Herbert Smith Freehills Herbert Smith Freehills

  • City Law Firms
  • London

Training Contract

  • Places: 60

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: 100

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 4965




Herbert Smith Freehills – The future of law is here. 

We’re a leading, full-service, global law firm working on some of the world’s biggest cases and deals at the forefront of the world’s most exciting sectors. With an award-winning depth of expertise across a wide variety of sectors, geographies and legal specialisms, we’re the firm where you can build your future in law.

By combining perspectives and potential from diverse backgrounds, we can offer our clients pioneering solutions. With our innovative and inclusive culture, we’re building a law firm ready to lead the future. Our progressive approach allows us to continually break new ground; whether it’s a complex international dispute or a billion-pound, cross-border deal. You’ll add your insight and expertise from day one.  

Our work is incredibly varied. We provide top-quality tailored legal advice to major corporations, governments and financial institutions as well as various commercial organisations. We operate at the forefront of many exciting sectors and no other firm has more Chambers rankings. Our dispute resolution practice is widely recognised as number one globally and this includes both our leading international arbitration practice and award-winning in-house advocacy unit. We can therefore offer a complete litigation service and a realistic alternative career to the Bar. We also specialise in finance, competition, regulation and trade, intellectual property, real estate and more. As a truly global law firm, we do this by attracting the brightest minds across the world to collaborate on work which has an international impact.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, we recognise and appreciate all the differences that make each of us unique. Our culture of inclusion that fosters these differences is fundamental to our business and the diverse clients and communities we work with. Embracing a diversity of backgrounds and views means we attract and retain the best talent and continue to do the pioneering work that offers our clients the most considered and effective advice.

Training Contract

The future of law is here.

Our two-year training contract will offer you the opportunity to become an exceptional lawyer and develop your skills across a range of practice areas. With four, six-month seats to choose from, you can tailor your training contract to suit you from your very first seat. Join us as a trainee and start building your future in law today.

We only recruit our future trainees from our vacation schemes and all candidates will  interview for a training contract at the end of their vacation scheme.

Vacation Schemes

Our vacation schemes sit you with a partner or associate, as you take on real work for real clients. Alongside workshops and presentations, you’ll explore our practice areas, and join a team on a pro bono project. You’ll also network with other vacation scheme students, partners, associates and trainees. At the end of your scheme, you’re guaranteed an interview for a training contract.

Winter Vacation Scheme Application dates: 14 September - 2 October 2020
Scheme Dates: 30 November – 11 December 2020

Spring Vacation Scheme Application dates: 14 September – 4 December 2020
Scheme Dates: 6 – 16 April 2021

Summer Vacation Scheme Application dates: 14 September – 4 December 2020
Scheme Dates: 14 June – 2 July 2021 & 5 – 23 July 2021

Salary & Benefits

    • Salary: Starting salary £45k,upon qualification up to £105k (including salary and bonus)
    • 25 days’ annual leave
    • Cycle to work scheme
    • Medical, dental, travel and gadget insurance
    • Subsidised gym membership
    • Pension contributions from Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Interest-free season ticket loan
    • Corporate discounts


LGBT Open Day Application dates: 1 September – 27 September 2020

IP Open Day Application dates: 14 September – 25 October 2020

Disputes Open Day Application dates: 14 September – 11 October 2020

Innovation Open Day Application dates: 14 September – 11 October 2020

MyPlus Open Day Application dates: 14 September – 2 October 2020

Roger Leyland Memorial Application dates: 1 October 2020 – 31 January 2021

Campus Ambassadors Application dates: 1 January 2021 – 31 January 2021

First Year Workshop Application dates: 1 January 2021 – 31 January 2021

Application advice

1. Tailor your application: Start by using our website and social media channels to find out what makes us unique and why the firm appeals to you. Make sure you incorporate in your application how working at Herbert Smith Freehills aligns with your interests.

2. Link experience to law: When talking about your experience, explain how the skills you’ve gained are relevant to a career in law and to Herbert Smith Freehills specifically. Consider the way we work and the skills and abilities we look for to deliver high quality services to our clients.

3. Potential is key: We’re not necessarily looking for the finished product. We’d rather know how the transferable skills you’ve gained through your experience, both legal and non-legal, will help you to become a brilliant lawyer here.

4. Get to know us: Meeting us at our on-campus or virtual events is the perfect way to learn about us in an informal setting and it’s an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

5. Be yourself: We recognise and value the differences that make us unique. Having a diversity of perspectives enables us to offer innovative, trustworthy advice. Be yourself throughout the application process and emphasise the qualities that make you stand out.

6. Check for typos: Before you apply, don’t forget to double-check your application for typos. We expect a high level of attention-to-detail.

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