Career opportunities

When you join us, we’ll give you all the opportunities you need to grow your career – whether you’re looking to transition into a new specialist area, become a partner or develop your current expertise.

Associates and Senior Associates

You’ll play a vital role advising on complex and critical matters for some of the world’s biggest and most respected organisations. We’ll develop your skills in business development, commercial understanding and client contact. We'll provide you with the technical and skills training required for your practice area.

When you qualify, and again at two and five years post-qualification, you will attend a development centre, where you’ll have the chance to enhance your people management, delegation, financial management, business development and client relationship management skills.

As your career progresses, you will be offered opportunities for international or client secondments. Once you have five years post-qualification experience, you’ll be eligible to be promoted to senior associate in recognition of your experience.

Of Counsel

The role is designed for senior lawyers with recognised expertise in their field. The role offers many interesting challenges and gives you the opportunity to develop your expertise in a particular area.

We run an annual induction for newly promoted ‘Of Counsel’. Meetings of our ‘Of Counsel’ discussion group take place every six months.

Professional Support Lawyer (PSL)

As a PSL, you will be expected to be at the forefront of law and practice in your specialist area and to use your knowledge and communication skills to advise, support and train our lawyers. We might also ask you to assist in marketing relevant practice areas by producing briefings and articles and by speaking at conferences. We offer bespoke training opportunities to PSLs, including presentation skills development.

Paralegals

Exceptional paralegals in both temporary and permanent roles are important members of our legal teams, providing support to partners, associates and professional support lawyers on a wide range of legal and administrative work. We’ll encourage you to broaden your knowledge and experience, which may include attending workshops with the trainees on legal topics or skills development.

Note that working at the firm as a paralegal won’t necessarily be a route to securing a training contract. You will however be welcome to apply for a training contract via the standard application process, as with all potential future trainees.

Alternative career paths

While the ambition of many of our legal professionals is to be a partner, we support flexible career development for talented people as we appreciate not everyone follows the same path. Ongoing and open dialogue with your relevant practice group partners and HR is encouraged to discuss and track your career aims. Alternative career paths such as ‘Of Counsel’ and professional support lawyer and consultant roles are opportunities to apply your legal skills in a different way and help you maximise your potential.

Your development

Supported to reach your goals with flexible training and development plans, you may have the opportunity to work internationally to further your career as you become an integral part of our business.

Associates Development Centre

This programme aims to develop your skills and abilities in project management. It includes sessions on project management methodology, managing finance, client relationship management and managing others.

Senior Associate

As a senior associate, your ongoing training and development will continue with a focus on personal leadership, managing teams, developing juniors, financial awareness and business development. 

Potential Partner Development Centre

This programme is aimed at those who are considered by the global practice leaders to have the potential in due course to be partners. You’ll attend the development centre approximately two years ahead of the potential promotion and complete a series of activities typical of those undertaken by partners. The intention is to help you identify your strengths and development areas, and to produce a bespoke development plan to work on as you progress in the promotions process.

Individual coaching is also available for associates – to support you at key transition times and enable you to plan and reflect in order to achieve your full potential.

Partner Level

All new partners attend a tailored induction, to support you in your transition to partnership. What’s more, we continue to develop your people, business and practice management skills as well as your leadership and business development skills on an ongoing basis.

New Partner Induction

The induction provides clarity for new partners – helping you to map out your role and future milestones for success. The programme enables our partners to share what is different about being a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and to take ownership for building the future of the firm.

Learning and development

You will have the opportunity to receive leading and bespoke training and development to support your future success. Our fully-integrated modular program of legal and business skills training will enable you to develop the capabilities, mind-set and acquire the knowledge you need to reach your full potential at Herbert Smith Freehills.

From key milestone programs, to flexible learning options, we’ve developed a practical and interactive development program to allow you to enhance your market leading skills in areas such as negotiation skills, drafting, client relationship development and leadership. 

Benefits

We offer a fantastic benefits package to reward and support you during your career. Alongside a market leading base salary, we offer competitive bonus potential, generous leave entitlements and insurance benefits.

In Hong Kong we also offer rental of the firm junk to our staff. And last, but by no means least, you’ll be able to join a thriving sports and social committee who organise events and club activities throughout the year.

Relocation move

If you're relocated to one of our many offices globally, you'll receive support in moving wherever you go.  The benefits and allowances you’re eligible for will depend on the structure and type of package attached to your relocation package.

Make a difference

Working with the diverse groups that make up our pro bono client base around the world offers you the chance to develop your professional knowledge and make a positive impact on issues close to your heart and ours.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR US-QUALIFIED LAWYERS

US Securities

We employ US-qualified attorneys to work in our New York, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Moscow and Singapore offices. We’re committed to the development and advancement of our US-qualified attorneys as a critical component of our global strategy.

The attorneys employed in our New York office focus on disputes work, while our US-qualified attorneys in London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Moscow and Singapore focus on corporate transactional work.

Our teams of US-qualified securities attorneys abroad advise on a full range of cutting-edge corporate transactions, with particular expertise in large international capital markets transactions (including equity, equity-linked, investment grade and high-yield debt offerings), as well as cross-border mergers and acquisitions. And despite being divided by geography, the teams work closely with one another on a regular basis.

Our London-based US securities practice is led by Tom O'Neill; our Moscow-based US securities practice, by Allen Hanen and Evgeny Zelensky; our Singapore-based US securities practice, by Siddhartha

US Finance

Our full service US finance practice advises corporates, investment banks, private equity sponsors and insurance and pension funds across the entire spectrum of leveraged financing options. In appreciation of the need to create comprehensive financing structures, our knowledge of both the US and European markets enables us to efficiently apply US products to the European markets for syndication and taking into account European insolvency and other legal regimes. The US finance practice is based out of the London office led by Gabrielle Wong.

The US-qualified associates in our international offices are graduates of the leading US law schools. Our associates all share a global perspective and welcome the opportunity to refine their practice of US securities and finance law while working outside of the US. The range of language capabilities on these teams is exceptional; our capability includes Arabic, Cantonese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.