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.

2017
Baker McKenzie

Commendation for diversity: Baker McKenzie

This firm has demonstrated a strong and consistent commitment to increasing diversity and to building an inclusive culture.

Bircham Dyson Bell LLP

Best Recruiter – Medium City Firm: Bircham Dyson Bell LLP

The firm provided thoughtful recruitment and selection activities, which were different to those I had expected.

  • Nominees: Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, Bristows LLP, Forsters LLP, Mayer Brown International LLP, RPC, Travers Smith LLP, Wedlake Bell LLP
Burges Salmon LLP

Best Trainer – National/ Large Regional Firm: Burges Salmon LLP

The atmosphere and culture at the firm is extremely open and straightforward - and the training you receive reflects that.

  • Nominees: Browne Jacobson LLP, Burges Salmon LLP, Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Hill Dickinson LLP, Mills & Reeve LLP, Shoosmiths, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP
DWF LLP

Best Work Placement Scheme – Regional Firm: DWF LLP

The vacation scheme was an extremely valuable insight into life at the firm.

  • Nominees: Bevan Brittan LLP, BLM, Burges Salmon LLP, DWF LLP, Osborne Clarke LLP, TLT LLP, Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP
Farrer & Co LLP

Best Work Placement Scheme – City Firm: Farrer & Co LLP

I was really surprised by the genuine interest that people took in the vac scheme students.

  • Nominees: Baker McKenzie, Bird & Bird, Bristows LLP, Farrer & Co LLP, Fieldfisher, Shearman & Sterling (London) LLP, Withers LLP
Forbes Solicitors

Best Training Principal – Stuart Penswick: Forbes Solicitors

This person is an exceptional training principal and mentor, and is demonstrably committed, enthusiastic about and invested in the firm’s training programme and trainees. They are extremely approachable; if you have any type of query or difficulty, it will be taken seriously.

  • Nominees: Stephen Kay - EMW Law LLP, Stuart Penswick - Forbes Solicitors, Gwen Evans - Hugh James, Sarah Passemard - Paris Smith LLP, Letitia Glaister - Tees Law, Mark Beeley - Vinson & Elkins RLLP
Hogan Lovells

Best Recruiter – Large City Firm: Hogan Lovells

The recruitment team at the firm is exceptional – they are friendly, approachable and professional in their dealings with future joiners and trainees.

  • Nominees: Bird & Bird, Clyde & Co LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Hogan Lovells, Reed Smith, Simmons & Simmons LLP, Slaughter and May
Hugh James

Best Recruiter – Medium Regional Firm: Hugh James

  • Nominees: Birkett Long LLP, Higgs & Sons, Hugh James, Michelmores, Roythornes Solicitors, Tees Law, Wilkin Chapman LLP
Kingsley Napley LLP

Best Trainer – Medium City Firm: Kingsley Napley LLP

I have found that my supervisors and senior staff are willing to take the time to answer questions and explain instructions clearly. I have been given client contact throughout my training, including having my own clients. While enjoying this responsibility, I also felt well supervised, rather than being thrown in at the deep end.

  • Nominees: Farrer & Co LLP, Fladgate LLP, Goodman Derrick LLP, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, Kingsley Napley LLP, Marriott Harrison LLP, Russell-Cooke Solicitors

Best Trainer – Small Firm: Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors LLP

I cannot fault the experience that I have had. I have seen an increase in responsibilities, coupled with as much support as I need; every single staff member is approachable and willing to help. I have been given the opportunity to express how I would like my training contract to be shaped by having a choice of seats. I feel privileged to be able to say that I have trained with this firm.

  • Nominees: Actons, Hanne & Co, Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors LLP, Pothecary Witham Weld, Wrigleys Solicitors LLP
Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP

Best Trainer – US Firm in the City: Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP

I am genuinely astounded by the level of support that I have received. The client contact has been far more than I was expecting and the partners always insist on getting you involved where possible.

  • Nominees: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP, K&L Gates LLP, White & Case LLP
Osborne Clarke LLP

Best Recruiter – National/Large Regional Firm: Osborne Clarke LLP

The firm prides itself on its friendly and approachable culture and this is very much in evidence during the recruitment stage.

  • Nominees: Bond Dickinson, DLA Piper UK LLP, DWF LLP, Freeths LLP, Irwin Mitchell, Osborne Clarke LLP, TLT LLP
Taylor Wessing

Best Trainer – Large City Firm: Taylor Wessing

The firm provides excellent training. All the partners and associates are on the same page in terms of ensuring that trainees are provided with a broad spectrum of work, which enables a holistic understanding of the particular seat. They also actively encourage learning and their doors are always open.

  • Nominees: Ashurst LLP, Baker McKenzie, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, CMS, Macfarlanes LLP, Reed Smith, Taylor Wessing

Best Recruiter – Small Firm: Thackray Williams LLP

It was the most personal recruitment process that I have been through, by far. The partners that interviewed me could not have been any more friendly or helpful.

  • Nominees: Atherton Godfrey, Curzon Green Solicitors, Maples Teesdale LLP, Thackray Williams LLP, Wilson Solicitors LLP
Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP

Best Trainer – Medium Regional Firm: Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP

My supervision throughout all my seats so far has been excellent. I have always felt that my questions and concerns can be answered, and I was reassured from day one that there is no such thing as a 'silly' question. I feel that the work I do is appreciated and I am always made to feel valued as part of the team.

  • Nominees: Anthony Collins Solicitors, Blaser Mills LLP, Foot Anstey LLP, Forbes Solicitors, Nockolds, Paris Smith LLP, Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP
Vinson & Elkins RLLP

Best Recruiter – US Firm in the City: Vinson & Elkins RLLP

The recruitment process is geared towards creating a long-term fit, from both the firm's and the candidate's point of view.

  • Nominees: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, Shearman & Sterling (London) LLP, Covington & Burling LLP, Vinson & Elkins RLLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Withers LLP

Best Training Principal – Ceri Vokes: Withers LLP

This person is a natural teacher and inspiring mentor, as well as being incredibly committed and approachable. You can go to them with anything from technical questions or concerns about training, to creative ideas about different ways that trainees can get involved with business development.

  • Nominees: Jonathan Angell - Dechert LLP, Anthony Turner - Farrer & Co LLP, Sean Lavin - Macfarlanes LLP, Simon Hart - RPC, Giles Chesher - Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, Ceri Vokes - Withers LLP