice to Management

    Not really much to say - the business model is what is and it's not your job to make people happy.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Ruthless atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trainee Solicitor in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Trainee Solicitor in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    High quality work and excellent support staff and facilities

    Cons

    Not treated with any respect by superiors. No work life balance

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees like human beings


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Counsel"

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

    Pros

    International Firm, decent quality work.

    Cons

    The firm is on its way down, constantly losing top notch work and top quality partners and associates to US law firms. Ridiculous office politics.

    Advice to Management

    The current business model does not work.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "IT Hell"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

  8. Helpful (11)

    "IT letting down the company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  9. Helpful (7)

    "IT isn't working"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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)

    "Worst experience ever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


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