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Watson Farley & Williams LLP

  • 18 vacancies
  • 36 trainees
  • 174 partners
  • 900 staff

About Watson Farley & Williams LLP

We are an international law firm, with a strong sector focus, advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

More info

Applications for 2022 vacation schemes are now closed.

Applications for 2024 training contracts must be received by Sunday 3 July 2022.

All applicants should apply using the online application form available from After an initial video interview, the next stage in each process is a virtual assessment centre followed by a final stage partner interview. This interview takes place during the vacation scheme for candidates successful in gaining a place on one of our schemes.

Applications to

Mrs Lucie Rees

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Video interview

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is an international law firm advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network. We have a strong sector focus, combining our technical excellence with deep industry knowledge across energy, transport and real estate. We have offices in Athens, Bangkok, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, Singapore and Sydney.

We strive for excellence in all that we do and view investment in our people as key to achieving our business goals and values, which rest on developing deep and long-lasting relationships externally and internally through respect, sharing, communication and integrity. Our teams are integrated across legal disciplines and offices delivering consistently high levels of service in combination across borders and locally through a deep understanding of local business customs and culture.

Areas of work

Within our core sectors of energy (conventional and renewable power, oil and gas, mining and commodities), real estate and transport (aviation, maritime and rail) plus associated infrastructure, we provide a full suite of legal services including finance, capital markets, corporate, construction, planning, employment, public law, regulatory and competition and dispute resolution.

Our vacation scheme is the best way to familiarise yourself with WFW. The two-week placements will be at our London office or take place virtually. They give us a chance to get to know you, and you a chance to experience the firm in more depth.

To appreciate first-hand the kind of work trainees undertake day-to-day, you will work with senior solicitors and partners in one of our core practice groups for the whole period, where possible. To complement this focus on one area, you will also participate in a variety of training and social events designed to give you a general overview of the firm. These include informal lunchtime presentations to give you a broad understanding of all our different practice groups.

At WFW it's not only our approach to trainees that's different. We also tackle training and ongoing development in an individual way. We make a point of providing each of you with all the attention you need to succeed, tailoring your learning experience not just to the needs of the firm but to you personally. During each seat, we discuss with you plans for the next one, encouraging a two-way conversation about areas you are more – or less – interested in and when is convenient for you to go overseas. Though we can't always provide your first choice, we do aim to be as flexible as possible.

Accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to run all our training in-house, we offer you:

A core training programme that includes seminars by partners and guest speakers – many from leading barristers' chambers and universities – as well as practice-specific training at the start of each seat during your training contract.

Although there is no typical WFW trainee, there are certain qualifications, skills and traits that we look for. You will need a 2.1 or above – or predicted if you haven't yet graduated. We also ask for at least ABB from A level results, 34 points from IB or their equivalent if you have taken other qualifications. As well as academic achievement, we particularly value applicants with clear initiative, drive and self awareness. These are all qualities you will have the chance to demonstrate at one of our assessment centres, as part of the application process.

Trainees joining us in 2024 will qualify via the SRA's new mandatory route to qualification, the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. Details of our programme of study and funding for this will be confirmed to you at offer stage. 

Please visit for full details of the changes to the route to qualification. 

As an international firm with a global client base, diversity and inclusion is a key part of how we operate as a firm. Respect for different backgrounds and perspectives is at the heart of our firm's core values, which is why we are committed to attracting, recruiting and developing the best talent from a wide range of backgrounds and creating the type of inclusive environment in which all of our people can reach their full potential.

We use Rare's contextual recruitment system in our trainee recruitment which allows us to understand individual academics in the context of how they were achieved.

You can read more about diversity and inclusion at the firm on our website -


Full fees (both GDL and LPC) are paid, dependant on the point of offer, plus a maintenance grant of £7,500 per annum if studying outside London or £8,500 if studying in London.

  • Projects
  • Assets & structured finance
  • Corporate
  • Dispute resolution
  • Employment
  • Real estate
  • Tax
  • Capital markets
  • International (guaranteed)
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

15 Appold Street, London, EC2A 2HB
Phone: 020 7814 8000
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 24
Minimum qualification: 2.1 degree, in any discipline or equivalent
Start salary: £45,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
Turnover: £180,000,000 (2020)
Profit per partner: £553,000 (2020)
Training contract applications: 632 (2021)
Retention rate: 89% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 78.0% male (2021)
  • 22.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 49.0% male (2021)
  • 51.0% female
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Athens
  • Bangkok
  • Dubai
  • Hamburg
  • Paris
  • Singapore
  • Athens
  • Bangkok
  • Dubai
  • Dusseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • Hamburg
  • Hanoi
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Singapore
  • Sydney
  • Legal Advice Centres
  • Bright Network
  • City Parents
  • Rare Recruitment