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Macfarlanes LLP

  • 31 vacancies
  • 62 trainees
  • 90 partners
  • 874 staff

About Macfarlanes LLP

A leading City law firm serving a variety of clients including multinationals, banks and private individuals.

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

More info

We only accept online applications through our website for all of our programmes. Please note we recruit on a rolling basis, so we recommend that you apply prior to the application deadline in order to secure a position.


Applications to

Ms Catherine Morgan-Guest

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Written exercise

Macfarlanes is a distinctive London-based law firm, focused on its clients and on delivering excellence in the international legal market. The firm is known for the quality of its work; not just in dealing with the full range of corporate and commercial matters, but in advising clients on their private affairs as well.

Macfarlanes has made a deliberate choice to remain smaller than many of its peers. The cohesive nature of the firm means that clients benefit from collective experience and close-knit teams. The firm has decided against growth at the expense of quality, against size at the expense of efficiency and agility. So whilst large enough to advise on the most complex matters, the firm is also small enough to ensure that its people and work are exceptional, without fail.

Finally, rather than opening offices around the world, we take a 'client first' approach to international work. Our clients get the best advice from the right lawyer – where in the world they need it.

Our combination of culture and expertise makes us a formidable force in the legal market. Sustaining our position depends on recruiting and training successive generations of truly exceptional lawyers.


Who should apply

We want to recruit the best candidates regardless of their background or where they were educated. The qualities we look for in our lawyers include strong interpersonal skills, an ambitious commercial approach, drive, motivation and resilience. Above all, we value a commitment to excellence, and an intuitive understanding of people. Our clients come from a range of backgrounds and cultures and our people do too. We welcome applications from candidates with either a law or non-law background with outstanding academics, including a predicted 2.1 degree or above.

Each year we recruit 30 trainees with the aim of training them to be the future partners of the firm. At present 53% of partners trained at the firm.

To find out what it is like to work at Macfarlanes LLP read the firm's Meet the Lawyer profile.

CPE/GDL and LPC course fees.

Maintenance allowance for CPE/GDL students, £7010,000 for courses studied in London, Guildford and Oxford.

Maintenance allowance for LPC students, £10,000.

Vacation schemes

A vacation scheme at Macfarlanes is a two-week snapshot into life as a trainee. Vacation students will spend each week in a different practice area working alongside a partner, solicitor or trainee. Work can include being asked to draft a real letter – and then working through the draft with a solicitor or trainee – or carrying out some research on a live issue for a client.

In 2020 we shall be running an Easter and two summer vacation schemes, for which we are looking to recruit approximately 55 vacation students. To apply for a vacation scheme you will need to be in at least the penultimate year of your degree.

The dates of our 2020 vacation schemes are as follows:

Easter  8 - 18 April 2020

Summer scheme one 24 June – 5 July 2020

Summer scheme two 8 – 19 July 2020

Applications open on 1 October 2019 and are online via our website. Applications will close on 31 January 2020. We invite up to 15% of applicants to attend one of a series of assessment days held at the firm's office to assess them for a place on one of our vacation schemes.

Insight day

Our insight day is a one-day event designed to provide students with an insight into City law. You will have the opportunity to meet trainees, solicitors and partners within the firm.

The day will comprise of skills workshops, work shadowing and presentations.

The insight day will be held on Tuesday 2 April 2020.

To apply you will need to be in the first year (and second year on a four-year course) of your undergraduate degree. Applications open on 1 October online via our website and will close on 28 February 2020.

To find out what it's like to undertake a placement at Macfarlanes LLP read the firm's Vac Scheme Insider report.

Woven into every aspect of life at the firm is an enduring commitment to the development of trainees.

Training begins with tailored electives on the LPC at BPP with regular seminars and social events at the firm, along with the support and advice from a trainee mentor.

As a trainee you will complete four six-month seats in different practice areas including a compulsory seat in corporate and M&A. In each seat you will share a room with a partner or solicitor who supervises and supports you. You will also be assigned a partner who will act as your mentor throughout your training contract.

During each seat you will receive an intensive schedule of seminars to develop your knowledge and skills at an early stage in each seat. Each of your seats will feature a mid-seat and end of seat review during which you can discuss your progress and which areas need focus.

  • Corporate
  • M&A
  • litigation
  • private client
  • commercial real estate
  • tax
  • banking
  • finance
  • commercial competition
  • derivatives
  • trading
  • employment
  • financial services
  • investment management
  • pensions
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

20 Cursitor Street, London, EC4A 1LT
Phone: 020 7831 9222
Email: gradrec@macfarlanes.com
Web: www.macfarlanes.com
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 55
Minimum qualification: 2.1 and anticipated or achieved
Start salary: £44,000
Sponsorship: CPE/GDL and LPC course fees.
Turnover: £216,000,000 (2018)
Profit per partner: £1,744,000 (2018)
Starting salary: £44,000
Training contract applications: 720 (2019)
Retention rate: 100% (2019)
Partner diversity:
  • 86.0% male (2019)
  • 14.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 50.0% male (2019)
  • 50.0% female
  • London
  • BPP Legal Advice Clinic
  • Cambridge House
  • LawWorks
  • Legal Advice Centres
  • London Legal Support Trust (LLST)
  • Mary Ward Legal Advice Centre
  • North London Cares
  • The National Pro Bono Centre
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Bright Network
  • City Horizons
  • City Solicitors Horizons
  • MyPlus Consulting
  • Pathways to Law
  • PRIME
  • Rare Recruitment
  • SEO London
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • Stonewall
  • Sutton Trust
  • Whizz Kidz