20 life-changing opportunities

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.


About London

We focus on developing a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and the sectors in which they operate. We provide targeted legal advice quickly and efficiently to meet our clients' business and personal needs.

Our London office boasts some of the City's leading lawyers. The challenging and exciting nature of our work enables us to attract some of the brightest talent in the legal profession, across a range of specialist areas.

Our clients benefit from this great strength in depth because we can deploy the right people with the right level of expertise at the right time.

"I was attracted to Stephenson Harwood because of the high calibre of work that the firm is involved in and by the small intake of trainees which means you are afforded a higher level of responsibility from day one."

Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

Major practices

Commercial litigation and arbitration

Our award-winning team advises on many of the most complex and high-profile commercial litigation cases. For example, we have been involved in providing anti-counterfeiting advice to luxury brands and helping trace up to US$70 billion of assets misappropriated by a former regime in Egypt.

The high calibre nature of our cases means that we regularly feature in The Lawyer magazine's 'Top 20 cases of the year'.


Focused on deals that range from £50 million to £500 million in value, our corporate finance team is known for outstanding commercial thinking. Our track record is particularly strong in energy and resources, financial services, pharmaceuticals, real estate and transportation. We advise on a wide range of matters, from mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, to equity capital markets, private equity venture capital and takeovers. 

Deals in the past year have included: advising long-standing client Acadia Healthcare on its £1.5 billion acquisition of Priory Group, and acting for Woodford Investment Management LLP on the largest ever investment trust IPO, raising £800 million upon launch.

Employment and pensions

We are an international employment practice of highly regarded employment law specialists. Our expertise and cross-industry experience enables us to deliver innovative solutions to meet our clients' needs. For over 30 years we have provided an integrated legal and support function to our clients. Our pensions expertise also stretches across the firm and we have dedicated specialists to assist with all pensions-related issues.

The employment team is ranked by the leading legal directories in the 'elite' category for employment law advice when acting for employers.


We're one of the very few international firms that field market-leading asset finance teams in all three key transportation sectors – aviation, rail and shipping. Our clients include many of the leading organisations in the global transportation sector including almost every major transportation finance bank, leading lessors and aviation, rail and shipping companies.

We recently advised HI Investment & Securities Co. Ltd on the financing of US$209 million Emirates aircrafts. This represented the fifth Korean focused deal completed by our Singapore aviation and structured finance team, further strengthening its reputation in the Korean market.

Marine and international trade

Our world-leading marine law practice offers a breadth of services to clients in the shipping, offshore and commodity sectors. Our practice is international and is serviced by specialist lawyers based in key shipping and trade hubs worldwide. We deliver market-leading maritime expertise to a truly international clientele, including many of the world's largest ship-owners, shipyards, major ship finance banks, marine insurers and IG P&I clubs, energy services companies, oil and gas businesses and commodities traders.

We acted for Mercuria in the successful defence of a headline-making US$270 million claim – relating to commodity 'repo' deals affected by a major metals warehousing fraud in China.

Real estate

We've been behind some of the UK and Europe's biggest real estate deals. Regularly advising leading international developers, investors, financiers and individuals, we guide our clients on everything from investment acquisitions and disposals to development projects and environmental issues.

We have recently advised on a string of high-profile deals including the redevelopment of Sea Containers' House on London's Southbank, the redevelopment of the Natwest Tower in Birmingham and a number of major retail acquisitions in the UK, Italy and France.


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

Giving back

We want to make a positive contribution to the world we live in.

That’s why we’re dedicated to building, maintaining and developing a sustainable, responsible and diverse working environment which reflects our values and aspirations for the future.

Treating everyone inclusively

We want our firm to be a place where our people feel challenged, engaged and supported to fulfil their potential and perform at their best – inspiring people from broad and diverse backgrounds to access the full range of opportunities available to them in a professional law firm. Creating a culture of inclusion is key to achieving this. 

We’re delighted to be the fourth organisation ever to have been accredited with the National Equality Standard.

We launched a female career progression programme in 2014, designed specifically to support female associates in overcoming some of the gender specific and perceived challenges of working in the legal profession. 

We selected a group of partners to act as ‘parental partners’. They act as role models and provide those with parenting responsibilities with commercial, pragmatic and clear direction in relation to career progression.

Raising money

We support a diverse range of charities, including our designated ‘charity of the year’. This year we are delighted to partner with the Whitechapel Mission, a homeless shelter supporting men and women caught in the cycle of poverty. We provide support both in terms of fundraising and through volunteering time. The firm has already pledged an initial financial donation and will be matching funds raised by employees throughout the duration of the partnership. 

Our employees have been involved in a variety of charitable fundraising activities including a sky dive, running marathons, hosting a piano recital, bake sales and much more.

Giving our time

We are delighted to be involved with a range of projects that contribute to the local community. We are continuing to work with the Bromley by Bow Centre and some of our previous projects include creating a wild flower meadow, hosting a CV clinic and inviting ambitious youngsters to an ‘inspire day’ with us. We’re also working in partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust on their ‘Access to Professions: Law’ programme. We provide mentors, interactive speaker sessions, work experience and practical workshops for students who might not otherwise think about a career in law.

Providing professional advice for free

Not everyone has the money to pay for much needed legal services and we act on a pro bono basis, providing our legal services for free to a number of charities and NGOs. At the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau, we give free legal advice to litigants in person who cannot afford a solicitor. At the Royal College of Art, we help students and alumni with a pro bono advice clinic on intellectual property. 

Doing our bit for the planet

We are committed to minimising the impact of our operation and services on the environment. We achieve this by complying with the standards laid down in ISO 14001 (the international standard for environmental management systems, designed to reduce and control the impact of commercial organisations on the environment) and ISO 50001 (the international standard for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system).

We do everything we can to minimise our impact on the environment, by re-using, donating and recycling as many materials as possible. Not only are we now a member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, we’ve also switched to Woodland Trust paper for use in reprographic services. In addition, we have supplied our employees with 'keep cups' to reduce our use of plastic cups and all of the cooking oil we use is refined into bio fuel. Our employees have the opportunity to volunteer to help with transforming community spaces, river restoration and tree planting.

Inside story

Technical training, diverse work and an international client base

by Nicholas Morgan, trainee solicitor


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