Our international approach

Flexibility in a fast-moving world.

Slaughter and May is a leading global firm with a worldwide corporate, commercial, disputes and financing practice. The strength of our global practice is reflected both in the multi-jurisdictional nature of our work and our international client base. The firm is trusted adviser to some of the largest global companies in the world, advising on cross-border deals every single day

Our approach is shaped by the fundamental principle that complex transactions, wherever in the world, require first-class legal expertise rooted in a deep knowledge of local practice, procedures and culture; providing clients with a first-class professional service, combining technical excellence with commercial excellence.

We work with the very best law firms across the globe to support our clients, handpicked to meet the needs of each matter, to deliver integrated legal advice. Fundamental to our business model is the ability to work in partnership with other law firms – this is how we have built our successful global practice. In 2020 we worked with over 230 law firms in more than 85 jurisdictions. This frequency of overseas engagement gives our lawyers, including trainees, exposure to many international contacts and local insights that would be not possible in a ‘one stop shop’ equivalent global firm.

Our lawyers advise clients globally, which means they travel extensively. In the US, for example, we advise over 100 of the US Fortune 500 companies and other multinational businesses with significant US interests, working closely with independent Wall Street firms and other major firms across the country. Major US clients include GE, The Walt Disney Company and Credit Karma.  Elsewhere, our clients range from SoftBank in Japan, to Sasol in South Africa and Cemex in Mexico.

We also have Country Teams which trainees are invited to join, allowing exposure to country strategy, relationship development and a wider network within the firm.

Many of our trainees and associates also have the opportunity to work abroad, either in our offices or in one of our global relationship firms. We believe that our secondments are especially beneficial because they give our lawyers the chance to experience a working culture very different from our own. We also host an intake of secondees from our overseas relationship firms twice yearly in our London office, giving our own lawyers a chance to meet and work alongside peers from around the world on a day-to-day basis.

On co-ordinating global relations: Ngozie, Head of our International Relations team, History and Politics graduate.

Quality is at the heart of everything we do

DEVELOPING OUR GLOBAL RELATIONSHIPS

Quality is at the heart of everything we do. We have a team dedicated to managing our relationships with overseas law firms, working alongside Country Partners, to ensure we can deliver a seamless international service for our clients. We are able to assemble the best teams on any matter, in any given jurisdiction, at any given time. That takes a depth of knowledge about the markets in which we operate and flexibility to adapt to our clients' needs.  Our model demands that we invest heavily in our international relationships, and have built and developed these over the years through regular travel, our long-running secondment programmes and regular expertise sharing and joint initiatives with our relationship firms. Trainees and associates have a role to play with this from day one, including when working alongside these global relationship firms for our clients as well as proactively development them via our Country Teams if wishing to be part of these efforts.

How do you do it?

The team works closely with the lawyers to identity the right law firm for each transaction. Our relationships are built over many years of working together and they are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our clients.

We invest a lot of time and resources in getting to know our relationship firms better. We hold joint training programmes, knowledge-sharing initiatives, secondment programmes, conferences and client events all over the world.

Let's take Africa. We have good relationships across the continent and we know these firms really well. Our partners are on the ground regularly and we have seconded lawyers to some of our relationship firms. We host our annual EXPLORE programme that welcomes over 20 lawyers from more than 10 African jurisdictions to our offices in London. We also run an annual Legal Exchange Symposium, which brings together 150 lawyers from across Africa for a two-day event. This level of commitment to building relationships is applied worldwide. It is key to our success.

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