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Cripps – the best of both worlds

12 Feb 2021

In December 2018, Cripps and Pemberton Greenish successfully merged, creating a major mid-market practice. First year trainees Rachel Phillips (who applied to legacy firm Cripps LLP) and Kate Hunter (who applied to legacy firm Pemberton Greenish) talk about their experiences applying for a training contract in 2017 and working at the newly-merged firm.

What attracted you to apply?

Rachel – Although it’s hard to tell whether it was the bright orange logo or the welcoming approach that stood out to me most when applying for training contracts in 2017, it was clear to me that Cripps had something special to offer.

I was excited at the prospect of working at a firm with such a friendly and open culture, and after experiencing the firm’s vacation scheme, I found it hard to envisage myself working anywhere else. I was looking for a firm that would value me as an individual, with a healthy working culture providing challenging work without sacrificing a work-life balance.

Kate – I was looking to join a firm in which I wouldn’t be just a number; somewhere that I could really contribute during training and undertake meaningful client work as opposed to administrative tasks. The size of Pemberton Greenish appealed for this reason. Added to this, the core practice areas of the firm were very much in line with the areas of law that interested me most. I knew that the firm was renowned for its real estate practice, but there was also an established private wealth team and a growing corporate department. It is telling of the culture at the newly merged Cripps Pemberton Greenish that despite the fact that Pemberton Greenish is now part of a much larger merged firm, this has not been at the expense of trainees’ quality of work. I am given my own matters to run (under supervision, of course) and I know that the work that I complete is really benefitting the client, rather than simply being a time-filling exercise.

How do you think the merger has benefitted the trainees?

Rachel – Naturally, there was some apprehension amongst future Cripps trainees about how merging with a London firm would impact our training contracts, and whether the firm’s ethos would remain the same.

However, post-merger, it is clear that Cripps has an amazing amount to offer trainees. I have been able to enjoy a genuine work-life balance, whilst having opportunities to work with an increased range of impressive clients. Trainees now have the invaluable opportunity to experience seats in both Tunbridge Wells and London, gaining exposure to a wider range of clients and cases.

With a forward-thinking approach, Cripps has been able to provide an amazing offering to not only clients, but also employees. With mental health awareness weeks, plenty of social events and even our very own flash-mob, it is undeniable that the high-quality work offered is not at the expense of employee wellbeing.

Kate – The obvious benefit to trainees of the increased size of the firm is that there are now a greater number of seat options. This offers an opportunity to experience areas of law that one would have perhaps not thought about previously. For London trainees, there are now opportunities to undertake seats in Tunbridge Wells in areas such as Family Law and Employment, whilst the Chelsea office brings strengths in niche and often technical areas of law, such as enfranchisement – a specialism not all law firms offer.

Beyond practice areas, as Rachel also mentions, there are a greater number of events that take place throughout the year. This includes charitable fundraising such as Bake-Off, raffles and Tour de Cripps, as well as internal events such as the ‘Flashmob’ – where trainees organise spontaneous fun events around the office, such as mulled wine and mince pies at Christmas and sweet treats for Valentine’s Day. The increased size of the firm has meant that a greater amount can be raised for our charity of the Year (this year CLIC Sargent) and the ‘Flashmob’ has been a new – and most welcome – addition to the Chelsea office.

What’s the best thing about working at Cripps?

Rachel – It is exciting to be part of a growing firm filled with such enthusiasm and care, and with fantastic opportunities at both a regional and city level.

Kate – The quality of the work. My current seat is Commercial Real Estate and it is satisfying to walk down King’s Road (for instance) and see how matters that I have worked on have been realised. There aren’t many service professions in which one can see a true physical impact – and there is a lot of job satisfaction in that!