Structure of our training contracts
We offer around 20 training contracts every year, split between our September and March intakes respectively. Our training contract is made up of four six-month seats offering you the opportunity to gain real contentious and non-contentious experience within the firm's various practice areas. During each seat, you will sit with a Partner or Senior Associate who will be responsible for your supervision and guidance. We believe in giving our trainees responsibility as early on as possible and, in many departments, you will be given your own files to manage (resulting in a high level of client contact and hands-on experience).
As a firm that is renowned for its real estate and Middle Eastern practices, you can expect to spend at least one seat in a department or office which specialises in these areas.
We currently recruit trainee solicitors for our London, Manchester and Exeter offices. London is our largest office and over 30 trainees are based there at any one time undertaking seats in a wide variety of practice areas.
Our Manchester office accommodates four trainees every year, where they can experience seats in property, litigation, construction and the public sector. It is usual practice for our Manchester trainees to undertake one seat in London or the Middle East.
Our Exeter office takes one trainee every year and this is an ideal opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a smaller office. Exeter trainees typically spend two seats in the Exeter office, one seat in the Middle East and one seat in London.
We recognise that it is important for our trainees to experience departments that they themselves are interested in. Upon joining the firm, your first seat will be allocated for you. However, for the remaining three seats, you will be given the opportunity to state your preferences. We will try to accommodate your requests where possible, whilst ensuring that we satisfy the firm's national and international business requirements.
We offer a well-rounded training programme so that our trainees are ready to hit the ground running upon qualification.
Over the course of your training contract, you will benefit from various professional skills courses as set out by the SRA. In addition to the compulsory elements (financial & business skills, advocacy & communication skills, and client care & professional standards), we have arranged for tutors from Kaplan Law School to come in and deliver PSC elective courses to our trainees on skills that we feel are relevant for their development at the firm. Our PSLs also deliver a number of training sessions throughout the year to our trainees on a range of legal topics that are appropriate to the various seats that can be undertaken.
Your first week at the firm is dedicated to introducing you to the firm's practical operation and is geared to fully preparing you for the start of your training contract. Over the course of the week, there will be various presentations, together with training sessions on topics such as financial and time management, unconscious bias and anti-money laundering.
As well as the training, your induction is all about integration with your new colleagues. We make sure that there are informal opportunities for you to meet with them during the course of the week. There will also be one afternoon dedicated to introducing you to your new department, with the current trainee providing you with an extensive handover before you start in your seat.
We offer our trainees the opportunity to either undertake a litigation seat at the firm or attend an external litigation course that is run by Kaplan Law School. The course comprises of a week being tutored at the law school and a second week gaining practical experience in an advice centre. This course has been designed to fulfil the contentious element of your training contract and is approved by the SRA.
As well as the trainee-specific training, you will also be encouraged to attend departmental training that is relevant to your current seat. Each department has a designated training representative who regularly organises departmental seminars and events. Furthermore, the majority of our departments have a dedicated professional support lawyer, who provides regular training and updates to all the fee-earners.
We believe that regular assessment and feedback is key to the successful, continuous development of all our staff, and this is particularly true for trainees. During each seat, you will have a mid-seat and end-of-seat appraisal with your supervisor to assess your performance to date. These appraisals are regularly monitored to ensure that they are fair and appropriate, and that any training needs are identified and implemented.
Trainee Solicitors' Committee
We believe it is important for our trainees to have a strong network of support that they can turn to should they ever have a problem. As well as our Training Principal (Tonia Secker) and each trainee's supervisor, Anup Vithlani (our Graduate Recruitment & Development Manager) is always on hand to answer any questions / queries you may have or for advice.
The Trainee Solicitors' Committee is headed up by our Training Principal and comprises a cross section of Partners and the Graduate Recruitment and Development team. The committee meet every three months to discuss trainee-related issues and initiatives, and to ensure that we are offering the best training possible.
Our trainees are represented on the committee by one volunteer from each intake. The trainee representatives are encouraged to raise any issues that our trainees would like to be considered at the meeting and to give our feedback on those issues back to the trainees following on from the meeting.
You will have the opportunity to apply for any NQ vacancies available across the firm during your respective qualification process. The process itself is open and transparent, whereby we inform our qualifying trainees of how many positions there are in each department / office, and run a formal application and interview process for those vacancies.
We do not believe that your development should stop at the end of your training contract. We operate a structured newly qualified programme to help you make the transition from trainee to post-qualified solicitor.
The newly qualified programme includes topics ranging from marketing and business development to delegation and time management. Training will continue throughout your career with seminars running on a weekly basis, together with any soft skill training that you require.