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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

  • 15-18 vacancies
  • 33 trainees
  • 141 partners
  • 850 staff

About Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Leading UK and International law firm with broad practice areas across business services, real estate and private individuals.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.

More info

Vacation schemes

To apply for our Easter or Summer vacation scheme in 2022, please complete our online application form by accessing:

Recruitment is conducted on a rolling basis. Applications must be submitted online and assessment centres typically start in December and are completed by March. Our assessment centres are made up of three exercises: a written assessment, a one on one interview and a simulation client interview. 

Upon completion of the scheme you will be asked to submit an application for the training contract. Those selected will undertake a Watson Glazer critical thinking test (online) and take part in an interview with a partner and member of HR, which will also incorporate a presentation based on a legal case study. 

Deadline: 31 January 2022 (recruitment is conducted on a rolling basis).

Training contracts

To apply for a training contract to start in 2024, please complete our online application form by accessing:

All of our applications are received online and assessments are conducted on a rolling basis. To avoid disappointment, please apply as early as possible as places may already have been filled by the deadline date.

First stage

The first stage consists of a competency based telephone interview with a member of the early careers team.

Second stage

You will be required to complete a written assessment and a critical thinking test.

Third stage

The final stage consists of an interview with a partner and member of the HR team, which will also incorporate a presentation based on a legal case study. 

For the best start to your career, we recommend applying for one of our vacation schemes, as they offer real insight into what it is like to work at Penningtons Manches Cooper. A large proportion of our training contract positions are recruited through our vacation scheme, and if this is your end goal, applying for and completing the vacation scheme is a good route to take. 

Deadline: 31 July 2021 (recruitment is conducted on a rolling basis).

Penningtons Manches Cooper is an equal opportunities employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

How to apply

Applications to

Mrs Helen Lewis

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • HR-led interview
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Psychometric testing
  • Written exercise

Penningtons Manches Cooper is a leading UK and international law firm which provides high quality legal advice tailored to both businesses and individuals. Today, we have 130 partners and over 880 people in total across our UK and international offices.

We are a full service firm with high ranking lawyers in a multitude of practice areas. Through a strong team ethic and an emphasis on collaboration, we are able to use our extensive technical knowledge and unparalleled market insight to solve complex legal and strategic issues.

Among our clients we count multi-national corporations, public companies, professional partnerships, banks and financial institutions as well as private individuals, owner managed businesses and start-ups.

The firm has enjoyed substantial growth in recent years, including the merger with shipping, international trade and finance specialist Thomas Cooper in July 2019.  We have a continuing commitment to excellence and a drive for innovation alongside our expanding international footprint.

We believe that a varied workforce generates vitality for our firm. We focus on representing the diversity of our people and creating an inclusive culture that enables everyone to reach their career potential by being their true selves.

We offer vacation scheme placements in our Basingstoke, Cambridge. Guildford, London, Oxford and Reading offices. Interns spend time in one of the firm’s practice areas in either business services, private wealth or real estate. You will be involved in real assignments, working alongside a trainee in the team to get a realistic view of what life is really like at Penningtons Manches Cooper. Activities regularly include drafting documents, attending client and team meetings, conducting research or sometimes even attending court. The majority of our offices are open plan so getting to know the wider teams will not be an issue. You will be given a senior mentor, and networking with others is strongly encouraged. Some sessions will be put on to facilitate this, but the more you put into the vacation scheme, the more you will get out of it.

A large proportion of our training contract positions are recruited through our vacation scheme, so if this is your end goal, applying for the scheme is a good route to take. There is an informal interview that takes place as part of the scheme, but it is only once you have completed the vacation scheme that we ask you to apply for the training contract.

The dates of our 2022 vacation schemes are on our website, but we typically run one programme at Easter and three one week programmes in the summer.

The vacation scheme is open to those candidates who are planning to take up a training contract in two years’ time.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for dedicated, diverse candidates with a strong academic record and commercial awareness. You should be passionate about law, a great team player and have exceptional communication skills.

We welcome applications from all degree disciplines and from applicants at all stages of their careers. You’ll have, or be on track to have, a 2.1 degree or higher and a minimum of AAB at A level (or the equivalent if educated outside the UK). Please note that undergraduate applicants must be in their penultimate or final year of a law degree or their final year of a non-law degree.

Trainees apply for and work in one of our office locations, all of which offer a high quality, varied training contract. We know our trainees are happiest and most successful when busy with good quality work. We believe in introducing trainees to challenging cases from the outset. We recognise the value of giving trainees responsibility and allowing direct contact with clients with the knowledge that our experienced solicitors are always on hand to give support.

You will be given a through grounding in the law, spending four, six month seats across the firms three main business divisions. Our award winning training enables trainees to develop into confident lawyers who are able to help us maintain our standard of excellence. In addition to this with a retention rate of 80% we hope our trainees become our partners of the future.

The training contract begins with a formal induction which provides trainees with an overview of Penningtons Manches Cooper, its areas of work and general office, accounting and compliance procedures. You will also receive training in IT, drafting, dictation, business development and legal research.

There is lots going on from a social perspective too. Be it through getting involved in one of our diversity and inclusion streams, sports and social committees, charitable foundation initiatives, PennWell activities or just attending the regular training and social activities put on for trainees, you won’t need to look far for something extra to do.


We recruit approximately 15-18 trainees across our locations each year. We seek high calibre candidates with enthusiasm and resilience. A high standard of academic achievement is expected: three or more good A level passes and preferably a 2.1 or better at degree level. 

How to apply

Application forms can be accessed via our website and the submission deadlines are 31 January for the vacation scheme and information day and 31 July for training contracts.

Please note recruitment for our vacation scheme and training contracts is completed on a rolling basis so early application is strongly advised.

Full LPC fees plus a maintenance grant of £6,000.

  • Corporate
  • Corporate finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Employment
  • Marine
  • Trade
  • Energy
  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Personal injury
  • Clinical negligence
  • Private client
  • Family
  • Commercial
  • IP
  • IT
  • Social housing
  • General Commercial
  • General Practice
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

125 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7AW
Phone: 020 7457 3000
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 50
Minimum qualification: 2.1 preferred
Start salary: £40,000 (London 2021 salary)
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
Turnover: £32,300,000 (2012)
Profit per partner: £301,000 (2012)
Training contract applications: 339 (2021)
Retention rate: 94% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 73.0% male (2021)
  • 27.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 50.0% male (2021)
  • 50.0% female
  • London
  • Basingstoke
  • Cambridge
  • Guildford
  • Oxford
  • Reading
  • Singapore
  • Madrid
  • Paris
  • Piraeus
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • LawWorks
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Black Solicitors Network
  • City Solicitors' Educational Trust
  • InterLaw Diversity Forum
  • Legal Apprenticeships
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Social Mobility Business Partnership
  • Stonewall
  • UOL Menotring Scheme
  • Urban Lawyers Careers Conference