Bird & Bird type #4
The Experienced Diplomat
leads by example & persuasive & sector knowledge
Having studied science at Cambridge, Nick Perry initially had a career in IP in mind, but ended up qualifying into a different department. He turned down an offer in a larger firm, as time on a vacation scheme at Bird & Bird had shown at first-hand how welcoming we were and the greater range of career possibilities on offer. He is now head of the London office with responsibility for UK operations.
“Bird & Bird has a lot of the advantages that come with a bigger firm, but without the disadvantages. We have grown over the last 20 years but have made a strenuous effort to retain as much of the culture as possible. We are 10 times as big as we were when I joined, so some types of change are inevitable, but I would say I still know the vast majority of people who work in the London office. I never go to a client meeting with a colleague having not met them before.”
“We deliberately take a smaller number of trainees in comparison to other firms of our size to ensure that people here really get to know the people who join. The graduate team here do the most fantastic job. The actual act of recruitment is an intensive, but fairly short-lived effort a couple of times a year. Their day job for most of the year is looking after the development and career opportunities of the trainees. They manage each trainee’s progress through the firm on an individual basis, carefully matching experience, ability and interest to the likely vacancies in each part of the firm so every year virtually all trainees qualify into the department they end up wanting to work in. All the pieces of the jigsaw slot into place.”
“There is no monopoly on good ideas here. Everybody is expected to contribute and everybody will be listened to. We all have to work hard to meet the expectations of our clients and the needs of our business but we all have a healthy respect for the amount of work people should be doing and we want people to have interests outside of the office, and the time to be able to actively pursue them.”