These firms are among the best in their class, providing enriching training contracts and fair, thorough recruitment processes which give aspiring lawyers the opportunity to shine, whether in the City or a regional hub. Read our profiles of these winning firms to learn more about what makes them special when it comes to training, recruitment and vacation schemes, as well as commercial law.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Best trainer - US firm in the City: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

We are a warm and open office, and although people are busy and getting on with the job at hand, it’s also non-stuffy and there is limited hierarchy.

  • Nominees: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Latham & Watkins, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Best recruiter - US firm in the City: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

The recruitment process was efficient, transparent and timely.

  • Nominees: Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP, Cooley (UK) LLP, Covington & Burling LLP, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, Shearman & Sterling (London) LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Baker McKenzie

Best recruiter - Large City firm: Baker McKenzie

The size of the intake compared to the international nature of the work and firm is attractive – prospective trainees like that they can join a major firm, but be part of a relatively small and intimate cohort.

  • Nominees: Allen & Overy LLP, Baker & McKenzie, Bird & Bird, CMS, Hogan Lovells, Macfarlanes LLP, Slaughter and May
Bird & Bird

Best work placement scheme – City firm: Bird & Bird

The scheme is three weeks long, so getting involved in real work is a key draw. You become a part of the firm and get first-hand exposure to the relaxed culture and interesting people.

  • Nominees: Bird & Bird, K&L Gates LLP, Kennedys, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, Nabarro LLP, Olswang LLP
Farrer & Co LLP

Best trainer - Medium City firm: Farrer & Co LLP

There’s lots of opportunity for client contact - certainly more than I'd expected - and senior staff are excellent at giving trainees opportunities to get involved in interesting and challenging work.

  • Nominees: Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, Farrer & Co LLP, Goodman Derrick LLP, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, Kingsley Napley LLP, Marriott Harrison LLP, Withers LLP
Forsters LLP

Best recruiter – Medium City firm: Forsters LLP

The quality of work is excellent and I have the opportunity to work for a mix of clients and alongside highly talented lawyers in a supportive environment.

  • Nominees: Bristows LLP, Forsters LLP, Russell-Cooke Solicitors, Mayer Brown International LLP, RPC, Travers Smith LLP, Wedlake Bell LLP
Hogan Lovells

Commendation for diversity: Hogan Lovells

This year, we are in a unique situation where two firms have been inseparable by our judging panel following much discussion and deliberation. The two firms have been selected to win the Diversity Commendation award this year have demonstrated impressive, consistent and innovative commitments to diversity and inclusion.

Mills & Co Solicitors Limited

Best recruiter – Small firm: Mills & Co Solicitors Limited

The recruitment process was very well managed and straightforward. Information was readily available both during and after my vacation scheme, and feedback was forthcoming very quickly after my interview.

  • Nominees: Atherton Godfrey, EC3\Legal LLP, Mills & Co, The Endeavour Partnership LLP, Thackray Williams LLP
Mills & Reeve LLP

Best work placement scheme – Regional firm: Mills & Reeve LLP

The mini-seat structure gives unparalleled exposure to a range of different work and teams. What shone through for me was how consistently friendly and approachable people at all levels of the firm were, across the board.

  • Nominees: Bevan Brittan LLP, Bond Dickinson, Burges Salmon LLP, Michelmores, Mills & Reeve LLP, Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP
Nabarro LLP

Best trainer – Large City firm: Nabarro LLP

Brilliant training with a real focus on practical examples. The quality of work given is second to none - you really are doing important and vital work! The supervision is fantastic - you are constantly given feedback, coaching and training.

  • Nominees: Ashurst LLP, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Dentons, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Nabarro LLP, Reed Smith, Taylor Wessing
Osborne Clarke LLP

Best recruiter - National/large regional firm: Osborne Clarke LLP

The whole recruitment process felt natural, with the tasks assigned being relevant to the firm and with interviews testing your abilities but also acting as a forum for discussion. My experience of this process played a large part in why I chose to be a trainee at this firm.

  • Nominees: Burges Salmon LLP, DLA Piper UK LLP, DWF LLP, Freeths LLP, Irwin Mitchell, Osborne Clarke LLP, Pinsent Masons LLP

Best trainer - National/large regional firm: Shoosmiths

High level of client contact and quality of work. The level of supervision is good and although you are given quite a lot of responsibility, you always have a support network behind you.

  • Nominees: Bond Dickinson, Eversheds LLP, Shoosmiths, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, TLT LLP, Walker Morris LLP, Weightmans LLP
Simmons & Simmons LLP

Commendation for diversity: Simmons & Simmons LLP

This year, we are in a unique situation where two firms have been inseparable by our judging panel following much discussion and deliberation. The two firms have been selected to win the Diversity Commendation award this year have demonstrated impressive, consistent and innovative commitments to diversity and inclusion.

Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP

Best training principal – Giles Chesher: Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP

Very approachable and always on hand to listen to trainee questions or concerns. This training principal has great enthusiasm for both the firm and the training contract process. The TP always attends trainee events and will regularly check-in with us to find out how we are getting on.

  • Nominees: Ian Gascoigne – Eversheds LLP, Samantha Roberts – Reed Smith, Lynn Knight – Shoosmiths, Giles Chesher - Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, Kirstie McGuigan – Taylor Wessing, Suzanne Todd – Withers LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Best training principal – Ben Perry: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Ben has been involved in the trainee programme from the very start and his dedication to it is obvious. He is always approachable and takes the time to explain tasks and deals, as well as checking in on trainees to ensure they are happy.

  • Nominees: Maria Mulroe - Herrington Carmichael LLP, Peter Todd - Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, Nicola Hill - Kingsley Napley LLP, Ben Perry - Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Tracy Harris – Taylor Walton LLP, Letitia Glaister - Tees Law
Taylor Walton LLP

Best recruiter - Medium regional firm: Taylor Walton LLP

Extremely down-to-earth approach to recruitment. Any interview process is inevitably daunting but I was made to feel at ease, which in turn meant I interviewed at my best.

  • Nominees: Mundays LLP, Roythornes Solicitors, Taylor Walton LLP, Thomson Snell & Passmore, Trethowans LLP, Wilkin Chapman LLP, Withy King
Tees Law

Best trainer – Medium regional firm: Tees Law

My supervising partner is very enjoyable to work with and always has time for me. When I first start working on a matter, the background and area of law is fully explained in an informative but entertaining way.

  • Nominees: Birketts LLP, Blandy & Blandy LLP, Coffin Mew LLP, EMW Law LLP, Foot Anstey LLP, Stevens & Bolton LLP, Tees Law

Best trainer – Small firm: Zyda Law

I have learnt a lot through my time here, and been given exciting work to do. Great firm to train with and great opportunities on offer.

  • Nominees: Clarkson Wright & Jakes Ltd, Curzon Green Solicitors, Maples Teesdale LLP, Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, Zyda Law