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Stephenson Harwood LLP

25 vacancies
46 trainees
190 partners
1200 staff

A law firm with over 1,200 people worldwide, including 190+ partners, particular areas of strength include litigation, marine, finance, real estate and commercial.

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

More info

Spring placement scheme: 27 March – 7 April 2023

Summer placement schemes: (1) 12 June – 23 June 2023 (2) 26 June – 7 July 2022 (3) 10 July – 21 July 2022

Virtual open days: 23 November 2022 and 7 December 2022

In-house open days: 18 January 2023 and 15 March 2023

Training contract: March/September 2025

Apply online at

If we're impressed by your application form, we'll ask you to complete our critical reasoning test and invite you to a face-to-face interview. Do well and we'll ask you to take part in a written case study and then an assessment day. If we offer you a place on our placement scheme, we'll automatically consider you for a training contract. This means that you'll take part in a formal assessment day during your placement.

Applications to

Miss Beth Petch

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

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

Stephenson Harwood is a full-service international law firm, with over 190 partners and over 1,200 staff worldwide. We act for a wide range of listed and private companies, institutions and successful entrepreneurs.


We have seven offices across Europe and Asia: Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Piraeus, Seoul and Singapore. Through our network of offices and strong local law firm relationships, we offer clients commercially-focused legal advice across the globe.

Areas of work

Commercial litigation; corporate; employment, pensions and private wealth; finance; marine and international trade; and real estate and projects.

Who should apply

Firstly we look for a quick intellect. As well as at least a 2:1 in any subject area plus 320 UCAS points or equivalent, you'll need strong analytical skills, sound judgment, imagination and meticulous attention to detail. Also vital are the communication skills to be persuasive and build rapport, plenty of drive and determination, plus a keen interest in business.

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

Placement schemes in our international law firm

Here at Stephenson Harwood, we pride ourselves on delivering ground-breaking deals across the globe. Whilst it’s no surprise that delivering pioneering, hugely influential and incredibly complex multi-million pound deals is extremely pressurised, what makes Stephenson Harwood different is the open, friendly and honest culture in which we deliver them. Joining us on a placement scheme is the perfect way to sample our culture and the way we work, so you can get a real feel for whether we’re the right firm for you.

Our placement schemes will give you a taste of life at Stephenson Harwood. We’ll make sure you’re involved in quality work and will try to help you experience the areas of law you’re particularly interested in. Typically, you'll spend one or two weeks in our offices, sitting with qualified lawyers and tackling case work. You'll also benefit from an organised programme of interactive sessions, talks and social events. On your first day, we'll assign you a buddy – a current trainee who'll help you settle in, answer your questions and give you an honest overview of what it's like to work for us.

A placement gives you a great opportunity to talk informally to existing trainees, lawyers, partners and the graduate recruitment team to find out why law and Stephenson Harwood are such attractive career options. What’s more, we’ll pay you £390 a week.

The deadline for applications for the spring and summer placement schemes: 31 January 2023.

Apply online at:

Here at Stephenson Harwood, we take on just 25 trainees per year. Join us and not only will you be a valued member of our diverse, global team, you’ll have a real opportunity to make your mark on the future of our firm.

There’s a lot to look forward to as a trainee at Stephenson Harwood: top quality global work across a range of sectors, an environment that balances cutting-edge work with a respectful, friendly culture, and the chance to prove yourself on an international secondment. We work in small teams, so every person is critical – that’s why we’ll expect you to work to the best of your ability every day.

Our training is not only structured and practical but highly personalised, so you’ll have everything you need to develop along a career path that’s absolutely right for you. Following a week’s intensive induction and a comprehensive post-induction programme, you’ll complete four seats – each six months long – across different practice areas. We ask for your preferred choices so we can accommodate them wherever possible.

Whatever the practice, you can expect extensive exposure to our clients and stimulating, cutting-edge projects. You could find yourself working on anything from a high-profile, multimillion pound financial litigation case to a ground-breaking M&A deal. You could even spend time on secondment at a client’s office, absorbing a totally different business culture first-hand. We also encourage our trainees to apply to gain experience overseas in our Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul or Dubai offices.

We’re driven, ambitious, inquisitive and dedicated to always doing our best, so naturally, we’ll expect the same from you.

Have you got what it takes?

Apply online at:

Outside of the office

At Stephenson Harwood we aim to strike a balance between work and life outside of work. During the course of our work we enjoy taking the opportunity to entertain our clients and develop our relationships with them in a variety of settings. We're also active outside of work, and we enjoy subsidised gym membership and firm-wide activities such as cricket, golf, football, netball, hockey, tag rugby, yoga, fun runs and many more.

We also receive concessions to more than 200 galleries and museums, and privilege seats for concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.


Benefits include subsidised membership of heath clubs, private health insurance, pension, dental health scheme, private GP services, critical illness cover, health screening, life assurance, season ticket loan, subsidised cafe and 25 days paid holiday per year.


We offer an excellent salary and benefits package. Your starting salary would be £46,000, rising to £51,000 after one year, and to £90,000 at qualification.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced that it would be introducing the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) as a mandatory route to qualification for all future solicitors from 2021. Whilst our preference for those who are successful in applying for a training contract commencing in March or September 2024 is to proceed with the new route to qualification through the SQE, we would be happy to consider individual circumstances for those looking to qualify under the transitionary arrangements.

Our vision is to be known as an inclusive and diverse firm, where all our people feel they can be themselves and thrive at work.

Our people are our biggest asset. We want Stephenson Harwood to be a place where colleagues can do their best work in a team that values the unique contributions that they bring. That is how we unlock our entrepreneurial spirit.

We partner with a range of organisations who help us to create an inclusive workplace. Our partner organisations include Stonewall, The Business Disability Forum, The Valuable 500, Aspiring Solicitors, Rare Recruitment and many more.

We are committed to ensuring that our recruitment processes are barrier-free and as inclusive as possible to everyone. This includes making adjustments for people who have a disability or long-term condition. If you would like us to do anything differently during the application process, please do get in touch via email or telephone.

Fees paid for the SQE preparations and assessments and maintenance awards of up to £12,000 (if still studying).

  • Commercial litigation
  • Corporate
  • Employment
  • pensions & private wealth
  • Finance
  • Marine & international trade
  • Real estate & projects
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

1 Finsbury Circus, London, EC2M 7SH
Phone: 02078092630
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 40
Minimum qualification: 2:1 degree
Start salary: £46,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Turnover: £213,000,000 (2018)
Profit per partner: £727,000 (2018)
Training programme applications: 1,475 (2022)
Retention rate: 90% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 74.0% male (2021)
  • 26.0% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Consultancies
  • Energy companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • Paris
  • Seoul
  • Singapore
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Paris
  • Piraeus
  • Seoul
  • Singapore
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • The Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau
  • TrustLaw Connect
  • Whitechapel Mission
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Black Lawyers Matter
  • Breaking Barriers
  • Bright Network
  • Business Disability Forum
  • Connectr
  • Disability Confident Leader
  • Diversity Access Scheme - Law Society
  • InterLaw Diversity Forum
  • Legal Apprenticeships
  • LGBT Leaders
  • MyKindaFuture
  • MyPlus Consulting
  • Pathways to Law
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
  • Stonewall
  • The Valuable 500
  • Whizz Kidz