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About Penningtons Manches Cooper

Penningtons Manches Cooper is a leading UK and international law firm which provides high quality legal advice to both businesses and individuals. We address the specific objectives of each client through our flair and technical expertise and offer a personal service founded on a strong team ethic.

Today we have UK offices in the City of London, Basingstoke, Birmingham, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford and Reading while our growing overseas network stretches from Asia to America through our presence in Singapore, Piraeus, Paris, Madrid, Sao Paulo and San Francisco. With 141 partners, and over 850 people in total our main areas of practice are dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, real estate, private client and family.

With over nine years of consecutive growth, furthered by a merge with Thomas Cooper in July 2019 the firm is leading the way in terms of growth. This combined with our impressive rankings, sector focus, award winning training and wellbeing programmes makes Penningtons Manches Cooper an exciting firm to join where we are looking for people to help shape the future of the firm.

Vacation Scheme

We offer vacation scheme placements in our Basingstoke, Cambridge. Guildford, London, Oxford and Reading offices. Interns spend time in one of the firm’s practice areas in either Business Services, Private Wealth or Real Estate. You will be involved in ‘real work’, working one-on-one with a trainee in the team to get a realistic view of what life as a trainee is really like at Penningtons Manches Cooper. Activities regularly include, drafting documents, attending client meetings, team meetings, conducting research or sometimes even attending court. The majority of our offices are open plan so getting to know the wider teams will not be an issue. You will be given a senior mentor, and networking with others is strongly encouraged, some session will be put on to facilitate this, but the more you put into the vac scheme the more you will get out of it.

A large proportion of our training contract positions are recruited through our vacation scheme, so if this is your end goal, applying for the vacation scheme is a good route to take. There is an informal interview that takes place as part of the vac scheme, but it is only once you have completed the vac scheme that we ask you to apply for the training contract.

Training Contracts

Trainees apply for and work in one of our office locations, all of which offer a high quality, varied training contract. We know our trainees are happiest and most successful when busy with good quality work. We believe in introducing trainees to challenging cases from the outset. We recognise the value of giving trainees responsibility and allowing direct contact with clients with the knowledge that our experienced solicitors are always on hand to give support.

You will be given a through grounding in the law, spending four, six month seats across the firms three main business divisions. Our award winning training enables trainees to develop into confident lawyers who are able to help us maintain our standard of excellence. In addition to this with a retention rate of 80% we hope our trainees become our partners of the future.

There is lots going on from a social perspective too. Be it through getting involved in one of our diversity and inclusion streams, sports and social committees, charitable foundation initiatives, PennWell activities or just attending the regular training and social activities put on for trainees, you won’t need to look far for something extra to do.

Information Days

Information days are conducted during Easter. They are primarily aimed at those considering a career in law but are not yet eligible for vacation schemes (i.e. first year law students, penultimate year non-law students, career changers etc.). These days are spent; understanding the firm’s areas of practice, speaking with a range of employees (including trainees) on their reasons for choosing the firm, the training experience, developing skills required as a trainee, meeting the graduate recruitment team for advice on future applications and gaining a greater understanding of the firms culture.

We offer around 40-50 places per year and the deadline for applications is 31st January 2020.

What are we looking for?

We seek diverse, high calibre candidates with evidence of academic excellence, varied work experience, drive, confidence, commercial awareness, common sense and team spirit.


  • Vacation Scheme - 31st January 2020, however, recruitment is done on a rolling basis so applying as early as possible is strongly advised.
  • Training Contracts- 31st July 2020, however, recruitment is done on a rolling basis so applying as early as possible is strongly advised.
  • Information Day - 31st January 2020

    • Equal opportunities and diversity

      We love that everyone is different. It’s our differences that makes work and life rich and... View statement
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    The facts

    Organisation's locations: 
    London, Basingtsoke, Cambridge, Reading, Guildford, Oxford
    Employer size: 
    501 to 1000 employees
    Number of graduate vacancies per year overall: