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18 vacancies
40 trainees
97 partners
720 staff

Hugh James is a top 100 UK law firm with offices in Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Plymouth.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Hugh James.

More info

Are you highly motivated to succeed?

Do you have good communication and social skills?

Do you enjoy a challenge and solving problems?

Above all have you got a good sense of humour?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you are the kind of person we are looking for.

These skills are as important as having an excellent academic record and being commercially aware.

Our preferred route for you to take is to join us on one of our vacation placement schemes. This gives you some real experience with the firm so that you can make a positive response to a training contract offer with us. Of course, it also gives you time to demonstrate your skill set to us.

For those that are unable to attend a placement scheme, you can apply for a training contract interview.

Applications for the placement schemes and a training contract interview are via our online application form.

Please complete this with as much detail as you can and give examples where appropriate.

Summer placement scheme

If your application is shortlisted for a placement, you will be asked to attend an initial 15-minute interview. Success at this interview will secure you a place on a scheme. As part of the scheme, you will be interviewed for a training contract. This interview will include a presentation on a topic that will be given to you when you commence your placement, followed by questions on your presentation and general interview questions.

Training contract

If your application is shortlisted for a training contact interview, you will be asked to present at the interview on a topic that will be given to you in advance. You will be asked questions about your presentation and asked to respond to general interview questions.

Applications to

Mrs Diane Brooks

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Panel interview
  • Presentation

Our headquarters are based in Cardiff and we have offices in the City of London. Manchester and Southampton.

The firm’s headquarters is located at Two Central Square in Cardiff. Central Square is Wales’ premier office location in the burgeoning business district of Cardiff.

We offer a full range of legal services. We’re a top 100 UK law firm, but we like to keep a personal and down-to-earth approach.

We're going places, and we want you to come with us.

We’re looking for like-minded people to join our expanding teams. We’re one of the UK’s fastest growing law firms and we want friendly and ambitious individuals to join us on this journey.

We look for highly motivated individuals with an excellent academic record, common sense, good communication skills and commercial awareness.

But it’s not all about education. We work in a friendly environment and like our staff to feel at ease with our culture so we value social skills and a good sense of humour.

Because of the commitment to offering some of the best training available, we generally recruit two years in advance. Our overriding objective is to retain our trainees as solicitors and we are proud to say that many of our present partners were trained at the firm and are now leaders in their field.

Our trainees work alongside our current solicitors in up to four different seats, each lasting six months, across a variety of practice areas.

When selecting seats for our trainees, we always consider individual preferences as well as business needs. Some training contracts will follow divisional lines and remain in either our business or individual services division for the duration of the training contract.

We also offer trainee secondment opportunities with some of our corporate and business clients. 

Generally, we ensure that newly qualified posts are advertised and allocated prior to the second year trainees’ final seat transfer in March of each year. This means that the successful applicants will spend the final six months of their training contracts in the role that they will have when they qualify.

There is an established career path for our solicitors to advance to associates, senior associates and finally become partners of the firm. Each role has a clearly defined competency framework to enable you to decide whether applying for promotion would be the right decision for you at any given time. 

If you are at least a second-year undergraduate student, enrolled on the GDL, SQE, or have completed your studies, you can apply for our summer placement schemes.

Our summer placement schemes are an integral part of our recruitment process and they are our preferred route to a training contract with us. This experience provides insight into the life of a trainee at Hugh James across a variety of departments. This award winning scheme is very popular and spaces are limited.

The scheme will run over the summer between June and August. The interviews will be held in April/May.

You will benefit from your own mentor, usually a current trainee solicitor, so you’ll have a go-to person for any of your queries. Where possible, we will immerse you in the day to day life of our teams which can involve attending court and client interviews.

During your placement with us, you can usually expect to spend time in a few different departments to fully experience life as a Hugh James trainee solicitor. At the end of your placement, you will be invited to interview for a training contract with us.

During your training contract, you will have a dedicated supervisor and regular appraisals to make sure you’re getting the most from your training. You will work alongside our current solicitors and will have the opportunity to work in up to four different seats across a variety of the firms practice areas.   

We consider applications from all ages and backgrounds. 

Applications from non-law graduates are welcomed too if you are currently taking, or have completed, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or the SQE.

  • Banking
  • Clinical negligence
  • Commercial property
  • Contested wills/trusts & estates
  • Corporate/commercial
  • Construction & energy & projects
  • Dispute resolution
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Family
  • Financial mis-selling
  • Industrial disease
  • Neurolaw
  • Nursing care
  • Property
  • Trusts & estates administration
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial
  • General Practice
  • Niche

Practice Areas

Extra info

Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Phone: 033 3016 2222
Email: [email protected]
Training programmes offered:
  • Training contract/QWE
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 40
Minimum qualification: 2:1 degree
Start salary: £25,000
Fees paid for:
  • SQE
Retention rate: 75% (2018)
Partner diversity:
  • 54.0% male (2023)
  • 46.0% female
  • 0.0% N/A
Lawyer diversity:
  • 35.0% male (2023)
  • 64.7% female
  • 0.3% N/A
  • Cardiff
  • London
  • Manchester