Sponsored by BPP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP MyLocker firm


Vacancies: 16
Trainees: 28
Partners: 130
Staff: 800
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 30
Minimum qualification: 2.1 degree, in any discipline or equivalent
Start salary: £39,000
Sponsorship: GDL/LPC

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Application details and method of selection

Applications for 2015 vacation schemes must be received by 31 January 2015, successful candidates will then be considered for a training contract starting in 2016/17.

Applications for 2016/17 training contracts must be received by 31 July 2015.

All applicants should apply using the online application form available from www.wfw.com/trainee. The first stage in each process is an assessment centre followed by a final stage partner interview. This interview takes place during the vacation scheme for candidates successful in gaining a place on one of our schemes.

Firm description and career prospects

Watson, Farley & Williams LLP was founded in 1982 in the City of London. It has grown rapidly to 130 partners and a total staff of over 800 since this time. We have offices in London, New York, Paris, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Athens, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. The international offices work together, a structure of particular benefit to international clients.

Areas of work

We have leading market positions in international finance and investment, maritime and energy. We also specialise in natural resources, transport, real estate and technology. In our chosen sectors we compete successfully with some of the best law firms in the world. Building on our origins in ship finance, demand for our maritime work remains as strong as ever. At the same time we have seized opportunities to excel in related areas where our finance expertise has most relevance, such as energy, natural resources, transport, real estate and technology. Underlying our sector expertise is a solid finance and investment practice, specialising in large capital assets, tax-efficient structures and cross-border transactions. As a result we are perfectly positioned to advise on private equity and infrastructure funds. We take equal pride in our comprehensive range of other services - including all corporate and commercial matters, tax, employment and regulatory law, and dispute resolution.


Full fees (both GDL and LPC) are paid dependant on the point of offer plus a maintenance grant of £5,500 per annum if studying outside London, £6,500 if studying in London.

Work placements

Our vacation scheme is the best way to really familiarise yourself with WFW. The two-week placements are at our London office, either at Easter or during the summer. They give us a chance to get to know you, and you a chance to experience the firm in more depth.

To appreciate first-hand the kind of work trainees undertake day to day, you will work with senior solicitors and partners in one of our core practice groups for the whole period. To complement this focus on one area, you will also participate in a variety of training and social events designed to give you a general overview of the firm. These include informal lunchtime presentations to give you a broad understanding of all our different practice groups.

Training contract programme

At WFW it's not only our approach to trainees that's different. We also tackle training and ongoing development in an individual way. We make a point of providing each of you with all the attention you need to succeed, tailoring your learning experience not just to the needs of the firm but to you personally. During each seat, we discuss with you plans for the next one, encouraging a two-way conversation about areas you are more - or less - interested in and when is convenient for you to go overseas. Though we can't always provide your first choice, we do aim to be as flexible as possible.

Accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to run all our training in-house, we offer you:

A core training programme that includes seminars by partners and guest speakers - many from leading barristers' chambers and universities. Practice-specific training at the start of each seat during your training contract.

Although there is no typical WFW trainee, there are certain qualifications, skills and traits that we look for. You will need a 2.1 or above - or predicted if you haven't yet graduated. We also ask for at least ABB - from A-level results, 34 points from IB or their equivalent if you have taken other qualifications. As well as academic achievement, we particularly value applicants with clear initiative, drive and self awareness. These are all qualities you will have the chance to demonstrate at one of our selection events, as part of the application process.

Type of practice

Corporate & Commercial, General Commercial

Work areas




Turnover: £117,000,000 (2013) Compare on LC.N Insights
Profit per partner: £390,000 (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Starting salary: £39,000 Compare on LC.N Insights
Training contract applications: 600 (2014) Compare on LC.N Insights
Retention rate: 90% (2014) Compare on LC.N Insights
Partner diversity:
  • 70.0% male (2014)
  • 30.0% female
Compare on LC.N Insights
Lawyer diversity:
  • 43.0% male (2014)
  • 57.0% female
Compare on LC.N Insights
Has overseas secondments: Yes Compare on LC.N Insights
Overseas secondments:
  • Athens
  • Bangkok
  • Hamburg
  • Paris
  • Singapore


You can read more news about Watson Farley & Williams LLP here.


15 firms open training contract and vacation scheme applications through Apply4Law

A Rugby Union team's worth of firms – that's 15 for those averse to heads jammed in armpits – have opened applications for training contracts, vacation schemes and the odd open day through Apply4Law.


WFW offers trainees £5K to defer

Watson Farley & Williams has asked its September 2013 trainee intake to consider deferring their training contracts for a year, sweetening the deal with an offer of £5,000 for those who decide to do so.


Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

International firm Watson Farley & Williams is well known for its multi-jurisidictional expertise in energy, maritime, natural resources, real estate and transport. Read on to find out more about the firm and its application process.

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