There is a great feeling of support across all departments combined with a calm, friendly atmosphere.
Whichever team or office you are based in, we will work with you to help you realise your ambitions. Here people from a range of positions and professional backgrounds outline how they have been able to progress their career at Penningtons Manches Cooper.
I was keen to broaden my experience in immigration law when I moved to Penningtons Manches as a paralegal in September 2016. The immigration team is well known in the legal sector for its breath of expertise and knowhow and the firm’s strong international offering also appealed to me.
Two years on, I was delighted when the partners in the immigration team confirmed that they would support my route to qualification as a solicitor; I was admitted in April 2020. The team is very friendly and open and the partners are extremely supportive, making it easy to learn and develop. I have been involved in many interesting cases, involving both corporate and private individual matters, which has enhanced my skills. The experience I have gained has been invaluable.
On a more general level, I have welcomed the opportunity to become involved in the firm’s cross-office race and faith committee. The committee’s aim is to encourage a more inclusive workforce which is important to me.
The strong reputation of Penningtons Manches Cooper’s lawyers and promises of an inclusive, friendly culture initially attracted me to the firm and I am pleased to say that everything I had heard before joining in 2018 has proved to be true!
The work we do is interesting, often groundbreaking. I frequently act in modern families cases and am involved in a significant amount of surrogacy work, where it is key to have input from our well-regarded immigration and private client teams. The fact that this is all done in-house means we can provide the client with a holistic and seamless service, which is something the firm prides itself on.
I am the chair of the firm’s LGBTQ+ committee, which is going from strength to strength: we have plenty of good plans in the pipeline for the next 12 months. The committee gives me the opportunity to meet with colleagues I might not see in a usual working day and to benefit from their experiences and ideas too.
After completing my A-levels and leaving sixth form, I began my search for a marketing apprenticeship. As someone who learns best through first-hand experience, I preferred this route to a degree course. The opportunity of starting my marketing career in the legal sector at a firm with international reach particularly drew me to Penningtons Manches Cooper.
During my first 17 months here, I spent four days a week in the London office with one day at home to focus on my studies. Throughout my apprenticeship, Penningtons Manches Cooper supported and motivated me, providing me with a thorough grounding in marketing and business development and ultimately offering me a job as a marketing assistant.
Although I have finished my formal apprenticeship, I am very much continuing to learn and develop my career. Shortly after I was appointed a marketing assistant, the firm went through a merger, adding several new offices and increasing its service offering. This expansion has required significant input from the business development team and provided excellent experience for me.
Penningtons Manches Cooper offers a highly motivating work environment. I applied to the firm when I was finishing my master’s degree in business and maritime law, attracted by the possibility of being part of a practice which counts shipping lines and maritime insurance companies among its clients. Since then, I am pleased to have worked on numerous cases for organisations of this type, advising on litigation, arbitration salvage proceedings and other maritime matters.
As a result of the merger, I have been given the chance to extend the scope of my practice to other areas which are of interest to me, such as data protection, intellectual property and cyber-insurance. The firm is keen to encourage my development and I am equally keen to learn and progress.
I enjoy the fact that I work closely with colleagues in several other offices within the firm’s network. Everyone is open to ideas and there’s a strong drive to collaborate with each other to achieve the best results for our clients.
Initially I was attracted to Penningtons Manches Cooper due to its reputation for providing high quality training and hands-on experience for its trainees as well as the alignment between my interests and its core practice areas. During the ten years I have spent with the firm, I have also come to value its open and nurturing culture and its commitment to helping employees progress.
As my career has developed, I have been afforded time to learn through doing - and through making mistakes - with my ever approachable supervisors ready to offer guidance when needed. I hope that I provide similar support to the lawyers for whom I am now a mentor.
Recently, Penningtons Manches Cooper’s championing of issues such as sustainability and diversity has been invigorating. While most law firms make noises on these matters, Penningtons Manches Cooper seems genuinely determined to lead the way and, significantly, actively encourages constructive criticism and ideas from its workforce at all levels. I am delighted to be part of such a dynamic and collaborative business.
I came to law as a second career, having previously practised as a vet. I was therefore already interested in clinical negligence as a potential path, and was attracted to Penningtons Manches Cooper for its strong record in the field. I was also keen to work in a City firm, but without the need to travel into London.
The training contract was very busy, but interesting, and flexible – I took two seats in clinical negligence to ‘hit the ground running’. I’m now part of a specialist team which focuses on providing an individual service for our clients, many of whom have been seriously injured or suffered bereavement as a result of negligence.
Since moving to our new Guildford office, the open plan environment has meant far greater interaction between everyone. The firm has gone from strength to strength in the seven years since I joined, and I’m proud to be part of a practice with a strong grasp of what is required in terms of both diversity and environmental impact.
I was particularly drawn to Penningtons Manches Cooper as I felt it was the best place to practise venture capital financing work in Oxford. That was back in 2016 and now I am proud to be a part of the highly regarded venture capital group specialising in advising start-up companies and university spin out companies in Oxford and beyond.
My team and the office in general are a great representation of the Penningtons Manches Cooper values of close collaboration and teamwork. I’m lucky to be supported by a full service offering which enables our clients, wherever they are based, to access a wealth of experience within our specialist teams covering tax, employment, immigration, IP/IT and property law, to name but a few.
Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of highlights when working with cutting edge spin outs emerging from the University of Oxford as our clients range from companies looking to improve the treatment of Alzheimer’s to those using VR for psychological therapies.
When I applied to join Thomas Cooper in 2017, I was looking for a positive workplace culture and I am delighted to have found a similar culture at Penningtons Manches Cooper. I have the chance to be mentored in my work, which is important for me as a junior lawyer, and am regularly involved in business development, which would not be possible at this stage in my career at other firms.
My main area of expertise is transport law. Most of the time we represent freight forwarders and insurers before French courts or in foreign proceedings, which has enabled me to build a strong network of contacts in Europe. I now hope to do the same in Africa where we have a number of ongoing cases.
I am in charge of the charity committee in the Paris office, which complements my own personal volunteering activities. During the Covid-19 crisis, we have focused particularly on providing support and donations to individuals and families with low incomes.
The firm's well-regarded shipping practice and the opportunities it offers for working aboard were the key drivers behind my decision to apply to train with the London office in 2015. I was particularly keen to return to East Asia to work, having previously spent a number of years living in Hong Kong.
I moved to the Singapore office, which is located in the heart of the business district, as a trainee and qualified there in 2017. While I was based in Asia, I was given the unique opportunity of a two month secondment in Tokyo. At the start of 2020, I moved back to the UK to rejoin the marine, trade and energy team in the London office.
During my time with the firm, I have represented a number of international clients in Singapore and London arbitrations and been involved in a range of shipping disputes. A particular highlight has been gaining experience in the 'wet' side of shipping, having gone on board vessels in the Singapore Strait to take evidence and statements.
Looking back over the time since Penningtons Manches and Thomas Cooper joined forces, I can say without hesitation that the merger has been a success. Speaking from a personal point of view, I am really enjoying the experience of being part of a larger family.
One of the key benefits for the Singapore office has been the ability to plug into the broader offering of the Penningtons Manches Cooper network. This has opened up opportunities for us which, in the past, we would not have had been able to explore. The support from the central services teams has been outstanding as well, particularly in light of the challenges that we are currently facing globally.
I am part of the Singapore and Asia project team and a key area of focus for us is developing the Singapore office beyond the current marine, trade and energy capabilities and taking advantage of our physical footprint to extend the range of services offered by the firm to clients both in Singapore and the wider Asia region. There are certainly exciting times ahead!