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HFW Graduate Careers

Welcome to HFW's employer hub. You will find all the details you need to know about the firm here. You can see which opportunities the firm is currently recruiting for, and also become accustomed to their application process. There is also detail on HFW's diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as video content. 

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The AllAboutLaw perspective on HFW

HFW is arguably one of the largest and best shipping law firms in the world, winning the award for Best Shipping Law Firm at the Lloyd’s List Awards. The firm has been operating for more than 135 years and is made up of hundreds of lawyers worldwide. This size and prestige make it an excellent choice for aspiring lawyers.

The firm’s main focus is the shipping industry, working in a variety of sectors such as yachts, cruises and corporate shipping. Its long history means it has deep industry expertise, meaning the firm can advise its clients on multiple topics, with past clients seeking advice on shipping considerations after Brexit and how to safeguard businesses during Covid-19. HFW also works in several other sectors like aerospace and construction. 

Trainees get involved in real work from the first day, drafting documents and attending hearings. You will be supervised by an associate or partner throughout the process, who will provide you with regular feedback to enhance your skills. Past trainees have stated “ I truly felt that what I was doing was relevant and helpful to the firm.

Given HFW’s offices are located worldwide, all trainees are offered international secondment opportunities. This is a great chance to discover a new country and learn about a different legal system. The firm even covers the flights, accommodation and working visa. Outside of legal work, trainees have numerous opportunities to volunteer and get involved in social activities. 

What the firm says

Founded by a family of shippers in 1883, HFW has decades of experience in shipping law and how best to protect mariners. Their deep industry expertise allows them to provide detailed advice to their clients, even surrounding niche topics like subsea cables and the risks of shipping calcium hypochlorite. Past trainees have praised the “highly intelligent, ambitious, and also sociable and open-minded people” that work at the firm. Furthermore, HFW is committed to giving back to the community, with lawyers volunteering their time to read with primary school students and providing pro bono advice to charities. The firm even has a piracy team, which successfully released seafarer hostages in Somalia pro bono...



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Diversity interests

HFW are committed to ensuring that everyone who works at the firm feels respected and welcomed, no matter their background. The firm has pledged that by 2023, women will account for at least 40% of all senior lateral hires and internal promotions.

HFW has a number of employee networks that provide opportunities for colleagues to share their experiences and to input into the development of initiatives aiming to promote a more inclusive culture. 

HFW have also pledged to increase the ethnic diversity of their trainee intake, and have worked with Aspiring Solicitors to meet this goal. HFW have their own work experience programme aimed at students from low income backgrounds who are interested in a law career, also providing them with CV and interview training and networking opportunities. 

The firm also has several initiatives in place aimed at increasing awareness of the barriers to inclusion faced by underrepresented groups. There have been a variety of events covering a range of topics including; colourism, trans awareness, racism, menopause awareness. HFW has created a policy for those who transition at work, and allies of the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to show their support with cards, stickers, badges and flags. HFW has also recently published a menopause policy and is lining up more bespoke support for women going through the menopause.

In addition to these measures, HFW has organised a variety of different events to celebrate cultural and religious festivals. Previous years have seen Diwali and Hanukkah celebrations, with those who celebrate bringing in food and teaching others about the history of the holiday. Black History Month has been celebrated with a musical performance and a Caribbean cooking class.