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Burges Salmon LLP

26 vacancies
52 trainees
112 partners
1000 staff

Burges Salmon is an ambitious, sustainable and inclusive law firm that ensures its clients, people and wider communities flourish.

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Masterclass | Private wealth

In this masterclass, sponsored by Burges Salmon LLP, Michelmores LLP and Womble Bond Dickinson, we cover what private wealth entails, covering a range of services such as immigration, contentious estates and trusts, tax advice, finance and funding issues and more.

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Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Burges Salmon LLP .

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You can submit an application by filling out our application form which is available online via the firm's website. Successful candidates will be invited to an assessment centre followed by an interview with a partner/director and member of the resourcing team. Selection for the winter vacation scheme is through an assessment day in November, summer scheme selection events are held in February.

Closing date for vacation scheme applications:


Winter: 31 October 2023, spring/summer 12 January 2024; closing date for training contract applications: 21 June 2024.


Spring: 12 January 2024.

Applications to

Miss Penny Bowring

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Psychometric testing
  • Written exercise

Burges Salmon is an ambitious, sustainable and inclusive law firm that ensures its clients, people and wider communities flourish.

Our vision is to be the market-leading independent UK law firm that provides the best proposition for our people and our clients.

By focusing on the markets and areas of expertise where we have extensive knowledge and experience, we achieve the best outcomes for our clients, who range from large organisations, entrepreneurial businesses and public sector bodies, to individuals, families and their global wealth. We are trusted to help them with everything from their everyday legal needs to their business critical issues and all points in between.

With offices in Bristol, Edinburgh, London, Dublin and Cardiff, the firm’s people work wherever clients need them to be, both within the UK and internationally. The firm works across the UK, with lawyers who are qualified to work in all three legal jurisdictions in the UK – England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Burges Salmon’s clients include organisations such as Yeo Valley, Octopus, Spire Healthcare, The John Lewis Partnership, The Financial Services Compensation Scheme, FirstGroup, HSBC Bank plc, Virgin Group, Costain Group, The Crown Commercial Service, Babcock International Group and Highways England.

The quality of our expertise is widely recognised across our main departments including corporate and financial institutions, dispute resolution, planning, construction and engineering, projects, real estate and private client. The key sectors in which we operate are energy, power and utilities, financial services, infrastructure, private wealth, the public sector, real estate, and transport.

Our open and collaborative culture promotes an inclusive work environment which ensures that we continue to recruit, retain and motivate the highest calibre of people across the business. Our award-winning training programme based at our offices in Bristol and Edinburgh gives you expert guidance in your career and access to high profile clients.

Burges Salmon offers 40 places over four paid vacation schemes in their Bristol office. A newly launched spring vacation scheme is also offered in their Edinburgh office, with 10 places available.

All vacation scheme attendees are offered a training contract interview at the end of their vacation scheme.

Candidates visit one or two departments of their choice supervised by a lawyer, and have the opportunity to attend court visits and client meetings. Current trainees run skills training sessions, sports and social events that provide a real insight into life at the firm.

Our six-seat training contract is designed to provide you with the greatest breadth of experience possible as a trainee. While traditional training contracts normally include four six-month seats, ours includes six four-month placements. This ensures you gain the maximum exposure to our varied practice areas and experience a wide range of contentious and non-contentious work from across our main departments.

As a trainee you will be given early responsibility balanced with truly open door support. From the beginning you will be learning from lawyers recognised as experts in their fields who are able to offer the advice and guidance you will need to develop into a trusted business adviser.

You won't find a restrictive hierarchy at Burges Salmon. Throughout your training contract you will be an integral part of the team, working alongside lawyers who are experts in their field and sharing a room with a supervisor who will support your growth and development. Working with a range of associates, senior associates and partners means you hit the ground running and experience a real variety of work from a range of personalities.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) is the new route to qualification which was introduced in September 2021. Our 2024 trainee intake will be our first intake to qualify through the new SQE route. We will support any future trainees who are due to join us in 2024 and beyond in the completion of the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and the SQE Plus preparation course with The University of Law. 

Diversity and inclusion are integral to our firm wide strategy. Our culture is open, collaborative and inclusive, enabling us to recruit, retain and motivate the highest calibre of people. It is important to us that all of our people feel that they can be themselves at work.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Group supports the delivery of the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy and meets on a regular basis to ensure our priorities are being met. We have diversity and inclusion ambassadors and a number of internal diversity networks.

We advocate for equality and fairness and participate in various networks and charters. These include The Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter, the Bristol Equality Charter, the Woman in Business Charter and the Race at Work charter. We are committed to being an accessible and inclusive organisation and working with other businesses and organisations to share good equality practice and improve. We are proud to be a Disability Confident Committed employer and are committed to supporting our disabled employees and ensuring our recruitment opportunities are accessible to all.

We are an accredited Living Wage Employer as we believe all of our people deserve fair pay.

Our priorities

1. Improving gender diversity in senior roles

We are particularly focused on the development and progression of our female lawyers and business professionals. Our career focussed training equips our future talent with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to make informed decisions about their own progression.

We have worked with The Law Society on their Women in Leadership in Law study and we have collaborated with Thomson Reuters as part of their Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law programme, exploring factors that may be contributing to the loss of female talent and the steps needed to address this.

2. Improving ethnic diversity across the firm

We are committed to increasing ethnic diversity across the firm, recognising the importance of cultural awareness and reaching out to different sections of the community. Race is a visual and obvious difference, as a protected characteristic, where possible we utilise blind recruitment practices and have invested in unconscious bias training.

We support the Stepping Up Programme, a diversity leadership programme for future leaders in Bristol, developing a talent pipeline that more meaningfully reflects our population and community.

3. Supporting and developing our LGBT community

We utilise guidance from Stonewall and other LGBT+ organisations as a tool for continuous improvement and to enhance our inclusion of LGBT+ colleagues.

We are proud sponsors of the Bristol and Edinburgh Pride Festivals each year, marching in the parades and taking part in the festivals themselves. We are winners of Best Law Firm 2017 and 2018 at the Bristol Pride Awards.

4. Improving inclusivity for those with disability

We have partnered with the West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL) to help us better understand disability in the workplace and accessibility so that we take the appropriate actions.

As a Disability Confident employer we are keen to play an active role in building understanding around disability and accommodating people’s different needs to draw upon the widest talent pool.

5. Social mobility and widening access to the profession

We are committed to improving social inclusion and access to the legal profession. We are founder members of the Social Mobility Pledge and the Social Mobility Business Partnership and signatories of PRIME. We raise aspirations of young people in the local community through our Working with Schools programme.

We have partnered with Rare Recruitment, using their Contextual Recruitment System which allows us to consider applicants’ achievements in the context in which those achievements were gained, taking into consideration several socioeconomic factors including postcode, school quality, and eligibility for free school meals.

Our legal apprenticeship programme was successfully launched in 2016 as part of the Trailblazers initiative and we were the first law firm in Bristol to recruit using these standards. In 2018 we launched our business professionals apprenticeship programme. We hold open evenings for students and their parents to inform them about our apprenticeships and we visit a number of state schools in the region.

Diversity networks

We support our people with a number of internal diversity networks:

BProud is our well established LGBT+ network. BProud welcomes both LGBT+ members and allies. The network promotes a culture where everyone is able to be open about their sexual orientation. BProud members run and attend many LGBT+ events through the year.

BCultured is our BAME network, established in 2018. BCultured aims to promote ethnic diversity and inclusion across all aspects of the firm. Through reverse mentoring, BCultured has helped us to build awareness and better understanding of different cultural perspectives and experiences.

Family Matters is a network that has been established for those with caring responsibilities in the firm. Family Matters aims to provide a space for people to discuss and share experiences openly and hold regular information events.

BEnabled is open to anyone who identifies as disabled, cares for someone with a disability or has a general interest in this area and wants to support the Firm in being an accessible and inclusive place to work. The aim of the forum is to ensure that our working environment is supportive, accessible and suitable for all of our people.

BBalanced is our gender network to help support better gender balance, to identify actions and working practices that better support and enable women in the workplace and to help direct certain benefits, traditionally geared towards a specific gender, more fairly to all.

Download our firmwide diversity data

View our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Download our Gender Pay Gap Report 2022

Download our Gender Pay Gap Report 2021

Download our Gender Pay Gap Report 2020 

We are absolutely thrilled that the firm has been crowned the RollOnFriday ‘Best Law Firm to Work at 2022’. This win is particularly positive as it’s based purely on our people’s individual views of the firm, and is a further reflection of the amazing culture that we have all built together at Burges Salmon.

From September 2021, the firm will be sponsoring our future trainees to complete the PGDL and the LLM Legal Practice course at The University of Law. Maintenance grants of £9,000 are paid to LLM students, and £18,000 to students studying for both the PGDL and LLM (£9,000 pa).

  • Corporate
  • Banking
  • Pensions
  • Employment
  • Commercial
  • Dispute resolution
  • Projects
  • Construction & engineering
  • Planning
  • Real estate
  • Tax
  • Family
  • Innovation
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial
  • General Practice

Practice Areas

Extra info

One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX
Phone: 0117 307 6312
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of vacation schemes: 40
Minimum qualification: 2:1 degree, any discipline
Start salary: £45,000
Fees paid for:
  • SQE
Turnover: £90 (2018)
Profit per partner: £430,000 (2018)
Training programme applications: 1,872 (2020)
Retention rate: 85% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 80.0% male (2019)
  • 20.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 45.0% male (2019)
  • 55.0% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Banks
  • Energy companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Retail outlets
  • Bristol
  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Dublin
  • Cardiff
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • FareShare
  • #10000BlackInterns
  • Black Professionals Network
  • Bright Network
  • Burges Salmon and University of Bristol Law School Diversity Mentoring Scheme
  • City Solicitors Horizons
  • Disability Confident Leader
  • GROW Mentoring
  • IntoUniversity
  • Legal Apprenticeships
  • Mindful Business Charter
  • Pathways to Law
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Shaw Trust
  • Social Mobility Business Partnership
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • Stonewall