Lateral Look: Clifford Chance

As Clifford Chance would have it, seamless integration across international offices combined with small-team collaboration is a recipe for success.

Clifford Chance Lateral Profile 2023

Clifford Chance (or CC, as we’ve affectionately dubbed it) has but two branches in the US (New York and DC). But this is far from just a small-scale outfit we’re dealing with. CC’s two US outposts are backed by the firm’s longstanding position as British legal royalty. This ‘magic circle’ prince has successfully set up shop in all continents bar one (and that’s Antarctica, so we’ll forgive them). As such, Chambers Global showers the firm with more than 250 rankings. In the US alone, CC snags 16 Chambers USA rankings, with particular commendation awarded to its work in corporate crime & investigationsagency financing projects, and aviation finance.

View the firm’s Chambers USA rankings

Read the firm’s Inside View feature on junior associate life

Associates say…

“I chose Clifford Chance for its emphasis on international transactions.”

“I enjoy the people I work with, the global nature of the work and the excellent training and mentorship opportunities.”

“I wanted a firm that had a global footprint and an international nexus to all the work as well as a strong transactional practice.”

 Strategic Recruitment Focuses 2023

Global financial markets careers

The view from the firm: The combination of our Finance and Capital Markets practices is an incredibly strong market proposition. Our aim is to be seen by banks, financial investor and corporate enterprise clients as the world's leading integrated finance and capital market practice. Focus areas include Sustainable Finance, Projects & Infrastructure, Asset Finance, Financial Services Regulatory and Big Bank M&A.

Global financial markets clients: BlackRock Financial Management, Bullish, Sealed Air Corporation

Recent highlight: Advised Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital on a $600 million unsecured revolving credit facility with JPMorgan Chase.

Corporate and litigation & dispute resolution careers

The view from the firm: Our Corporate practice is focused on a balanced portfolio of market-leading clients across Financial Investors, Corporate Enterprises and Banks who view us as their trusted advisor across multiple products and jurisdictions. Key growth areas include Antitrust, FIs, Corporate Enterprises and Tech & IP. In L&DR, we advise on a wide range of areas, including but not limited to; Commercial and Financial Services Litigation, White Collar and Enforcement, Regulatory and Compliance, and Antitrust. Our practice includes former prosecutors and regulators and can draw on subject matter experts throughout our US transactional and regulatory practice. Our lawyers are focused on helping our clients minimize the risk of litigation, and we advise our clients on how to comply with their legal and regulatory obligations.

Corporate clients: Europcar, Hitachi Group, Sweat (a digital fitness platform)

Recent corporate highlight: Advised Hitachi Group on its $2 billion acquisition of Thales Group's rail signaling and train control systems business.

Litigation clients: Dr Mike Lynch, ICBC Standard Bank, NatWest Markets

Recent litigation highlight: Advised Dr. Mike Lynch, British entrepreneur, in connection with civil litigation and criminal investigations in the UK and US.

Tax, pensions, and employment careers

The view from the firm: The TPE team provides seamlessly integrated Tax, Pensions, Employment and Incentives advice to help clients move transactions forward, regularly advising on US and international taxation, covering corporate and commercial transactions, equity and debt offerings, real estate and private equity funds and investments, financing and securitization transactions, tax-efficient structured transactions, insurance taxation, charitable organizations and the resolution of tax disputes. Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation lawyers regularly advise domestic and multinational companies on critical employment matters in M&A transactions, including the treatment of equity compensation, negotiating employment agreements and pension plan terminations. Our ERISA team advises on all aspects of Title I of ERISA, including fiduciary issues in connection with the investment of employee benefit plan assets as well as the fiduciary responsibility requirements that pension plan investment committees must comply with.

Tax clients: BofA Securities, Capital Dynamics, DREAM Asset Management Corporation

Recent highlight: Advised private equity firm Cinven on a $2.6 billion enterprise agreement with Bayer.

Technology and energy/ESG careers

The view from the firm: Our tech group of more than 600 lawyers takes a different approach to helping clients solve tech challenges. Tech is in our DNA - we deliver holistic strategic legal advice to guide businesses through the complex business challenges presented by tech and digital disruption - our focus extends across Antitrust, M&A & Investments, IP, Litigation, Tax, Pensions & Employment, Cyber, Fintech, Proptech, Healthtech and more.

We advise clients the world over on sustainable business transition and transformation, offering global coverage and technical excellence in the major aspects of Energy & Infrastructure, and wider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. The climate emergency, imperative social issues, and increased importance of effective governance require advice and support from the forefront of ESG developments, as part of achieving the Just Transition. We focus on climate change, energy transition, sustainable finance, business & human rights, inclusion & diversity, and stakeholder governance, regulatory & trade, and corporate governance & directors' obligations.


 International opportunities & secondments

Common secondment destinations: Hong Kong; London; Paris; São Paulo; Singapore

Client secondments (view from the firm): Our associates have opportunities for client secondments with leading international financial institutions and corporations all around the world. The secondments last anywhere from three months to a year. We see these opportunities as critical to continuing professional development and relationship building.

Overseas career development opportunities (view from the firm): Clifford Chance has 31 offices in 21 countries and a dedicated global mobility team to handle short and long term international transfers and secondments, to both US and primarily non-US practice groups.  These secondment opportunities are well supported within the network, offering our associates a unique career opportunity to expand their exposure to international markets.


Career Development & the Path to Partnership



3.1 : 1


partners made in the US
in 2022

associate : partner gearing

of associates intend to make partner




felt partnership was achievable for attorneys with children strongly agreed the firm’s name adds value to
their resume
agreed partners
are nurturing
future leaders


The view from the firm: The development of our associates is critical to our success: associates participate in practice-specific training as well as a global business skills curriculum focused on business development, client relationships and people-management. Each associate is also paired with a Career Development Mentor (CDM) who, in addition to providing general guidance, is responsible for expanding their mentee's network of contacts. These pairings are reviewed annually, with frequent check ins scheduled to ensure the associate is progressing. In addition to our formal mentoring program, many of our attorneys also participate in reverse mentoring where a senior leader of the firm is paired with a junior colleague from a different background bringing a different perspective of their firm experience as a result.  


Hours & Compensation

no requirement 13.1 53.6
billable hours target average number of vacation days associates took in one year average number of hours associates worked in one week
77% 83% 91%
agreed they had a good work-life balance said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile found the bonus allocation fair and transparent


1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $225,000
4th year: $250,000
5th year: $295,000
6th year: $345,000
7th year: $370,000
8th year: $400,000


The view from the firm: The firm understands the importance of balancing success in the workplace with life outside the office and has implemented a flexible work arrangement where lawyers are able to work remotely for up to three days each week. In addition to an annual health fair, the firm also hosts monthly lunch seminars dedicated to issues surrounding mental and physical health, and partners with Corporate Counseling Associates (CCA) which, among other services, provides 24/7 virtual counseling from a dedicated team of coaches. Compensation is lockstep and associate bonuses are based upon a number of factors including performance, pro bono hours, and overall firm contributions.

 Is Clifford Chance the right firm for you?





were happy in their current role


agreed they had autonomy over when they worked remotely

The view from the firm: We recognize that the world is changing and we must be able to adapt in order to lead and shape our sector. Strategic lateral recruitment is critical in growing our Americas region, but also ensuring that we have market-leading capabilities that are most important to our clients. Cultural fit: those who will work hard (together) is a top priority;  we emphasize the importance in recruiting new joiners with a wide range of experiences: those from different backgrounds and cultures bringing new perspectives and novel ideas.

We asked survey respondents what stands out about the firm’s culture?

“Attorneys are genuinely interested in seeing their colleagues succeed and grow. Great teamwork.”

“A pretty evident culture of collaboration and friendship, and wide opportunity for women to grow and develop their careers.”

“People are genuinely interested in your well-being. People are friends with their colleagues. People really want you to be doing work that interests you, and if they know you are interested in their work, they are very excited to share and discuss with you.”

  Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse


The view from the firm: We recognize that different regions will have different challenges with respect to recruitment, retention and promotion.  As such, these targets have been accompanied by specific targeted and tailored plans within the Americas for individual practice areas and for our business professional disciplines.

Key initiatives include numerous global and regional campaigns to celebrate holidays and cultural heritage celebrations, talent pipeline initiatives, training and development, such as reverse mentoring and code of conduct training, client collaborations, among many others. Click for more information.


 Pro Bono




average pro bono hours per US attorney  

agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: Lawyers for Good Government (reproductive rights); National Veterans Legal Services Program; International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (advocacy, research, litigation support, human rights); My Sisters’ Place (domestic abuse, immigration, human trafficking); DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (domestic abuse; immigration; guardianship)


Sustainability & CSR

The view from the firm: As part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, Clifford Chance submits global environment data annually to CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project).

We are committed to the UN Global Compact and associated global frameworks. We signed the Business Ambition for 1.5°C commitment letter in October 2021 and have submitted our Science Based Targets, which have been validated.  We commit to reduce absolute GHG emissions for scopes 1 & 2 80% by 2030 and scope 3 47% within the same time frame.



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contact: Haylin Low, senior lateral partner recruiting manager – US