Slaughter and May Slaughter and May

  • International Law Firms
  • London

Training Contract

  • Places: 80

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: 100

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 1,245 (Worldwide)




Slaughter and May is one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. We advise on high-profile and often landmark international transactions. Our excellent and varied client list ranges from governments to entrepreneurs, from retailers to entertainment companies and from conglomerates to Premier League football clubs. We are a full service law firm to corporate clients and have leading practitioners across a wide range of practice areas including Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate and Commercial, Financing, Tax, Competition, Disputes and Investigations, Real Estate, Pensions and Employment, Financial Regulation, Information Technology and Intellectual Property.

Clients need us to ensure that the service we offer is cutting edge, both in terms of harnessing latest market developments, such as legal tech, as well as the quality of our advice. We are committed to a forward thinking, innovative approach to legal service delivery to complement the best in class, business focused advice on which our reputation is built.

We take great store in drawing strength from diversity. With 147 different degree courses from 70 different universities and 45 nationalities represented among our lawyers, our culture is extremely broad.

A world of difference

There are clear differences between us and other global law firms. 

At Slaughter and May we train each of our lawyers to be a multi-specialist equipped to advise on a broad range of legal matters, which at other firms would be handled by a number of different lawyers. We think that by broadening your training and experience, you will be a better lawyer. We have built a reputation for delivering innovative solutions to difficult problems. This reputation has been earned because each of our lawyers advises on broad legal areas, combining experience gained on one type of transaction to solve problems in another. In this way, our lawyers have a varied and interesting workload and ample opportunities to develop close relationships with clients.

Much of our work has an international element and in 2019 we worked with over 225 law firms in more than 80 jurisdictions.  We have offices in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Beijing. In other jurisdictions we prefer to remain agile by leading unified, hand-picked teams of lawyers from market-leading law firms. All the firms we work with across the world have a reputation for excellence and independence that mirrors our own.

At Slaughter and May we also take a different approach to time; there are no set billing or time targets. Some ideas take a matter of seconds but can save companies millions of pounds a year. The type of work we do is not always measurable in minutes. In this way, our lawyers are free to work collaboratively, sharing expertise and knowledge, so that they can concentrate on what matters most – the quality of the work and client service.

And finally, we ensure that this difference in approach filters through to our Diversity and Inclusion strategy. Traditional approaches are often skewed towards initiatives helping diverse individuals to “fit in” and succeed; we focus on examining and adjusting the system for greater acceptance of different leadership styles and ways of working. 

Training Contract

During the two-year training contract, trainees turn their hand to a broad range of work, taking an active role in four, five or six legal groups while sharing an office with a partner or experienced associate. All trainees spend at least two six-month seats in our market leading corporate, commercial and financing groups. Subject to gaining some contentious experience, they choose how to spend the remaining time.

Our overseas offices and close working relationships with market-leading law firms in other jurisdictions mean there are opportunities for trainees to apply for a secondment in their second year. Recent trainee secondment destinations include: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands. Spain, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, India, Russia, Hong Kong and the US.

Trainees are also encouraged to understand advances in the legal industry, and possibly even help to shape them, by joining our Innovation Network. The Network has over 200 members including an online forum for publishing thought and insight pieces, and for engaging in debate. Challenging the way we work through open-mindedness, diversity and creativity can have an enormous impact on results for our clients, our efficiency, and our wellbeing.

Vacation Scheme

We offer open days, workshops and work experience schemes to enable you to gain an insight into life as a commercial lawyer. Full details of these opportunities can be found on our website. 

Virtual presentations: Oct and Nov 2020

We are pleased to announce that we will be running a variety of virtual presentations throughout October and November to provide an insight into the firm. Our presentations will take place on Webex and each presentation will last for approximately one hour. There will be time to answer questions at the end of each presentation and these can be submitted via the Q&A box during the talk. To find out more and to register your place please visit our website.

Please click here to sign up to our mailing list for updates on events and vacancies.

Salary & Benefits

We have approximately 80 vacancies for trainee solicitors each year.

We offer a wide range of benefits including 

  • 30 days of annual leave with the option to apply annually for up to five days’ unpaid leave (NB can just quote the 30 days)
  • Up to £2,000 interest-free loan on joining
  • Interest-free season ticket loan on joining
  • Money purchase pension scheme
  • Life assurance
  • Qualification leave
  • Qualification leave interest?free loan
  • Subsidised restaurant and coffee bar
  • Enhanced family leave pay and shared parental leave
  • Concierge service, offering a range of services and discounts
  • Variety of entertainment benefits at London theatres and galleries
  • Bike racks, lockers and shower rooms
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Payroll Giving for tax-free donations to charity
  • Matched funding for individual fundraisers
  • Eight diversity networks
  • Prayer and contemplation space
  • Social and networking events, including an annual dinner dance
  • Associates reaching three years post-qualification experience may apply for a four-week paid sabbatical
  • Subsidised health club membership
  • Onsite GP service
  • Private medical insurance
  • Health screenings
  • Personal accident cover
  • Confidential Employee Assistance Programme
  • A range of sports and clubs
  • Dental insurance (self-paid)


We look for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds with a good 2:1 at undergraduate level from any university, and take an equal mix of law and non-law graduates. We use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System across all our trainee recruitment activity. The system helps us to identify high potential candidates by putting applicants’ grades and achievements in the context of their social and educational background. 

Our trainees come from a range of universities – it is the quality of the candidate, not the university that is important to us. We like people with:

  • a sharp intellect
  • independent thought and curiosity
  • commercial awareness
  • energy, spark and commitment
  • the ability to relate to others
  • common sense and judgement
  • integrity
  • a range of interests outside of the law
  • an interesting take on things
  • resolve and resilience
  • a good sense of humour
  • a willingness to take on responsibility


Applications should be submitted using the online form, which can be accessed via the link below:

You will be asked to provide some personal details (including a full breakdown of all your examination results) and to attach your cover letter and CV. Your cover letter should tell us about you, why you are interested in a career in law and why you are applying to Slaughter and May.  You should also include any other information which you think may be relevant to your application.  Please ensure that your cover letter is no longer than one side of A4 and address it to Janine Arnold, Head of Trainee Recruitment.

We encourage candidates to submit their application as early as possible during an application window. Interviews will be scheduled and training contract offers will be made on a rolling basis. We are unable to guarantee the availability of places as we progress with these interviews.

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