Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is one of the most prestigious law firms in the world.  We advise on high-profile and often landmark international transactions. Our excellent and varied client list ranges from governments to entrepreneurs, from retailers to entertainment companies and from conglomerates to Premier League football clubs. We are a full service law firm to corporate clients and have leading practitioners across a wide range of practice areas including Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate and Commercial, Financing, Tax, Competition, Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Pensions and Employment, Financial Regulation, Information Technology and Intellectual Property.

A world of difference

There are clear differences between us and other global law firms.

At Slaughter and May we train each of our lawyers to be a multi-specialist equipped to advise on a broad range of legal matters, which at other firms would be handled by a number of different lawyers.  We think that by broadening your training and experience, you will be a better lawyer.  We have built a reputation for delivering innovative solutions to difficult problems.  This reputation has been earned because each of our lawyers advises on broad legal areas, combining experience gained on one type of transaction to solve problems in another.  In this way, our lawyers have a varied and interesting workload and ample opportunities to develop close relationships with clients.

Much of our work has an international element and we have offices in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Beijing.  In other jurisdictions we prefer to remain agile by leading unified, hand-picked teams of lawyers from market-leading law firms. All the firms we work with across the world have a reputation for excellence and independence that mirrors our own.

At Slaughter and May we also take a different approach to time; there are no set billing or time targets. Some ideas take a matter of seconds but can save companies millions of pounds a year. The type of work we do is not always measurable in minutes.  In this way, our lawyers are free to work collaboratively, sharing expertise and knowledge, so that they can concentrate on what matters most – the quality of the work and client service.

The Training Contract

During the two-year training contract, trainees turn their hand to a broad range of work, taking an active role in four, five or six legal groups while sharing an office with a partner or experienced associate. All trainees spend at least two six-month seats in our market leading corporate, commercial and financing groups.  Subject to gaining some contentious experience, they choose how to spend the remaining time.

Our overseas offices and close working relationships with market-leading law firms in other jurisdictions mean there are opportunities for trainees to apply for a secondment in their second year. Recent secondments have included Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo and Toronto.

We have approximately 80 vacancies for trainee solicitors each year. Starting salaries begin at £44,000 for the first year of training, and rise to £49,000 in the second year. We look for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds with a high 2:1 at undergraduate level from any university, and take an equal mix of law and non-law graduates.

Work Experience Opportunities

We offer Open days, Workshops and Work experience schemes to enable you to gain an insight into life as a City lawyer.  Full details of these opportunities can be found on our website.


Benefits include

  • 30 days of annual leave with the option to apply annually for up to five days’ unpaid leave (NB can just quote the 30 days)
  • up to £2,000 interest-free loan on joining
  • interest-free season ticket loan
  • money purchase pension scheme
  • life assurance
  • subsidised health club membership
  • private medical insurance (personal and family)
  • health screenings
  • personal accident cover
  • confidential Employee Assistance Programme
  • qualification leave
  • qualification leave interest-free loan
  • subsidised restaurant and coffee bar
  • enhanced family leave pay
  • access to a range of special offers and shopping discounts
  • concierge service
  • a variety of entertainment benefits at London theatres and galleries through our corporate memberships
  • bike racks, lockers and shower rooms
  • cycle to Work scheme
  • childcare voucher scheme
  • payroll giving for tax-free donations to charity
  • matched funding for individual fundraisers
  • seven diversity support networks
  • annual dinner dance and quarterly drinks
  • all associates may apply to work from home once a week
  • associates reaching 3 YPQE may apply for a four-week paid sabbatical

What do we look for?

Our trainees come from a range of universities – it is the quality of the candidate, not the university, that is important to us.  We like people with:

  • a sharp intellect
  • independent thought and curiosity
  • commercial awareness
  • energy, spark and commitment
  • the ability to relate to others
  • common sense and judgement
  • integrity
  • a range of interests outside of the law
  • an interesting take on things
  • resolve and the ability to show grit under pressure
  • a good sense of humour
  • a willingness to take on responsibility


Applications can be made via our online system, which can be accessed from our website. Candidates are required to complete a short application form, to which they must attach a covering letter and CV including a full breakdown of their examination results.

We encourage candidates to submit their application as early as possible during an application window. Interviews will be scheduled and training contract offers will be made on a rolling basis. We are unable to guarantee the availability of places as we progress with these interviews.


Graduate opportunities

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Internships / placements

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Graduate profiles

    • Helen Emanuel – Trainee Solicitor

      9.15am: I start my morning by picking up some breakfast and a coffee from the staff restaurant and I head up to my desk in the competition department. I check my emails and write a list... View profile

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