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

The team has a long track record of advising clients on their most challenging disputes and have acted on many of the largest, bet-the-company cases. Clients span every major industry and sector, ranging from multinational corporations, financial institutions, large and medium sized companies, professionals and trustees, to governments, charities, and high net worth individuals and their corporate interests. The team represent clients in High Court litigation, international and domestic arbitration, manage proceedings in other jurisdictions, and co-ordinate proceedings across multiple jurisdictions. They also advise and assist clients on ADR, including mediation.


Our award-winning corporate team provide a range of expertise that includes public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, investment funds, equity capital markets, corporate governance, private equity and venture capital. Comprising dedicated and pragmatic individuals, our corporate team services an international client base across a variety of sectors, with a particular focus on healthcare and life sciences, corporate real estate, financial and professional services, insurance, oil and gas and technology.

Employment and pensions

The international practice advise on all areas of employment and pensions law. The employment practice handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious, transactional and advisory employment work, and is a market leader in restrictive covenants and employee competition. The pensions practice advise on a variety of matters - ranging from advice on day-to-day legal issues to advice on documentation, corporate transactions, investment, member disputes and litigation. The team also advise in relation to incentives, immigration and partnerships. Both teams work across a broad range of industries including financial services, leisure, life sciences, transportation and luxury goods.


Our award winning finance team is highly regarded by clients for its excellence, broad experience and versatility. We work on demanding and innovative deals globally acting for many leading UK and international banks and financiers, investment companies, other corporates, lessors, funds and other stakeholders. The team’s expertise covers a broad range of assets including ship and offshore assets, aircraft, rolling stock, machinery and equipment, infrastructure projects, oil & gas projects, real estate and renewables including EfW and solar. We also advise on leveraged and acquisition finance, trade finance, Islamic finance, leasing and restructuring. 

Marine and international trade

Our international practice is serviced by specialist lawyers based in key shipping and trade hubs worldwide. We are well positioned to advise on any shipping or trade-related concern, from the most complex marine incident or financing structure to the more straightforward sale and purchase dispute or cargo claim. We have acted on some of the most high-profile and important cases in the maritime industry for some of the world’s largest ship owners, ship yards, banks, insurers, P&I clubs, offshore services companies and commodity traders.

Real estate

The team advises on investment acquisitions and disposals, financings development projects, sale and leasebacks and other structures, as well as ongoing property management matters. It has extensive experience of real estate development and regeneration, securing planning permissions and advising on environmental issues. Clients include major institutional investors and financiers, developers, fund managers, hotel groups, public sector bodies and corporate occupiers.


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 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.

8 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Manchester

10 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Bristol

17 Oct 2019

Skill Session

University of Exeter

21 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Nottingham

22 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Warwick

23 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Exeter

24 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Cambridge

6 Nov 2019

Aspiring Solicitors event

Stephenson Harwood's offices

09 Nov 2019

Law fair

University of Oxford

19 Nov 2019

Law fair

University of Southampton

19 Nov 2019

Law fair

University of Durham


Law fair

University College London