Penningtons Manches Cooper Penningtons Manches Cooper

  • International Law Firms
  • Paris, Singapore, Madrid, Basingstoke, San Francisco, Reading, Oxford, Sao Paulo, Cambridge, London

Training Contract

  • Places: 15-18

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: 50

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 850+




Penningtons Manches Cooper is a leading UK and international law firm which provides high quality legal advice tailored to both businesses and individuals. We address the specific objectives of each client through our flair and technical expertise and offer a personal service founded on a strong team ethic.

Today, we have UK offices in the City of London, Basingstoke, BirminghamCambridge, Guildford, Oxford and Reading while our growing overseas network stretches from Asia to America through our presence in Singapore, Piraeus, Paris, Madrid, Sao Paulo and San Francisco. With 141 partners and over 850 people in total, our main areas of practice are dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, real estate, private client and family.

We have established a strong reputation in a variety of sectors, particularly private wealth, shipping, technology and property. Our lawyers are also recognised for their expertise in life sciences, education, retail, sports and entertainment and international trade. In these areas, we're acknowledged for our unparalleled market insight.

By joining forces with the partners and staff of Thomas Cooper in July 2019, we have added significant depth to our core practice. The move builds on the expansion of our litigation and arbitration offering and has introduced us to the maritime community in which Thomas Cooper has long been a key player.

Our continuing commitment to excellence is backed by a track record which dates back nearly 300 years. We pay great attention to matching your requirements with the right skills, delivered cost effectively and within the appropriate timescale.

Among our clients we count multi-national corporations, public companies, professional partnerships, banks and financial institutions as well as private individuals, owner managed businesses and start-ups. We are conscious that our culture and close working relationships are vital assets and we are determined to maintain these as we increase in size. 

Our broad international focus is supported by well-established links with law firms throughout the world. Penningtons Manches Cooper is a member of Multilaw and the European Law Group, networks with representatives in over 100 countries, and many of our lawyers play leading roles in various international bodies. 

Training Contract

Trainees apply for and work in one of our office locations, all of which offer a high quality, varied training contract.  We know our trainees are happiest and most successful when busy with good quality work. We believe in introducing trainees to challenging cases from the outset.  We recognise the value of giving trainees responsibility and allowing direct contact with clients with the knowledge that our experienced solicitors are always on hand to give support.

You will be given a through grounding in the law, spending four, six month seats across the firms three main business divisions.  Our award winning training enables trainees to develop into confident lawyers who are able to help us maintain our standard of excellence.  In addition to this with a retention rate of 80% we hope our trainees become our partners of the future.

The training contract begins with a formal induction which provides trainees with an overview of Penningtons Manches Cooper, its areas of work and general office, accounting and compliance procedures. You will also receive training in IT, drafting, dictation, business development and legal research.

There is lots going on from a social perspective too. Be it through getting involved in one of our diversity and inclusion streams, sports and social committees, charitable foundation initiatives, PennWell activites or just attending the regular training and social activities put on for trainees, you won’t need to look far for something extra to do.

Recruitment is completed on a rolling basis so applying early is strongly advised.

Vacation Scheme

We offer vacation scheme placements in our  Basingstoke, Cambridge. Guildford, London, Oxford and Reading offices.  Interns spend time in one of the firm’s practice areas in either Business Services, Private Wealth or Real Estate.  You will be involved in ‘real work’, working one-on-one with a trainee in the team to get a realistic view of what life as a trainee is really like at Penningtons Manches Cooper.  Activities regularly include, drafting documents, attending client meetings, team meetings, conducting research or sometimes even attending court.  The majority of our offices are open plan so getting to know the wider teams will not be an issue.  You will be given a senior mentor, and networking with others is strongly encouraged, some session will be put on to facilitate this, but the more you put into the vac scheme the more you will get out of it.

A large proportion of our training contract positions are recruited through our vacation scheme, so if this is your end goal, applying for the vacation scheme is a good route to take. There is an informal interview that takes place as part of the vac scheme, but it is only once you have completed the vac scheme that we ask you to apply for the training contract.

The vacation scheme is open to those candidates who are planning to take up a training contract in two years’ time. We seek diverse, high calibre candidates with evidence of academic excellence, varied work experience, drive, confidence, commercial awareness, common sense and team spirit.

Recruitment is completed on a rolling basis so applying early is strongly advised.

Information Days

Information Days are conducted during Easter. They are primarily aimed at those considering a career in law but are not yet eligible for vacation schemes (i.e. first year law students, penultimate year non-law students, career changers etc.). These days are spent; understanding the firm’s areas of practice, speaking with a range of employees (including trainees) on their reasons for choosing the firm, the training experience, developing skills required as a trainee, meeting the graduate recruitment team for advice on future applications and gaining a greater understanding of the firms culture.


Penningtons Manches Cooper occasionally have apprenticeship vacancies. Please check the firm’s website for current vacancies.

Salary & Benefits

The firm pays full fees for the LPC course and provides a grant of £5,000. Trainee solicitors receive a competitive salary starting at £38,000 in London and £30,000 outside London.

Other benefits include a pension, life assurance, critical illness cover, a minimum of 25 days of holidays, an interest-free season ticket loan, private health insurance and multiple organised sports and social activities.


We recruit approximately 15-18 trainees across our locations each year. We seek high calibre candidates with enthusiasm and resilience. A high standard of academic achievement is expected: three or more good A-Level passes and preferably a 2:1 or better at degree level. 


Application forms can be accessed via our website and the submission deadlines are 31 January for the vacation scheme and information day and 31st July for training contracts. Please note recruitment for our vacation scheme and training contracts is completed on a rolling basis so early application is strongly advised.

Additional information on recruitment and selection can be obtained from Helen Lewis at 01256 407100 or by sending an email to

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