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RPC Training Contracts & Interview Process

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

RPC applications open at the start of October and end in the final week of June the following year.

Firm Overview

RPC – Reynolds Porter Chamberlain – is a corporate and insurance law firm. It is headquartered in London, and has been named Law Firm of the Year thrice since 2014, as well as Best Legal Adviser every year since 2009. It provides a broad spectrum of legal services across the globe, including commercial litigation, construction, corporate & M&A, employment and pensions, engineering and projects, insurance, IP and technology, media, outsourcing, real estate, regulatory, and tax and competition. It also has some expertise in media and defamation. Primarily though, it focuses on insurance (or at least that is where its reputation lies). The firm employs about 720 people, of whom 81 are partners and 334 others are lawyers. RPC has offices in London, Bristol, Singapore and Hong Kong. The firm is the only English member of TerraLex. The profit per equity partner in 2019/2020 was GBP424,000. The firm was founded in 1898.

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Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

You will spend ‘at least six months in four different areas of our practice’ meaning that you can understand where you fit in at RPC. You may have the chance to take a secondment to a client as an in-house lawyer if this appeals to you, and you could also spend six months in either the Hong Kong or Singapore office. The firm believes that a non-hierarchical structure benefits trainees, so it has open plan offices where you can always sit near a partner. In the virtual office, the firm ensures that support is available whenever you need it via video call, and maintains that same non-hierarchical structure. They emphasise that trainees are respected and listened to from the outset.

Past Interview Format & Questions

RPC runs a blind recruitment process. Recruitment for London training contracts typically takes place during July and August. If you make the shortlist, then you will be invited to an assessment day. The firm typically only invites a very small number of applicants (around 40 out of 900) to its assessment centre.

A typical day at the assessment centre might look like this:

8:45 am arrival, Introduction from recruitment

9:15 writing task one hour followed by 10-15 minutes of questions from partners regarding the written task

11:00-12:30 interview with 2 partners

12:30-2pm talk and Q&A with trainees 2pm end

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The Written Task
According to previous applicants, the written task is described as:
– A one hour period in which you need to read through a variety of reports on a fictional business, and then write a memo on which business strategy you would choose for it. In this specific example, it is ‘which location should Y open its new business in). You will need to outline why you are making your decision, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the options, and back up your choice with the information that you are provided. This is followed by 15 minutes of 2 partners acting as if they were the CEO of the case study business and asking you questions about your decision.
– Drafting a memo on a business-orientated plan of action. 1hr and 15 mins in total assimilate information from the evidence and then draft a memo
– One hour to read through a bundle of documents about a fictional business – the specific example being a chain of hotels in Romania – and then deciding on a strategy to use to assess the business, and what the business ought to do. You then need to pitch your decision to two partners, who will quiz you on it. You are asked why you chose the option that you did, and what turned you away from the other options.

The Interview

The interview is described as being ‘very structured’ and will be with a partner and a member of the HR team. They will have a question sheet which they draw their questions from and which they ought to stick to. You should expect motivation, competency and behavioural questions.

Past questions include:
– How does a law firm make profit?
– Why RPC?
– What have you seen in the news recently that affects RPC?
– Give me a time you worked in a team?
– How have you acted on your own initiative/ gone above and beyond your role?
– What would you do if an angry client made unrealistic demands?
– How would you deal with multiple competing deadlines?
– How do you deal with pressure?
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