Brilliant lawyers come from all backgrounds. That’s why we take a roughly equal split of law and non-law students. Whatever your experience, you’ll work with some of the world’s best lawyers, on some of our biggest projects.

SOLICITORS QUALIFYING EXAM (SQE)

The route to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales is changing with the introduction of the SQE. This has given us the unique opportunity to partner with BPP University Law School to create the market-leading City Consortium Solicitor Training Programme. The programme will:

  • Provide you with the optimum preparation to pass the new SQE assessments
  • Equip you with the knowledge, technical and interpersonal skills you’ll need for your career at our firm

You’ll be supported throughout by BPP’s expert tutors and their state-of-the-art EdTech, including:

  • A personalised adaptive learning platform
  • Simulated SQE assessment practice with thousands of multiple-choice questions
  • A virtual law firm to enhance your digital, commercial and legal skills

QUALIFYING WORK EXPERIENCE (QWE)

With the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), we’re looking at ways to make the training contract more tailored to our trainees and our business. The flexibility of the QWE means that we’re considering options to allow our trainees to tailor their training contract to a particular practice group or sector, and we’re also reviewing the number of seats we ask our trainees to complete during the two years of QWE.

Seats

Our current training contract programme requires all trainees to complete two years of work experience where you’ll rotate through four, six-month seats. You’ll be supervised by, and share an office with a Senior Associate or a Partner who’s committed to supporting your personal and professional development. All our trainees spend time in dispute resolution, as well as two transactional seats, including: corporate, finance, competition, regulation and trade, intellectual property, employment, pensions and incentives and tax.

Training contracts

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SECONDMENTS

Unlike many competitor firms, over 84% of our trainees go on secondment at one of our international offices. It’s a chance to spend six months experiencing life in a different city and understanding our global reach. You can also spend six months in one of our client’s in-house legal departments, building your legal expertise. There are also pro bono secondment opportunities every six months.

Pro bono and citizenship

All trainees are encouraged to make the most of the many opportunities we provide for pro bono work. This includes the Whitechapel Legal Advice Clinic (WLAC) which is our largest pro bono programme in London. All trainees are automatically enrolled onto the programme and provided with full training to provide advice on employment, debt, housing and consumer law matters. We also represent clients at employment tribunals and County Court, which offers trainees excellent advocacy experience. Trainees are also able to volunteer for the AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre and Connect Legal Advice Clinic.

Find out more here

The Trainee Business Development Committee (TBDC)

The TBDC is a trainee-run initiative made up of members from across the different trainee intakes. It creates and delivers opportunities for trainees to network with clients and start growing their business development skills early in their careers. The TBDC runs exciting events, links trainees to client relationship teams and provides internal training sessions. It plays an important part in helping trainees to be involved in shaping our future.

Trainee Business Development Committee

Support

Once you’ve accepted your offer, you’ll begin building your network when starting your law school studies with the rest of your cohort at BPP Law School. You'll also be invited to events and networking days at the firm before you start as a trainee and you may even be able to work as a paralegal here.

We’ll give you plenty of support, including mentors, regular feedback through your appraisals, and extensive on-the-job support from associates and partners. We also have a dedicated Trainee HR team who will meet with you regularly. We’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace and providing the support and resources required for you to perform at your best. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the graduate recruitment team at: [email protected].

Support

Induction

Your time at the firm starts with a two-week induction, which combines interactive learning and essential training to make sure you’re ready for your first seat. During your induction, you’ll also have an opportunity to meet with the Diversity & Inclusion team and the leads of our diversity networks to find out more about the work they do, our inclusive culture and how to get involved. You can also check out some key D&I highlights here

We also provide comprehensive inductions at the start of each new seat to ensure you all begin with the same level of knowledge and feel supported.

Qualification

We have a dedicated Qualification Committee to help guide you through the qualification process. It begins as you enter your final seat to ensure you’re fully prepared as to what to expect from the process.

Salary & Benefits

Starting salary
£45k
Upon qualification up to
£105k

LPC and GDL fees paid by the firm or reimbursed

Whether you have already completed the GDL and LPC or are yet to finish your studies, the firm will pay the fees.

£10,000 grant on the LPC

To support you during your LPC studies in London, the firm will provide you with a grant of £10,000.

£10,000 grant on the GDL in London

To support you during your GDL studies in London, the firm will provide you with a grant of £10,000.

£9,000 grant on the GDL outside of London

To support you during your GDL studies outside of London, the firm will provide you with a grant of £9,000.

Social and sports clubs

You'll have the opportunity to get involved with the sports and social committee who organise events and sports activities throughout the year.

25 days’ annual leave

Enjoy 25 days' of paid annual leave with the ability to buy or sell up to five days.

Subsidised gym membership

You can take advantage of 50% off Virgin Active gym membership and the Broadgate Virgin Active club is just next door to the office

Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance

Interest-free season ticket loan

Interest-free season ticket loan

Corporate GP service

Corporate GP service

Travel insurance

Travel insurance

Cycle to work scheme

Cycle to work scheme

Gadget insurance

Gadget insurance

Permanent Health Insurance

Permanent Health Insurance

Subsidised staff restaurant and café

Subsidised staff restaurant and café

Confidential employee assistance programme

Providing free and confidential counselling to staff and their immediate family.

Pension contributions

Pension contributions

Dental insurance

Dental insurance

Life assurance and critical illness cover

Life assurance and critical illness cover

Access to a mortgage broker

Access to a mortgage broker

Eye tests

Eye tests

Corporate discounts

Corporate discounts

Virgin Atlantic: The acquisition of Flybe

Hear how Herbert Smith Freehills’ Corporate team helped Virgin Atlantic land an unusually complex acquisition of struggling airline Flybe in a case that led the national news. Our partner and trainee give you the insider’s perspective on this exciting case as it happened.

The GDPR Notification Tool: Bringing an idea to life

A growing part of Herbert Smith Freehills’ work is creating proactive digital solutions for clients’ legal challenges. GDPR’s combination of potential for large fines and unclear policy on when a company is liable presented a challenge that could be solved digitally. Find out from our associate and trainee how they took the idea from paper to prototype.

Costa Rica: Defending an ecosystem in a landmark ruling

Step inside Herbert Smith Freehills’ Disputes team’s approach to successfully defending the Costa Rican government against a group of American investors taking them to international arbitration over a property development. Hear everything, from where they started, to how they cross-examined witnesses as they won a landmark decision that will shape environmental protection globally.

Any Questions?

You can view a selection of frequently asked questions about life at the firm and our range of opportunities via the button below.