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Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

5 vacancies
5 trainees
34 partners
172 staff
Willkie is an international law firm of approximately 1000+ lawyers in 13 offices located in the United States and Europe.

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More info

Who should apply

We recruit approximately five future trainee solicitors from our spring and summer vacation schemes. We are looking for those who can start their training contract in September 2025. Our application process opens on 1 September 2022 and closes on 20 December 2022.  

We are looking for people who have a genuine interest in Willkie and our clients. Our people work in small, nimble teams on high quality matters, so it is important that you are motivated, collaborative and able to pick things up quickly as you will receive a great breadth of work from the outset. Willkie London has grown by 117% the past five years, and over 44% from 2020 alone. With this in mind, we are looking for self-starters who want to contribute to a dynamic, growing workplace.

We welcome applicants from all universities and degree disciplines. We are looking for consistently strong academic achievement, with a 2.1 at undergraduate level.

Application process

Our application process has four stages: online application form, video interview, virtual written analytical exercise and partner interview. 

The deadline for submitting the online application form is 20 December 2022. Successful applications will be invited to a video interview and, if successful at this stage, will be invited to complete a written exercise, which is completed and marked anonymously to ensure fairness. Our final stage of recruitment is a CV-blind interview with partners.  At all stages, applicants will be informed of their outcome by email, in a timely manner

Willkie is proud to use Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System. Partnering with Rare means social mobility measures and educational data are embedded into our recruitment process. This means we will better understand your academic achievements.


Applications to

Ms Gemma Baker

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

  • Partner interview
  • Video interview
  • Written exercise

Willkie is an international law firm of approximately 1000 lawyers spread over thirteen offices in six countries. We represent companies across a wide spectrum of business areas and industries.  The firm comprises lawyers who are individually, and as a group, recognised as some of the world’s foremost subject-matter advisors in their respective areas of practice. We are committed to continuing our 130-year history of excellence and service to our clients.

Our London office provides English and U.S. legal advice to UK, US and international market-leading public and private companies, investors and financial services institutions. Our London office has a number of highly successful practices whose lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their fields by publications including Chambers and Partners UK, Legal 500 UK and IFLR1000. Our London team is fully integrated and works closely with our offices in the US and Continental Europe on many complex international matters and transactions.

Our principal areas of work in London are: asset management; business reorganization & restructuring; capital markets; competition & antitrust; competition litigation; compliance, investigations & enforcement; corporate insurance; finance; international arbitration; litigation; mergers & acquisitions; private equity and tax.

Work placements/vacation schemes

We are proud of our vacation scheme, which fully integrates candidates into working life in the London office. In every year we have recruited, 100% of those offered a training contract have accepted our offer.

We have up to 15 places (in total) on our paid spring and summer schemes. During your two weeks with us, you will share an office with a partner and an associate. You will undertake real, meaningful work and we will provide training that will enable you to showcase your potential. We hope that by the end of the two weeks, you will have met most of our people at our vacation scheme-specific workshops, seminars and social events.

You will be supported throughout your time with us, both by a partner mentor, your supervisors, a trainee buddy and our graduate recruitment team. You will be paid £500 per week.

Training programme

Our training contract provides an environment where junior lawyers can excel and be challenged, in a supportive environment. You will sit in four different practice areas, with a mix of partners and associates.  We take your training seriously, and you will work alongside our partners and associates in small teams on real matters from day one. Our people work in small, nimble teams on high quality matters, so it is important that you are motivated, collaborative and able to pick things up quickly as you will receive a great breadth of work from the outset. 

We were delighted to be named winner of ‘Best law firm for quality of work’ at The Legal Cheek Awards 2022. We were also finalists for in the following categories: partner  approachability, perks, working from home and law firm of the year.

For those who have accepted a training contract with us, we offer full sponsorship of the GDL and SQE (as appropriate) which covers course fees in full and a £12,500 maintenance grant, pro-rated.

We will ask future trainees onwards to complete the SQE (if they have not already completed the LPC). We are partnering with The University of Law to deliver market-leading qualifications that we believe will prepare our future trainees for practice. All future trainees will study the LLM Legal Practice, which incorporates preparation for SQE1 and 2 as well as the SQE Plus, an enhanced programmed designed to go beyond the standard SQE syllabus to ensure our trainees can be confident in their ability to hit the ground running.

Future trainees who have not studied law in England and Wales will take the nine-month Postgraduate Diploma in Law, before the LLM Legal Practice, to ensure they have a solid academic foundation in law.

At Willkie, we believe everyone benefits from a diverse and inclusive workplace, and we are committed to maintaining such an environment by recruiting, retaining and promoting people of all backgrounds and cultural experiences.

Willkie is proud to partner with Rare Recruitment on two initiatives: Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System and Vantage. Partnering with Rare means social mobility measures and educational data are embedded into our recruitment process. This means we will better understand your academic achievements. Additionally, interviews are conducted on a CV blind basis.

In 2020, Willkie confirmed its support of the #10000BlackInterns initiative. The new initiative is aimed at helping transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the UK by offering paid internships, alongside mentoring, training and development. We welcomed our first interns in 2022 and look forward to the continued partnership in 2023.  

Willkie London is delighted to work with GROW, a registered charity which works with aspiring lawyers (67% of whom are socially mobile and 51% from an ethic minority background) through one-to-one mentoring. Some 20 per cent of our London partners, associates and trainees have volunteered to mentor one or two GROW candidates.  

In London, we have an active LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, as well as the London Chapter of the Women’s Professional Development Committee (WPDC). The WPDC was established more than a decade ago to offer professional development programmes and guidance to ensure that Willkie provides a rewarding and empowering experience to women at the firm.

Our lawyers and business service staff are also members of Willkie’s firm-wide diversity and inclusion committee, established approximately thirty years ago. In the past 18 months, the diversity and inclusion committee has continued to host its highly successful diversity speaker series, with external speakers such as Nikesh Shukla, Dr Angela Neal-Barnett, Michelle Silverthorn, Dr Russell Jeung, Kylar Broadus and Dr Tyrone Howard, amongst others. Topics have included strategies for handling the impact of racism, trauma, stress, and anxiety; inclusion and anti-racism (including rules of equity, allyship and building an inclusive workplace); the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and violence; how to talk to your children about race and racism; and race and immigration in the UK.

Year one: £55,000

Year two: £60,000

Newly qualified: £145,000

For those who have accepted a training contract with us, we offer full sponsorship of both the SQE and/or GDL/LPC, which covers course fees in full and a maintenance grant.

Our benefits include: 25 days’ annual leave, Cycle to Work scheme, employee assistance programme for employees and their families, employer pension contribution, eye test, health & well-being allowance, income protection, interest-free season ticket loan, life assurance, private dental insurance, private medical insurance and technology programme.

We hold a retreat every two years for all European lawyers, taking placing over several days. Most recently, in 2021, over 200 Willkie lawyers and staff from all our European offices gathered in Sitges, Spain.  

Socially, in London the firm is very active, with monthly informal gatherings, free lunches for all every Thursday, free breakfast on Wednesdays during the winter and ice creams during the summer, a summer and a Christmas party, plus an annual ski trip (“Willski”) (contributory). We also have a very active netball team and running club, both for all abilities and genders. 

On a yearly basis, we take part in fund-raising events with our annual charities (chosen by our people). In 2022, this has included a firm-wide pub quiz, the Tour de Law, the Square Mile Run, the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, a dragon boat race and the Chiltern Walking Challenge.

  • Asset management
  • Business reorganization & restructuring
  • Capital markets
  • Competition & antitrust
  • Competition litigation
  • Compliance
  • investigations & enforcement
  • Corporate insurance
  • Finance
  • International arbitration
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Private equity
  • Tax
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

Citypoint, 1 Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9AW
Phone: 02035804700
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.willkie.com/careers/london/graduate-recruitment
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 20
Minimum qualification: 2.1
Start salary: £55,000
Fees paid for:
  • CPE/GDL
  • LPC
  • SQE
Training contract applications: 768 (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 66.0% male (2021)
  • 34.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 45.0% male (2021)
  • 51.0% female
  • 4.0% N/A
  • Brussels
  • Chicago
  • Frankfurt
  • Houston
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Milan
  • New York
  • Palo Alto
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • Washington
  • A4ID
  • Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
  • #10000BlackInterns
  • GROW Mentoring
  • Rare Recruitment