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Why choose Freshfields?

Do you want to tackle the most interesting legal work around? And come up with advice that makes sound commercial sense? If you do, we could be the right choice for you.

We’re a global law firm that supports clients wherever in the world they do business. Because we advise some of the world’s largest companies on how to grow, strengthen and defend their operations, we can offer you some of the best and most challenging work there is.

You’ll help big businesses achieve their goals – from advising them on mergers and acquisitions to sorting out their disputes and commercial challenges. If you’re keen to find solutions that work in the real world – not just ones that reflect what’s right or wrong in law – we want to hear from you.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for 80 people to start training with us in London in 2018, split between two intakes in February and August. Trainees are vital to our future, because today’s trainees are where tomorrow’s associates and partners will come from.

It doesn’t matter what your background is, which university you went to or the degree you studied. What does matter is that you have intellectual talent, excellent written and spoken English, and that you work well with other people.

As a trainee, you’re likely to work in a team – usually with an associate and a partner. It’s the team’s job to work out how we can help clients achieve what they want to do. Is it possible? What’s the best way to structure the deal or tackle the problem? What are the risks?  

You and your team will need to come up with solutions that answer those questions in a way that makes commercial sense. We’ll show you how.

The work you’ll do with us will nearly always be complicated, so to do well you’ll need to enjoy being challenged.

Flexible training

Flexibility is key in our training contract. If you train with us, you can try up to eight areas of law. That’s twice as many as most law firms. If you’re not sure yet what field of law is right for you, this could help you find it.

Our lawyers focus on at least one industry sector and work in one of seven practice groups: antitrust, competition and trade; corporate; dispute resolution; employment, pensions and benefits; finance; real estate; and tax.

The corporate, dispute resolution and finance practices are the core of the firm, so we’ll expect you to spend at least three months in each of these groups.

A big firm like ours brings big advantages when it comes to training. As well as continuous development throughout your training contract and beyond, there are regular seminars and team training sessions. You could also spend time on secondment to one of our clients, or to one of our offices in the US, Asia or Europe.

Extra benefits

You’ll find a full range of benefits in our central London office – including an on-site gym and private medical and dental care.
There’s also the chance to get involved in our thriving pro bono programme, volunteering opportunities  and the many sports and social networks that connect people across our firm.


London 2016:

First year trainee: £41,000

Second year trainee: £46,000

Freshfields has moved away from a pay system based on years of post-qualification experience to a merit-based pay system.

Newly qualified: £67,500

Level one: £87,500 to £100,000 (typically for lawyers with between two years’ PQE and four years’ PQE).

Level two: £107,500 to £115,000 (typically for lawyers with upwards of four years’ PQE).

Level three: £120,000, and there is no upper cap for lawyers in this band (associates will typically have six years’ PQE).

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