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Shakespeare Martineau LLP

10 vacancies
16 trainees
124 partners
994 staff

Our ambition is clear – to unlock potential in our own people, so they can do the same for our clients and their teams.

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

More info

At Shakespeare Martineau, we are dedicated to nurturing talent, fostering growth, and shaping the future of the legal industry, and we are looking for aspiring legal professionals to join us and enrich their careers in our upcoming training contract for 2025/26.

Applications are open on our website through our application form on 27 November 2023 and our application window closes on 15 January 2024. We welcome all applicants with a qualifying law degree or who have completed the GDL and have the right to work in the UK. Sponsorship for the SQE will be available upon offer of a training contract if you do not have these credentials already.

The application form is your chance to introduce yourself and highlight what sets you apart. In addition to your academic background and work experience, tell us about your passion for pursuing a career as a Solicitor and why you’re choosing Shakespeare Martineau.

Stage two is our assessment centre, which is designed with a variety of activities carefully crafted to mirror our values and assess your suitability as a trainee solicitor and beyond. Throughout the assessment we offer ample opportunities for you to experience our culture first-hand, meet our team, and really get to know us. Ultimately helping you to assess whether we are the right choice to support you and your legal career. 

Our third and final stage is an interview with two senior partners in the firm and a member of the people team. You will be asked a range of scenario and strengths-based questions to explore your experience, both academically and professionally, and most importantly, you will also have the opportunity to ask us questions to help you determine if we are right for you. 

All applications are blindly screened, and our programme is continually developed and improved with the goal of selecting brilliant future lawyers and championing diversity across our business.

To find out more about who we are and what we do, visit our website and if you have any further questions about the application process or any accessibility requirements, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].

We look forward to unlocking your potential.

Applications to

Ms Emily Cupi

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Written exercise

Shakespeare Martineau is a leading law firm, with over 1000 people. Our ambition is to unlock the potential of our clients and each other.

This last year has shown just what we can achieve when we work together, when we are kinder, when we are brave and ambitious, when we are empowered, when we represent neurodiversity in decision-making and when we trust each other to do the right thing.

We previously stated that we were viewing 2020 as a unique opportunity for a permanent change in our thinking, behaviours, words and actions and we were accelerating our change programme. Pledges that we have turned into reality.

As 2021 started, we set our ambitions to become a ‘house of brands’ and to become a top 30 legal and professional services group by 2025. That growth is coming to fruition with the expansion of our firm into new locations including Glasgow and Lincoln.

Our clients are at the heart of what we do and we continue to grow our areas of expertise in key sectors, for example, education, social housing and investment funds, as well as increasing our presence in growing areas of law eg renewable energy and sustainability. Take a look at our insight articles on ‘Building a renewable future for housing’, and ‘How is the UK government going to achieve its net zero carbon targets?’ for an insight into the type of work these teams do.

While our legal teams are supporting our clients to achieve their goals, our business operations teams are helping us to achieve our own. This year we launched our 'Responsible Business' programme, building programmes and leading on change for our people (eg through our More in Common network), our communities (eg through mentoring and our target of 10,000 hours volunteering across the business), and our environment (eg through our Ampa litter pick, and our pledge to become net zero by 2025). We have also started our journey towards becoming a Certified B Corporation, ensuring we consistently balance profit with people and the planet.

We look for bright trainees who want to fulfil their ambition with us. We expect you to share our enthusiasm for our business and to be able to demonstrate the skills that make a great lawyer. But we want more than that too. Show us what sets you apart. You’ll be a great candidate to us if you are able to demonstrate a clear alignment to our values: authentic, collaborative, trusted, and brave.

As a business, we aim to be as transparent as possible with our clients, and employees alike. Find out more about the actions we have taken over the past year and promises we have made in our Back to Growth statement. We are on track to reach our goal of becoming one of the most admired top 30 legal and professional service groups by 2025 and are still committed to following the two key principles we announced at the start of the pandemic: remaining in it together and in it for the long term. We look forward to you joining us.

Our in depth training is set in the real world, with real caseloads and responsibilities. This is first-class, hands on training you can trust to develop your career. Whether you are following the SQE or LPC route, as a trainee you will spend two years experiencing at least three areas of the law. This will involve having four six-month stints, called seats, in our various teams. You will also benefit from a structured training programme from our training academy to strengthen your skillset, and those progressing down the LPC route will complete the PSC during their training contract. 

Our training contract exposes trainees to a combination of contentious and non-contentious work, tailored to individual strengths, preferences and business needs. It is important that in building future leaders, we look beyond the legal experience, so our training programme also encompasses other programmes to broaden your knowledge, confidence, and commercial acumen. For example, all our trainees take the lead on projects of strategic importance to our business, working as a team, driving change, and presenting to our main board and other key stakeholders across the business.

Trainees also receive regular support and feedback through our buddy and mentoring schemes in place across the firm and there is the opportunity to get involved with other initiatives like our responsible business programme.

Our ambition is to build brilliant lawyers and future leaders. Whether that be through the LPC or SQE route to qualification, what matters is the attitude and competencies you bring to the table. 

We want to create an inclusive approach to adopting the SQE, so from 2024 our training contract route will be available to those wanting to progress down this route.  

We expect trainees progressing down the SQE route to complete both SQE1 and SQE2 before commencing their training contract and we will fund your prep courses and exams. With the flexibility provided by the SQE, we also envisage our SQE trainees starting their training contract a couple of months early and taking on a seat in operations. With this operations seat, you will finish your training contract as a rounded solicitor and future leader, with a better understanding of a law firm’s finances, how business is won, and what happens behind the scenes – putting you in a great position for building a better relationship with your clients and growing your career.

We are excited to launch our SQE route to start in 2024 alongside the current LPC and PSC route to qualification. Trainees recruited in 2022 to start in 2024 will therefore have the option of the SQE or LPC route.

Our purpose at Shakespeare Martineau is to unlock potential in our people and clients. Equality, diversity and inclusivity is fundamental to achieving this purpose. We know that we are more confident, more effective and perform at our best when we can completely be ourselves, and that the more diverse perspectives we have, the more we are able to learn, grow and thrive.

Over the past year we have established our Responsible Business Principles, covering three main streams: Our people, our communities, and our environment. We have selected leads and champions across the business to drive each of these streams and their ambitions. Diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our people, and our purpose with this is to:

1. Provide an open, supportive, inclusive environment that ensures everyone can be their authentic selves

2. Recognise, value and celebrate diversity; continually seek to improve diversity across the organisation

3. Provide a culture that prioritises wellbeing for our people, to better support our clients and investors

4. Dedicate time and resources to improve social mobility within the communities we work in.

Our positive actions over the past year have led to the following outcomes:

 - Maintaining our gender balance which stands above the SRA benchmark of 49% 

 - Increased female membership representation to 38%

 - Increased the firm’s representation of racial diversity to align with the SRA benchmark of 21%

 - Increased racial diversity membership representation to 10%.

We recognise there is more work to do and are working to strengthen our 'More in Common' diversity network across the business, engage all of our people on all areas of wellbeing and embed our mental health first aiders into our wellbeing programme.

We strongly believe that taking responsibility for equality, diversity and inclusivity is not just a nice thing to do, or a moral thing to do, it’s a commercial thing to do. It’s better for business, better for the economy, better for society, better for the world.

Should you be successful in gaining a training contract at Shakespeare Martineau, we will sponsor the cost of your LPC or SQE. If you commence your LPC/SQE through our preferred supplier after accepting your training contract, we will pay the full amount. Should you commence your LPC/SQE before accepting your training contract, we reserve the right to reimburse your qualification in line with our preferred supplier rates.


  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

One Colmore Square, Birmingham, B4 6AA
Phone: 0330 024 0333
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 0
Start salary: £26,000 (West and East Midlands) and £35,000 (London), £23,000 (Scotland)
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Retention rate: 87% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 69.5% male (2023)
  • 30.5% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 34.0% male (2023)
  • 55.0% female
  • 11.0% N/A
  • Birmingham
  • London
  • Leicester
  • Nottingham
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Milton Keynes
  • Solihull
  • Sheffield
  • Lincoln
  • Edinburgh
  • Birmingham Free Legal Advice Group (FLAG)
  • Business in the Community
  • #10000BlackInterns
  • Birmingham FLAG
  • BITC
  • Change the Race Ratio
  • Disability Confident Leader
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • The Women in Law Pledge