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Howard Kennedy

6-8 vacancies
17 trainees
64 partners
500 staff

Howard Kennedy is a London based, full-service law firm, specialising in providing straightforward advice to entrepreneurial businesses and individuals on domestic and international matters.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Howard Kennedy.

More info

Visit our website for full details: https://www.howardkennedy.com/Careers/Trainees


Applications to

Trainee Recruitment

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

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

With almost 200 lawyers in one location, we ensure our clients have the right team to help them get from where they are to where they want to be. We advise major corporates and institutions as well as entrepreneurial, ambitious enterprises which are often privately or family owned, or private equity backed. As well as our significant business law capability, we are one of only a few London-based law firms with a large private wealth offering. Our clients find our straightforward approach a compelling alternative to larger, less personal firms.

Whether you are an ambitious and talented individual wanting to hit the ground running from day one, or an established professional looking for a new opportunity, Howard Kennedy is the firm where you can really make it happen.

We have earned a strong reputation for our exceptional and uniquely talented people who between them deliver outstanding results for clients. In a firm of our size, our strong team dynamic creates a thriving culture of creativity and entrepreneurialism. Howard Kennedy is a pragmatic and non-hierarchical environment where success is shared, and you are proactively encouraged to thrive at your own pace.

Our distinctive culture is built on fairness and respect. Guided by the firm’s values of talk straight, think smart and be yourself, everyone in the firm holds equal value, and everyone plays their role in supporting, encouraging and inspiring colleagues to do their best work.

At the same time, we recognise and reward individualism, celebrating the diversity of our people and supporting them to grow their practice and drive their own career advancement.

As well as client work, there is opportunity to broaden your horizons at the firm with fulfilling pro bono and charity projects. We have a regular social calendar full of wellbeing activities, charitable and social events too.

We don't currently offer work placement or vacation schemes. We will be offering a number of open days and evenings in order for potential trainees to gain a greater insight into our areas of expertise.

The role

We offer a number of training contracts every year to talented individuals who bring a different mindset, perspective and lived experience to our firm. This helps to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration. It is both the foundation of our culture and the key to our ongoing success.

From day one as a trainee, you’ll get to work directly with clients to start building a wealth of expertise and experience. You’ll join our talented and dynamic practice teams where your personality and key strengths will come to the fore. And you’ll be given all the support you need to thrive, so you can move forward in your career.

Working in a friendly and informal setting there will be incentives and opportunities to challenge you. Alongside interesting client work, you’ll help develop our offering and contribute to fulfilling pro bono and charity projects that will broaden your horizons.

We offer four seats, each six months long, in different departments. We try to match individuals' interests to the seats that they complete, while knowing from experience that a variety of opportunities makes for an interesting training contract and a well-rounded lawyer.

We offer a range of different support and development opportunities during the two years including providing a junior and senior mentor, legal training sessions, and skills development sessions such as networking and giving presentations.

You'll be encouraged to be yourself. We know that people perform better if they feel welcomed, included, and valued. Coupled with a supportive culture, we'll help you grow through development and skills building so you can become the lawyer you want to be.

You'll also have access to interesting work, impressive clients, the opportunity to work directly and collaboratively with people at all levels and you'll play an active part in the social impact committees from charity and pro bono, to sport and social. 

Main responsibilities

As a trainee, you can be expected to be involved with:

Conducting legal research ranging from summarising case law, regulatory or statutory guidelines to more technical points of law/procedure

Drafting, preparing and filing court documents

Preparing court bundles, initial disclosure lists, expert bundles

Preparing memos/summaries of expert reports, pleadings, technical documents

Engaging with campaign groups and preparing articles or short presentations on legal/regulatory developments

Liaising with clients, providing updates and attending client meetings

Drafting attendance notes of client meetings/calls

Attending business development events and networking opportunities

About you

We believe that the more diverse our people are, the more successful we'll be as a business. This starts with our future lawyers - our trainees.

We know that there isn't just one path into the law. This is why we consider applications from those with previous experience, both in and out of the legal world. We strive to hire people from a diversity of backgrounds based on merit and attitude.

We believe the potential to become an excellent lawyer is about much more than the school you attended or university you studied at. This is why throughout the process, from application form to assessment centre you are encouraged to be yourself. Our assessment process is designed to allow you to highlight your strengths, whilst finding out more about what you can expect from a training contract with us.

In order to eliminate bias and allow for an objective recruitment process we use "blind screening" for all applications. This means any personal information such as your name, and information relating to your schooling including which university you attended is anonymised.  At the video interview and assessment centre stages of the process the assessors receive no information about you or your application other than your name. 

In order to apply in this recruitment round you need to have completed, or be able to complete prior to September 2024, one of the below qualifications:

- LLB or other qualifying law degree as outlined by the SRA
- GDL/PGDL
- LPC
- SQE1
- SQE1 and 2

We offer full sponsorship for the LPC or SQE fees and are able to offer a maintenance grant of £10,000 but do not offer any funding towards the GDL. We are not able to offer funding for the LPC or SQE retrospectively.

  • General Practice

Practice Areas

Extra info

No1 London Bridge, London, SE1 9BG
Phone: 020 3755 6000
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.howardkennedy.com
Training programmes offered:
  • Training contract/QWE
Work placement: No
Start salary: £40,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Retention rate: 86% (2016)
Partner diversity:
  • 70.6% male (2020)
  • 29.4% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 31.6% male (2020)
  • 68.4% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Charities
  • London
  • Human Dignity Trust
  • London Legal Support Trust (LLST)
  • Toynbee Hall Legal Advice Centre
  • Rare Recruitment