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Clifford Chance


Vacancies: 100
Trainees: 200
Partners: 569
Staff: 5945
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 75
Minimum qualification: 340 UCAS points at A level or equivalent and minimum 2.1 degree
Start salary: £39,000
Sponsorship: CPE/GDL/LPC

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Clifford Chance.

Application details and method of selection

The people we look for come from a variety of backgrounds who have the right intellect, motivation and personal qualities to succeed as an international lawyer with us. We don't compromise on quality, but we do take a broad view on what that quality looks like.

Our key selection criteria

Cover commercial awareness, problem-solving ability, communication skills, leadership potential and an aptitude for relationship-building. Ultimately our selection process isn't about you fitting into a Clifford Chance mould; it's about your conviction that this is the place where you can do your best work and build the career you want.

To apply

As an undergraduate, you'll need a strong academic record - this usually means 340 UCAS points at A level (or equivalent) and being on target for a 2.1 or better. We may also consider your application if there are other aspects to your background and achievements that mark you out as an exceptional performer.

Initially you should fill out our online application form. This is the first stage in a selection process that also includes an online verbal reasoning test and assessment days at our Canary Wharf offices in London. 

Firm description and career prospects

Together we are Clifford Chance

We are a truly pioneering law firm. Working together, we offer incomparable legal expertise.

Our firm spans jurisdictions, cultures, languages. In a world where commercial success increasingly relies on globalisation, we offer clients a truly international perspective. Our network encompasses 35 offices in 25 countries and we continue to extend our global footprint, most recently in Seoul and our first base in Africa, Casablanca.

Our work is complex, challenging, exhilarating. We work with multinationals, governments and regulatory bodies. Many of our deals are newsworthy. Often they demand specific knowledge that only international, cross-practice teams can provide.

Here are some recent examples. We advised Santander on the sale of its stake in Thames Water to the China Investment Corporation. We were appointed by the Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 on their bid for the FIFA World Cup. We also advised Royal Dutch Shell on its US$4.4bn acquisition of part of Repsol's LNG portfolio.

Our people

Come from remarkably diverse backgrounds. Many who join us have studied law. Many haven't. What they share is a sense of togetherness. Client challenges rarely fall within one practice area, so specialists at every level work together to cut through the most complex of problems. Whatever their background, it's their combined ambition, intellect and entrepreneurial spirit that set them apart.

Our offer

Stretches beyond training contracts, vacation schemes, insight workshops. You'll work on high profile deals. You'll learn from established experts. You'll take real responsibility. It's a refreshing and stimulating environment. One where your unique talents will have the space to shine, develop and make an impact.



Work placements

Vacation schemes

Are a brilliant way for both law and non-law students to experience the life and work of a lawyer. You get a rich experience, with training exercises, social events and contact with both trainees and qualified lawyers. Most importantly, you'll take real responsibility and work on high profile deals. If you have relevant language skills, we'll also offer you a two week placement in an overseas office.

  • Spring vacation scheme: Runs 7 - 17 April 2014. Apply 9 December 2013 - 6 January 2014.
  • Summer vacation scheme: Runs 23 June - 18 July 2014. Apply 9 December 2013 - 6 January 2014.

The Intelligent Aid competition and vacation scheme

Offers you the chance to win a place on a special vacation scheme through the sheer quality of your thinking. It's a unique, award-winning competition that tests your business awareness and intellectual capacity.

The scheme runs from 4 - 15 August 2014. We're accepting entries for Intelligent Aid between 4 November 2013 and 31 January 2014.

Insight workshops

Concentrate the experience of a vacation scheme into a single day. It's a highly intensive experience that gives you a thorough understanding of how we work through a series of case studies and seminars. They're a great first step towards a training contract. Application dates vary depending on the degree you're studying:

  • Graduates in any subject: Runs 4 December 2013. Apply 4 - 25 November 2014.
  • Final-year non-law students: Runs 10 December 2013. Apply 4 - 25 November 2014.
  • First-year students: Runs 23 July 2014. Apply 26 November 2013 - 29 March 2014.

Open days

At our Canary Wharf offices give you the chance to meet some of our exceptional people and experience our inspirational culture for yourself. open days run on:

  • 18 October 2013
  • 15 November 2013
  • 22 November 2013
  • 28 March 2014
  • 2 May 2014
  • 30 May 2014

Training contract programme

Our training contract gives you the breadth of experience you need to emerge as a confident business adviser, while meeting the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Wherever possible, your training will reflect your interests and ambitions.

If you don't have a law degree, it starts with a Graduate Diploma in Law which provides a basic foundation in legal knowledge and processes. Then you'll join the Law graduates on an accelerated Legal Practice Course (LPC). We've designed the LPC in conjunction with the University of Law in Moorgate, London. This allows you to learn your trade on the same documentation, processes and templates that we use in live business transactions.

From the LPC you'll start to put what you learn into practice. The training contract is built around four blocks of experience, each lasting six months, which are known as 'seats'. Three of your seats will be in our finance, corporate and capital markets areas. The fourth might involve working in a different team in one of these areas, experiencing another practice, or possibly an international assignment or client secondment. We'll discuss your options and how they meet your career ambitions with you at each stage. The opportunities to work overseas and to specialise in niche areas increase after you qualify.

You'll work on multi-faceted deals that span different jurisdictions. You'll enjoy the scope to make a measurable contribution to our work. Most of all, you'll enjoy working in a fundamentally collaborative culture. One that encourages you to build your legal and business skills working alongside recognised specialists.

Type of practice

Corporate & Commercial, General Commercial

Work areas



Probono initiatives

Asylum Support Appeals Project, Bethnal Green Legal Advice Centre, Fair Trials International, London Legal Support Trust (LLST), Save the Children

Diversity access schemes

Pathways to Law, PRIME, Rare Recruitment, Social Mobility Foundation, Target Chances


Turnover: £1,303,000,000 (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Profit per partner: £1,078,000 (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Starting salary: £39,000 Compare on LC.N Insights
Retention rate: 81% (2013) Compare on LC.N Insights
Partner diversity:
  • 15.3% female (2012)
Compare on LC.N Insights
Lawyer diversity:
  • 49.1% female (2012)
Compare on LC.N Insights
Has client secondments: Yes Compare on LC.N Insights
Client secondments:
  • Banks
Has overseas secondments: Yes Compare on LC.N Insights
Overseas secondments:
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amsterdam
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Dubai
  • Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Riyadh
  • Sao Paulo
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo
  • Warsaw



ULaw appoints legal education authority Tony King as special adviser

The University of Law has appointed Tony King, currently director of the Clifford Chance academy, as a specialist adviser and visiting professor.

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Macfarlanes joins Clifford Chance and Mayer Brown in adopting CV-blind recruitment policy

Macfarlanes has become the third firm to adopt a "CV-blind" policy to combat unconscious bias and elitism in its recruitment.

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Trainee stress programme at Clifford Chance may be extended firm-wide

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance is considering rolling out its trainee stress-reducing programme to staff throughout the firm.

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Firms reveal retention rates for trainees qualifying in Spring 2014

Several firms have revealed how many of their Spring 2014 qualifiers will be staying on as newly qualified solicitors.

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Clifford Chance announces "CV blind policy" for graduate recruitment

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance has introduced a "CV blind policy" in the final recruitment stage of its trainee selection process.

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Calling first-year law students! Closing dates approach for law firm open days and insight workshops

As law students will be keenly aware, January marks the onset of application deadlines for many vacation schemes and work placements.

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Social Mobility Foundation opens applications for 2014 law programme

The Social Mobility Foundation has opened applications for its 2014 programmes, including law, which provide young people from less privileged backgrounds with free mentoring, skills development, internships and support with university applications.

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Law firms not making the most of social media, research finds

Recent research suggests that nearly half of the top 200 UK law firms have won business directly through social media engagement, though fewer than a quarter of these have so far integrated social media into their marketing strategies.

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Clifford Chance runs annual Intelligent Aid competition

Clifford Chance is again running its Intelligent Aid essay competition, offering students the chance to demonstrate intellect, creativity and understanding of this year's topic – growth economies.

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Pupil barrister and trainee solicitor launch pro bono programme for law students

A pupil barrister and a trainee solicitor have launched a scheme that will accredit law students to provide advice at law centres

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Manchester law fair

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Clifford Chance

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Learn about leading law firm Clifford Chance in its own words and find out how it has stayed at the top of its game in a changing world.