• Competitive

Middle East Training Contract

Clifford Chance

  • Salary

  • Type of firm

    City Law Firms

  • Location

    Dubai, London

  • Vacancies

    Up to 100

  • Deadline



This vacancy is open to all law and non-law students, as well as masters, postgraduate or graduate students who are able to start with the firm in 2024. Earlier start dates will be subject to availability only.

You are only able to make one application to a Clifford Chance scheme/role (ME Training Contract 2024 OR London Training Contract 2023/2024 OR IGNITE OR SPARK). Multiple applications will not be considered.

Please be aware that we will only review your application form. If you upload your CV, this will pre-populate some of your application however your CV will not be reviewed. 

Please do NOT upload a covering letter as this will not be reviewed.


Places are now available for our two-year Middle East Training Contract starting in 2024.


Clifford Chance is one of the world's leading law firms, offering local and global clients expert advice on all aspects of commercial law. The firm has unrivalled scale and depth of legal resources across five continents and seven practice areas. Undertake your training contract in the Middle East and you'll be sharing an ambition that has fuelled our growth and established our credentials as legal pioneers across the region. 

As an ME trainee at Clifford Chance you will undertake seats in at least four of these practice areas. You will complete two seats in London and two in one of our Middle East offices: Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Riyadh. Seats choices will be within our core areas of Financial Markets, Corporate and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

You will therefore gain a truly international legal experience working alongside leading sector professionals from across two continents. This will enable you to launch your career as an England & Wales qualified lawyer in the Middle East.


Whilst your experience on each seat will be very different, in all of them you will develop your legal and business skills, gain insight into our high-profile clients and enhance your commercial awareness. The tasks you undertake could include: drafting and proofing documents, conducting due diligence on a client's acquisition target, attending client meetings, preparing documents for a court hearing, researching titles and leases on a real estate portfolio or creating a data room ahead of a major transaction. You may even run some smaller transactions for our clients.

Underpinning this exposure to the best work available, you will receive learning and development support from the Clifford Chance Academy, arguably the legal sector's leading in-house learning and development facility. At the start of each seat you will receive specialised training in that sector and a dedicated supervisor.

Throughout your training contract, you will be closely supported, both informally and through formal mentoring, by the London graduate development team, ME HR team, your monitoring Partner, resource management team and all previous ME trainees and Associates.

If you require adjustments and additional support, we will work with you to produce a tailored accessibility plan outlining how the firm will support you throughout your training contract and beyond.

The Work 

As a trainee in the Middle East you will get the opportunity to work on some of the most complex and innovative deals in the region.

Some the transactions that we have recently advised on are:

  • Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, PIF and SABIC on the USD 69.1 billion sale of PIF’s 70% shareholding in SABIC to Saudi Aramco, the largest ever M&A deal in Saudi Arabia.

  • Red Sea Development Company the PPP procurement of a fully integrated, multi-utility solution for the Red Sea Project, one of the giga-projects in Saudi Arabia;

  • First Gulf Bank P.J.S.C.'s consent solicitation exercise in connection with its merger with National Bank of Abu Dhabi P.J.S.C.

  • National Commercial Bank on their acquisition of Samba Financial Group, creating a Saudi Arabian banking giant with US$223 billion in assets

  • Al Khaliji Commercial Bank on its merger with Masraf Al Rayan, the first ever public company statutory merger in Qatar

  • Aldar Properties on its US$1 billion acquisition of real estate assets from TDIC, one of the largest real estate acquisitions in the history of the UAE

Experience and Skills

We're looking for graduates who are genuinely interested in the law and committed to a career in the Middle East upon qualification. Candidates with strong ties to the region and fluent Arabic drafting and speaking skills are preferred for our ME programme.

Whilst you do not need to have prior legal experience or a law degree to apply to us, we expect our trainees to be problem-solvers with strong communication skills and commercial acumen.

The competencies that we look for in our trainees include:

  • Client focus and marketing skills

  • Leadership, community and collaboration skills

  • Innovation and best delivery skills

  • Strategy and commercial insight skills

  • Relationship building and networking

  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)

  • Ability to identify legal vs business issues

Our training contract is open to law and non-law students.

If you are applying for our Middle East Training Contract 2024 vacancy and you have not studied a law degree then you will need to complete the PGDip prior to joining us as a trainee. Please note that if you are a Scots or Irish law student or graduate you may be required to do elements of the PGDip.

All future trainees with a 2024 start date will complete the SQE prep prior to starting their training contract.

Both the PGDip and SQE practice are funded by Clifford Chance and we will provide a maintenance grant to use during your studies.

The Application Process

Applications open on 3rd August 2021 and close at midnight on 9th December 2021. We do not recruit on a rolling basis and we do not review applications until after the deadline has passed. We therefore encourage you to engage with our Global Virtual Internships and Virtual Events Hub before submitting your application. Details of all of these are available on our website -

Shortly after submitting your application, you will receive an email from us asking you to complete an online Watson Glaser critical reasoning assessment. This takes approximately 30 minutes and should be completed within 5 days of receiving our email with instructions.

The assessment days for Training Contracts will take place in February 2022.

Further information on the firm and the opportunities that we offer can be found on our website:


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