Charles Russell Speechlys Charles Russell Speechlys

  • International Law Firms
  • Cheltenham, London



About Us

We’re only human. And we consider that our superpower, not a weakness. We’ve built our firm on establishing trusted, personal relationships with our clients.

After all, we are here to guide them through their most pressing challenges and most rewarding opportunities. We do this by getting to the heart of our clients’ needs to bring them best-fit solutions – based on our years of experience, collective legal expertise and international outlook.

We have a broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal needs. We know it’s not enough to understand the law – we have to understand our clients just as well. So we apply a people-focused lens to every action we recommend to our clients. Our unique approach to law has made us a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses, and among the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families. Major corporates and institutions benefit from our personalised approach as we embed ourselves in the teams of our clients. Working alongside them and connecting them with the right people across our firm to help them excel in new opportunities.  

Our firm is headquartered in London with offices across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Our international connections mean we can work with clients anywhere in the world. Whether a business operates in a single country or across borders, we’ll put together a team pulling from our sector and geographical expertise and our partnerships with the best law firms across the world covering 200 legal jurisdictions.

Our work

We offer a broad range or work so as a trainee / apprentice you’ll be able to experience a variety of types of client and sector across your programme.

In our Corporate and Commercial practice we work with everything from early stage, entrepreneurial businesses through to established, international operations. Our Corporate team advises on corporate and private equity deals, fundraising from the capital markets, and offers on-going corporate advisory services.  Our commercial team provides legal and commercial advice to UK and international clients across a variety of sectors with a particular specialism in technology, retail and financial services.  This could involve commercial contracts work, supporting in house teams through deal structure planning, leading on negotiations to advising on implementation and operational issues. 

Our Private Client group is a dynamic division, spanning a wide range of practice areas including tax and estate planning, family and relationships, property and philanthropy. Our expertise is bolstered by being a full-service city firm, with a strong regional and international presence. Consistently ranked as a leading Private Client group, the team is trusted by a diverse global client base - whose stories are often as interesting as the work!

In our Construction, Real Estate and Disputes practice, we support across large and small-scale projects both in the UK and internationally.  Our construction team represent both suppliers and purchasers (including employers, major contractors, specialists and leading engineering consultancies) to provide the full range of construction services including procurement, transactional, project advisory services and disputes advice.  Our Real Estate and Disputes teams spans transactional and contentious work over a range of development, planning, environmental, regeneration and investment specialisms. 

Our Employment, Banking and Immigration team works with a range of private and corporate clients.  The employment team advises employers from a broad range of sectors on how to manage and mitigate employment law risks, covering issues arising in the day-to-day operation of a business, in the course of corporate transactions and in the context of disputes.  Our Banking team advises corporate entities and private clients on domestic and cross-border financing transactions and restructuring, working closely with other CRS departments at such as Corporate, Real Estate and Construction.  The immigration team provides advice for private individuals and employers.  Individual advice often ties in with other disciplines as International Tax, Family and Private Client.  Immigration advice for employers focuses on Sponsor Licence compliance and international hires, dovetailing well with the firm’s Employment and Corporate disciplines.

Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution division works on diverse mandates – ranging from commercial disputes, contentious insolvency, and fraud, right the way through to private wealth disputes (including contested estates and arts & heritage), healthcare and regulatory issues, and IP litigation.

Training Contract

Applications open: 1 October 2021

Applications close: 31 January 2022

Our Training Contract

We offer Training Contracts in our London, Cheltenham and Guildford offices.  In 2024, we will be running both a Training Contract under the current LPC route and new SQE route.  Both pathways are designed to give you the best possible training with the firm and are 2-year contracts.

I have started or completed the LPC – 

If you have already started or completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at point of offer, you will be able to undertake a ‘Recognised Period of Training’, also referred to as a Training Contract.  

I have not started or completed the LPC – 

If you haven’t started or completed the LPC at point of offer, you’ll undertake the new SQE route:

• Sit the Solicitor’s Qualifying Exam 

• 2 years of ‘Qualifying Work Experience’ with the firm

While at the firm, both routes will consist of 4 x 6-month seats, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of different practice areas and engage in high level work with both private and commercial clients.  We provide a practical learning environment for Trainees where emphasis is given to early responsibility and supervised client contact. Your legal training will also be supplemented by our CRS Business School which has specific programmes designed for Trainees to develop professional and commercial skills.

Throughout the training contract there are regular catch ups and reviews between the trainees and supervisors to support your development and ensure you are continuing to receive a broad range of quality work. This, together with our in-house training programme, the Charles Russell Speechlys Business School, ensures that you’ll develop the required legal and business skills to become a successful lawyer.

Sponsorship details

We provide sponsorship for GDL, PGDip, LPC, SQE prep courses and SQE exam fees with our chosen provider, the University of Law. During your period of study we will also provide you with a maintenance grant of £6,000 if you are based in London and £4,500 if you are based outside of London.

Vacation Scheme


• Spring – 4 April – 14 April 2022

• Summer – 6 June – 17 June 2022


• Summer 2022 – 11 July – 15 July 2022 


• Summer 2022 – 27 June – 8 July 2022

 Applications open: 1 October 2021

Applications close: 31 January 2022

Our Vacation Scheme provides a chance to spend time at Charles Russell Speechlys and see exactly what we do on a daily basis.

You’ll spend 2 weeks in either our London or Cheltenham office, or 1 week in our Guildford office depending on which vacation scheme you apply for. 

Each week is spent in a different practice area where you will carry out real fee earning work that could include attending client meetings and going to court. Support is always close at hand, with a current trainee as mentor and an associate as sponsor for each placement. You’ll also meet a variety people, either at organised social events or as part of your day to day interactions, and this will give you a real insight into the culture of the firm.

During your time with us you’ll be automatically considered for a Training Contract and will take part in an assessment centre which will be reviewed along with your performance during the Vacation Scheme. 

Salary & Benefits


1st Year: £40,000 (London), £35,000 (Guildford), £32,000 (Cheltenham)

2nd Year: £43,000 (London), £37,000 (Guildford), £34,000 (Cheltenham)

NQs: £68,000 (London), £54,000 (Guildford), £50,000 (Cheltenham)



  • 25 days annual holiday, plus long service accrual

  • Private medical insurance

  • Income protection

  • Life assurance

  • Pension scheme

  • Employee assistance programme

  • Enhanced maternity/paternity/shared parental benefits

  • Cycle to work scheme

  • Season ticket loan

  • Qualification leave

  • Dress for your day policy


We require candidates to achieve a minimum of a 2.1 in their degree and to be able to demonstrate other key attributes outside of academia, such as teamwork, communication skills and drive.


Applications for direct Training Contracts and Vacation Schemes will open on 1 October 2021 and close 31 January 2022.

You’ll submit an application form through our Apply 4 Law portal.  We require candidates to achieve a minimum of a 2.1 in their degree and to be able to demonstrate other key attributes outside of academia, such as teamwork, communication skills and drive. 

If you are successful, you’ll be invited to complete a video interview where you’ll see the question appear on your screen and be given time to prepare before recording your answer.

The final stage before a vacation scheme or assessment centre is a written task.  Following this, you’ll either receive an offer for a vacation scheme or be invited to an assessment centre if you have applied directly for a training contract.

Our assessment centre includes a face-to-face interview and other exercises which are designed to assess our identified performance criteria.   People come to us from a variety of backgrounds and degree disciplines, with a range of views that combine to give us our distinctive perspective on the law – our assessment centre is designed for you to showcase your best self and also for you to get to know us in return.

We are able to make reasonable adjustments for those who require it. In these instances you should contact us in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

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