Simmons & Simmons Employee Reviews about "business services"

Updated 17 Aug 2019

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4.0
75%
Recommend to a Friend
89%
Approve of CEO
Simmons & Simmons Managing Partner Jeremy Hoyland
Jeremy Hoyland
38 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good work life balance and colleagues(in 10 reviews)

  • "A collegiate and open-plan office with genuinely nice people I would happily spend the rest of my career working alongside(in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Business services teams split between London & Bristol, which makes communication difficult at times(in 7 reviews)

  • "Lack of a structured career path for business services staff, especially in smaller offices(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "business services"

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  1. "Great company to work for"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Operations Assistant in Bristol, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Simmons & Simmons full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Brilliant business services managers, particularly in HR. Collaborative atmosphere. Extensive opportunities for flexible working - most colleagues had at least one 'set' working from home day per week. Improving culture in the Bristol office - lots of social events to bring people together and encourage interaction, eg. Sports events, monthly drinks etc. Lovely office. Great Benefits.

    Cons

    Business services teams split between London & Bristol, which makes communication difficult at times. I can't really speak for the Fee-Earner side which seems to be fairly different to Business Services.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Business Services - HR"

    4.0
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Simmons & Simmons

    Pros

    Worked under a fantastic manager - kind and supportive, upbeat and motivated during a very busy period. The whole department was friendly and inclusive, but also clearly driven to provide a good service. All the business services/support staff in the business are a joy to work with. Canteen is great if you can find it! Summer dress-down policy was appreciated (and well-utilised at every level in the hierarchy).

    Cons

    Whilst I was working there the HR department only had one male (the head of dept!) which made for an unbalanced working environment - too much talk of babies and boyfriends. Some of the most senior lawyers can be difficult and a bit stroppy at times - will make no effort to even ask your name and quick to anger when things don't go their way.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "No culture or progression"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bristol, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Simmons & Simmons full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Good starting salary -Not much else

    Cons

    - No culture in the Bristol office - Unsociable -Uninspiring office -Partners are often rude and uncooperative - Little progression opportunities in Business Services -Don't expect a pay rise -IT Systems are highly frustrating and not fit for purpose

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  4. "The only thing keeping me here is the salary."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Paralegal in Bristol, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Simmons & Simmons for more than a year

    Pros

    Considering I didn't enjoy finance during my degree, I have found the work to be fairly interesting and varied. Having said that, it seems some associates have become corporate robots churning out the same transactions day in, day out with little or no joy or enthusiasm for the work they're doing. This attitude gets passed down by osmosis and I find I have to drag myself to work nowadays and it's become a grey, bleak atmosphere. It seems many of them have lost touch with reality and 'live to work' rather than working to live. Many associates and a couple of partners are easy to get on with and are helpful, however I feel the majority of fee earners look down on paralegals and consider us as 'lesser' members of the team. The training package provided was fantastic, however, and a number of associates were keen to provide their own pieces of training alongside it to better prepare us in our roles. The Bristol office is quite nice, however it can feel very quiet and the paralegals are crammed into a little room off the side which is rarely noticed (a bit like the paralegals...!). This is one of the best-paid paralegal positions in Bristol, which is the biggest pro to this role (and currently the only thing keeping me from leaving for another firm/role). We're not often late to leave the office, and the firm offers a pretty good benefits package.

    Cons

    Constantly feeling undervalued or underappreciated by fee earners - we are expected to do 'trainee level work' but for half the pay (and, of course, no training contract). There is little to no interest from the firm in our personal or career development, which includes no opportunities for promotion or pay increases (and there is a lack of incentive generally to do a 'good job'). There's a lot of 'behind-closed-doors' management - recently there have been redundancies made with little or no announcement or explanation, and our contracts were drawn up and processed with no consultation or negotiation with us (there were a couple of changes we would've liked to have made). A big issue for us at the moment is that there is no overtime pay. Sometimes (and, when it's busy, often) you're expected to work until the very late hours but without extra pay. It can be demoralizing to have to work like this (effectively for free). Finally, there was a point blank refusal to offer permanent contracts and instead the firm renewed our 12 month fixed term contract on the basis that 'in a couple of years we'll have the same rights as permanently-contracted employees anyway'. I don't recommend this firm unless you're entering as an associate with bright career progression prospects and no problem with departments staying wildly independent of each other (almost to the point of disliking each other). Business services and administrative staff are treated with no respect, and there are no opportunities whatsoever for increased responsibility or pay to reflect job performance. To conclude, if you're able to survive on a slightly lower salary, opt for a friendlier firm with a better approach to all members of staff and their careers, irrespective of how qualified they are or their position in the hierarchy of the firm. If you're after a management role with decent pay, then it'd probably work well for you.

  5. "Generally a challenging but rewarding and friendly environment well located, and good opportunities to travel."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Simmons & Simmons full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Get to work with smart talented people Good career prospects for hardworking junior staff Great office working environment

    Cons

    Limited scope for further career development for middle management staff Business Services staff and functions undervalued High staff turnover

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Nice people, but needs to work on staff retention"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Simmons & Simmons full-time

    Pros

    The people are mostly lovely, and the firm tends to actively discourage lawyers from being prats. You'll be given lots of freedom to pick up work that interests you.

    Cons

    Lack of a structured career path for business services staff, especially in smaller offices. Roles are poorly defined and hardworking staff end up overburdened and overwhelmed.

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  7. "Not the company it used to be"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Simmons & Simmons full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice colleagues, nice offices, collegiate atmosphere

    Cons

    Business services seen as unimportant, no training or development for them with little chance of internal promotion. HR managers think they're more important than the fee earners. Don't reward loyalty or high performers unless you're a fee earner.

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  8. "Simmons used to be a great place to work..."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Services in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Simmons & Simmons full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Amazing colleagues who always pull together. Pay is on par.

    Cons

    Business services are treated second class. All benefit's are aimed at legal staff and not support staff. There is no internal honesty, change comes with no warming. Business services are often the scapegoat for any sort of failure. Rarely are you recognized for the time and effort you put in. No bonus.

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