Guidance for work in the United Kingdom

Shreyanshagrawal

Active Member
Dec 31, 2021
12
1
Dear Corporate Law Academy Team and everyone,
@Jessica Booker

@futuretraineesolicitor

@AvniD

I hope you are doing well. Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and your family.

I am currently studying in LL.M. course specializing in Corporate and Financial Laws from Jindal Global Law School, India.

I am now doing my LL.M. dissertation on the title "Money laundering – The hidden illegal financial transactions behind terrorism, corruption, extortion, trafficking, smuggling, online fraud scams etc. – A grave concern for economy, security, privacy, fraternity".

The purpose of writing this message is to seek guidance from you all. I want to work in a United Kingdom Law firm in a white-collar crime practice area. I am also open to any other opportunities which I could get in the UK. My LL.M. course will get completed in June 2022. If you could please guide me through the process for applying to the firms in the United Kingdom, that would be very helpful to me. Alternatively, If I am late in the process, kindly guide me in my further course of action to get an opportunity to work after one year. Further, could you also guide me about the firms that practice both in India and the United Kingdom.

Kindly help.

Thanks and regards,

Shreyansh Agrawal
LL.M., Jindal Global Law School, India
 
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futuretraineesolicitor

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Dec 14, 2019
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Dear Corporate Law Academy Team and everyone,
@Jessica Booker

@futuretraineesolicitor

@AvniD

I hope you are doing well. Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and your family.

I am currently studying in LL.M. course specializing in Corporate and Financial Laws from Jindal Global Law School, India.

I am now doing my LL.M. dissertation on the title "Money laundering – The hidden illegal financial transactions behind terrorism, corruption, extortion, trafficking, smuggling, online fraud scams etc. – A grave concern for economy, security, privacy, fraternity".

The purpose of writing this message is to seek guidance from you all. I want to work in a United Kingdom Law firm in a white-collar crime practice area. I am also open to any other opportunities which I could get in the UK. My LL.M. course will get completed in June 2022. If you could please guide me through the process for applying to the firms in the United Kingdom, that would be very helpful to me. Alternatively, If I am late in the process, kindly guide me in my further course of action to get an opportunity to work after one year. Further, could you also guide me about the firms that practice both in India and the United Kingdom.

Kindly help.

Thanks and regards,

Shreyansh Agrawal
LL.M., Jindal Global Law School, India
Hello, Shreyansh. Hope you are doing well. As an Indian law student, you have two choices. The first is to be a part of the India Internship programs conducted by Linklaters, Herbert Smith Freehills and Allen & Overy. Unfortunately, you won't be able to take part in any of these since you won't meet the requirements. These programs are only open to penultimate year undergraduate law students and because you are doing your masters, you won't be able to go ahead with these programs.

The second route is applying to UK firms via the Direct Training Contract route. As per my understanding, you will clearly be eligible for all of the firms that have a Direct TC route.

There are no differences in terms of the end result of the India Internship programs and the Direct TC route because both of these routes will lead you to a 2-year training contract wherein you will be able to sit in different departments across a 2 year period (for eg. corporate, disputes, finance, competition etc.). Ultimately, you can choose the department that you'd want to do for the rest of your life after trying out these departments for two years. Most firms will typically let you try four departments in the two year time period, however, firms like Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer allow you to do at least 6 seats (their website says 8 seats but not many trainees will do that many).

https://chambers.com/legal-rankings/financial-crime-corporates-london-firms-1:2608:11814:1 This link covers all the UK firms who have a great White collar crime practice so ideally, you should see how many of these offer a direct TC route and the deadlines for the same. It's great that you have zeroed in on what you want to do for the rest of your life but just a disclaimer, there are many instances where people thought they'd hate a particular department but ended up loving it after some work experience, so I think you should be open and apply to firms that have great practices across the board be it corporate, dispute resolution or finance. But, ultimately it's your call and your passion for White-collar crime definitely shows.

As per my understanding, most big firms have closed their direct TC application windows so you can start researching about these more and apply in the next application cycle (Aug 2022 onwards most probably).


Regarding, "Further, could you also guide me about the firms that practice both in India and the United Kingdom.", foreign firms are actually not allowed to practice in India so most foreign law firms are actually "best-friends" with Indian law firms for example - Clifford Chance had one with Trilegal, Linklaters has one with TT&A, Clyde & Co. has one with ALMT Legal, Ashurst has one with India Law Partners.

Hope this helps.
 

AvniD

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Oct 25, 2021
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Dear Corporate Law Academy Team and everyone,
@Jessica Booker

@futuretraineesolicitor

@AvniD

I hope you are doing well. Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and your family.

I am currently studying in LL.M. course specializing in Corporate and Financial Laws from Jindal Global Law School, India.

I am now doing my LL.M. dissertation on the title "Money laundering – The hidden illegal financial transactions behind terrorism, corruption, extortion, trafficking, smuggling, online fraud scams etc. – A grave concern for economy, security, privacy, fraternity".

The purpose of writing this message is to seek guidance from you all. I want to work in a United Kingdom Law firm in a white-collar crime practice area. I am also open to any other opportunities which I could get in the UK. My LL.M. course will get completed in June 2022. If you could please guide me through the process for applying to the firms in the United Kingdom, that would be very helpful to me. Alternatively, If I am late in the process, kindly guide me in my further course of action to get an opportunity to work after one year. Further, could you also guide me about the firms that practice both in India and the United Kingdom.

Kindly help.

Thanks and regards,

Shreyansh Agrawal
LL.M., Jindal Global Law School, India
I'm guessing you're qualified in India? Have you practiced at all?
 

Shreyanshagrawal

Active Member
Dec 31, 2021
12
1
Hello @AvniD

Thank you for your response.

No, I have not practiced in India till now. I have completed my law undergraduate degree in November 2020, then I qualified All India Bar Examination in February 2021 and then enrolled in the LLM course for 2021-22.

Please tell me about the work experience and lateral hiring route and any other option which you know.
 

AvniD

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Oct 25, 2021
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Hello @AvniD

Thank you for your response.

No, I have not practiced in India till now. I have completed my law undergraduate degree in November 2020, then I qualified All India Bar Examination in February 2021 and then enrolled in the LLM course for 2021-22.

Please tell me about the work experience and lateral hiring route and any other option which you know.
Okay, that's good to know. Have you considered undertaking the SQE to qualify in the UK? It consists of two exams and two years of work experience. You can read about it here- https://www.sra.org.uk/become-solicitor/sqe/

As for lateral hiring, I don't think that would be an option for you as you haven't practised yet.

@Jessica Booker what are your thoughts?
 
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Jessica Booker

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Okay, that's good to know. Have you considered undertaking the SQE to qualify in the UK? It consists of two exams and two years of work experience. You can read about it here- https://www.sra.org.uk/become-solicitor/sqe/

As for lateral hiring, I don't think that would be an option for you as you haven't practised yet.

@Jessica Booker what are your thoughts?
Yes, you are right - working as an associate in the UK is highly unlikely if you have no experience. Firms will typically discount around a minimum of three years worth of experience for non-UK qualified lawyer roles to get to (what is their opinion) the same level of experience a UK qualified associate of have (as they will have a minimum of two years worth of experience). You'd also need to have passed SQE 1 and 2 to practice in England and Wales.

For international qualified lawyers though, there is no requirement to complete the two years of qualifying work experience (one of the major flaws of the SQE), so the OP would only need to pass SQE1 and 2 and would technically then be a qualified lawyer in the UK. However, I suspect they would find it very difficult to work as an associate in the UK with less than three years of experience in any jurisdiction. The exception might be working specifically for an Indian desk at one of the major London firms, but even then I suspect you won't be on the same job title/salary as a typical associate.
 
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Shreyanshagrawal

Active Member
Dec 31, 2021
12
1
Thank you for your response.

If I am applying for the Direct TC route, whenever the next applications are released. Could you please tell me an estimated timeline, how much time the process takes - from the application for TC till joining the office, through the Direct TC route? For example, I apply in August 2022, then exams and all.

Alternatively, If I apply through the Work experience route. Then since I have enrolled as an Advocate in December 2020 and the LL.M. course is being conducted virtually right now, so I am in a law office right now and doing some of the works. So the period from December 2020 to December 2021, I am involved in research work in an office, alongside my LL.M. So will this experience of 1 year (from December 2020 to December 2021) be counted for the calculation of three-year or two-year work experience? Please tell me the timelines for the Work experience route as well. For example, If we take work experience from December 2020 to December 2023 i.e. three years of work experience, and then I apply, then what would be the timeline?

Kindly help. @Jessica Booker @AvniD @futuretraineesolicitor
 

Jessica Booker

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Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
10,112
14,969
Thank you for your response.

If I am applying for the Direct TC route, whenever the next applications are released. Could you please tell me an estimated timeline, how much time the process takes - from the application for TC till joining the office, through the Direct TC route? For example, I apply in August 2022, then exams and all.

Alternatively, If I apply through the Work experience route. Then since I have enrolled as an Advocate in December 2020 and the LL.M. course is being conducted virtually right now, so I am in a law office right now and doing some of the works. So the period from December 2020 to December 2021, I am involved in research work in an office, alongside my LL.M. So will this experience of 1 year (from December 2020 to December 2021) be counted for the calculation of three-year or two-year work experience? Please tell me the timelines for the Work experience route as well. For example, If we take work experience from December 2020 to December 2023 i.e. three years of work experience, and then I apply, then what would be the timeline?

Kindly help. @Jessica Booker @AvniD @futuretraineesolicitor
Please could you clarify what you mean by the work experience route?

With the SQE coming in, there are no set timeframes with the training contract route unfortunately. For one firm you could potentially start a TC as soon as your LLM is over and you could complete the SQE assessments during your training contract. For the next firm, you would have to do the SQE assessments before you start a TC.

With the latter, the most likely timeframe is that you apply for TCs between now and July 2022, most likely for 2024 intake, and once you had secured a TC you would complete an extended SQE course (between 12-16 months) and take the SQE assessments before joining.

The challenge you will have is that when you pass the SQE assessments, you technically do not need the training contract from a qualification perspective where you are exempt from completing the qualifying work experience part of the SQE. However, you would need that qualifying work experience for future employment chances in the UK. Without a TC, you won't compare to the vast majority of applicants applying for qualified associate roles as they will have two years of experience as trainees.

Many firms will question whether the training contract is the right route for you, particularly if they take into account how long you will commit to the UK and also the time lag in the recruitment process. If you did do a training contract that started in 2024, you wouldn't complete it until 2026, and you could potentially gain 4 years worth of experience in India during that time, compared to 2 in the UK.

You might find more luck in speculatively applying for roles with Indian desks at major firms rather than trying to apply for a training contract. They are much more likely to be interested in your profile. Indian desks sometimes run their own recruitment processes and have more informal routes in. They also tend to have much more flexibility - they understand you may not commit to the UK long-term, while with a TC they will at some level expect you to have a long-term commitment to working with the firm in the UK.
 

Shreyanshagrawal

Active Member
Dec 31, 2021
12
1
In relation to this, "You might find more luck in speculatively applying for roles with Indian desks at major firms rather than trying to apply for a training contract. They are much more likely to be interested in your profile. Indian desks sometimes run their own recruitment processes and have more informal routes in."

Could you please tell me more about the name of firms with Indian desks?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
10,112
14,969
In relation to this, "You might find more luck in speculatively applying for roles with Indian desks at major firms rather than trying to apply for a training contract. They are much more likely to be interested in your profile. Indian desks sometimes run their own recruitment processes and have more informal routes in."

Could you please tell me more about the name of firms with Indian desks?
I don’t know which firms have Indian desks unfortunately. You might be able to do some digging by searching for people on LinkedIn. However, I’d expect it to be any large firm which has a strong connection to an Indian law firm.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
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14,969
Thank you for the detailed response above. @Jessica Booker @AvniD @futuretraineesolicitor

Earlier, I was getting confusing 2 years of work experience as a substitute route for TC. Now, I have got more clarity in the process.

So according to you, what should I exactly do right now to get an entry into legal roles in the UK?
What are you really looking for? A long term career in the U.K. or just an ability to qualify in the U.K.?
 

Shreyanshagrawal

Active Member
Dec 31, 2021
12
1
I don’t know which firms have Indian desks unfortunately. You might be able to do some digging by searching for people on LinkedIn. However, I’d expect it to be any large firm which has a strong connection to an Indian law firm.
@Jessica Booker
I will search on LinkedIn about the Indian desks. Apart from this, How to get an in-house counsel role in the U.K.? Do that also require this 2 years TC and SQE requirement?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
10,112
14,969
@Jessica Booker
I will search on LinkedIn about the Indian desks. Apart from this, How to get an in-house counsel role in the U.K.? Do that also require this 2 years TC and SQE requirement?
A qualified in-house role will generally need the same type of experience as a qualified role in private practice, so will need at least a two year TC and passing any examinations to become qualified. Many in-house roles will need more qualified experience though and may say something like needing 2-5 years PQE (post qualified experience).

Some in-house teams offer training contracts though, and with the SQE coming in, more in-house legal teams will be able to offer qualifying work experience.
 

Shreyanshagrawal

Active Member
Dec 31, 2021
12
1
A qualified in-house role will generally need the same type of experience as a qualified role in private practice, so will need at least a two year TC and passing any examinations to become qualified. Many in-house roles will need more qualified experience though and may say something like needing 2-5 years PQE (post qualified experience).

Some in-house teams offer training contracts though, and with the SQE coming in, more in-house legal teams will be able to offer qualifying work experience.
Okay, currently I am open to all opportunities. Therefore I am asking about these positions. @Jessica Booker
 

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