London training contract

Two years, four seats and as much responsibility as you can shoulder; that’s what we’ll offer you as one of our chosen 20 trainees.

Develop an incredible career with us

There’s a lot to look forward to as a trainee at Stephenson Harwood.

At Stephenson Harwood you'll be exposed to top quality international work across a range of sectors, an environment that balances cutting-edge work with a respectful, friendly culture, the chance to prove yourself on a secondment and the opportunity to make a name for yourself from day one. We work in small teams, so every person is critical – that's why we'll expect you to give it your all every day.

What's your background?

Law degree

Join Stephenson Harwood and you'll be a valued member of our diverse, global team as you make your mark on the future of our firm. Applicants from Law backgrounds will need to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC). We'll pay for your fees for the LPC at BPP London and offer maintenance awards of up to £6,000 if you're still studying.


Amir Mahdavi, trainee solicitor

Law, Queen Mary University

Non-law students

We welcome people who haven't studied law as an undergraduate – we value the experience you can bring to the firm. You will need to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC). We'll pay for your fees for the GDL and LPC at BPP London and offer maintenance awards of up to £6,000 if you're still studying.


Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

International Development and European Politics, Leeds University

What you'll be doing

Whatever practice you join, you can expect extensive exposure to our clients and stimulating, cutting-edge projects.

You could find yourself working on anything from a high-profile, £multi-million financial litigation case to a ground-breaking M&A deal. You could even spend time on secondment at a client's office, absorbing a totally different business culture first-hand.

Although every seat is a different journey, each is designed to give you a broad balance of commercial awareness and practical legal experience, plus the flexibility to move between projects and pick up new skills. There will be plenty of challenges along the way, but also lots of support. At every stage you'll be coached and mentored by a partner or senior solicitor who'll give you regular feedback, advice and guidance on everything from your day-to-day responsibilities to your long-term career decisions.

Ours is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We'll recognise your individual needs and help you to tailor-make an ongoing training programme that's right for you. Regular development reviews, both formal and informal, will identify your strengths, pinpoint areas for improvement and give you the chance to discuss your post-qualification career objectives. At every stage, a dedicated partner will manage and guide your development. Ultimately, our people are our firm, so investing in your professional development is a priority. The better you perform, the better we will too.

Rewards and Benefits

In return for your hard work and dedication, you'll enjoy a wide range of rewards.

Expect a competitive salary from day one, a flexible package of benefits that you can tailor to your specific needs, and much more.

We'll offer you a salary of £41,000 in year one and £45,000 in year two. Our current NQ salary is £73,000.

If you're still studying, we'll pick up the fees for your Graduate Diploma in Law and your Legal Practice Course at BPP London and offer maintenance awards of up to £6,000.

Here's a snapshot of the flexible benefits you can choose from:

  • Childcare vouchers
  • Critical illness cover
  • Cycle2work loan
  • Dental health scheme
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Eyecare vouchers
  • Give as you earn
  • Gym membership subsidy
  • Health screening
  • Holiday (purchase and sale)
  • Information technology scheme
  • Life assurance
  • Pension
  • Private GP services
  • Private medical insurance
  • Retail vouchers
  • Subsidised staff café
  • Travel to work loan
  • Wellbeing programme

Who we're looking for

We look for qualities that make you a potential high-performing associate – possibly even a future partner.

Intellectual ability and the ability to quickly assimilate a wealth of information and identify the main issues is critical. That means an excellent academic record (ideally at least a 2:1) and you won't be afraid to question and challenge, or to put forward solutions and ideas that are meticulously thought through.

Strong, productive relationships with colleagues as well as clients are vital to every area of our work and therefore interpersonal skills are paramount too. You need to be good at expressing yourself clearly and succinctly - both face-to-face and in writing - and you'll know how to tailor your message to your audience, build rapport and be persuasive.

Ambitious, driven and inquisitive, you'll love a challenge and have the resilience needed to respond well to feedback. As someone who always keeps the end result firmly in mind and is enthusiastic even under pressure, you'll be able to show us you know how to get a job not just done, but done brilliantly – to the very best of your ability.

We'll want you to have a keen interest in and an aptitude for business. We're known for sound commercial judgement so you'll need the potential to develop the same skill.

International secondments

We offer international secondment opportunities for our trainees in our offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore and Seoul – it's an incredible chance to expand your horizons, experience new cultures and explore our global network.

My international secondment: Singapore

by James Hammond, trainee solicitor

My international secondment: Dubai

by Henry Pelling, trainee solicitor

My international secondment: Seoul

by Max Darke, trainee solicitor

My international secondment: Paris

by Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

My international secondment: Hong Kong

by Krystal Lee, trainee solicitor


Find out how to apply for training contracts


Amir Mahdavi, trainee solicitor

Law, Queen Mary University


Paulina Corbetis, trainee solicitor

Law, Cambridge University


Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

International Development and European Politics, Leeds University


Geon Sik Kang, trainee solicitor

Law, London School of Economics


To get a better idea of what life is like at our firm, come along to one of our upcoming events.

04 Oct 2018

University of Bristol, law fair

University of Bristol

15 Oct 2018

University of Nottingham, law fair

University of Nottingham

18 Oct 2018

University of Cambridge, law fair

University of Cambridge

18 Oct 2018

University of Warwick, law fair

University of Warwick

30 Oct 2018

Autumn insight day, for students from London universities

Stephenson Harwood

03 Nov 2018

University of Oxford, law fair

University of Oxford

7 Nov 2018

BPP University, law fair

BPP Waterloo campus

13 Nov 2018

University of Exeter, law fair

University of Exeter

20 Nov 2018

University of Durham, law fair

University of Durham

21 Nov 2018

University of Southampton, law fair

University of Southampton

Important information regarding the Solicitors' Qualifying Exam

On 25 April 2017 the Solicitors Regulation Authority announced that it would be introducing the Solicitors' Qualifying Exam as a mandatory route to qualification for all future solicitors from 2020. However, there will be some transitionary arrangements which mean that, provided you have at least started your law degree or your GDL by August 2020, you will still be able to proceed with the current route to qualification.

Those who are eligible to apply now for a training contract commencing in March or September 2021 with us will have satisfied the requirement to have commenced a law degree/GDL and LPC before August 2020 and so will be able to proceed with the current route to qualification. However, new routes to qualification may well open up in the meantime, including a graduate entry solicitor apprenticeship. We will keep abreast of these developments and, in the event that we conclude that they would be an improvement on the current route, we will liaise with our future trainees to explore whether it would be appropriate for them to transition onto the new route or to remain on the existing one.