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Macfarlanes LLP |

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Macfarlanes is a distinctive London-based law firm with a unique combination of services built and shaped around the needs of their clients. Their unrivalled blend of expertise, agility and culture means they have the flexibility to meet the most challenging demands and adapt to a changing world. While many of their practice areas can be found at other firms, the mix cannot.

As a trainee you could be working on major corporate transactions or commercial litigation, and then working for private clients on their most sensitive affairs.

Macfarlanes recruit people to build careers for the long term. Employees know each other personally which means they work together with more cohesion, and less formality. The firm’s culture is thoughtful, challenging and supportive, and is a place where everyone, at whatever level, can thrive.

The Macfarlanes bursary

Macfarlanes is committed to removing financial barriers that can hinder students from accessing the legal profession. The Macfarlanes bursary is a financial support package open to socially-mobile undergraduates attending any UK university.

The Macfarlanes Training Scholarship

The Macfarlanes training scholarship is a unique programme developed within the firm and delivered in partnership with Brunel Law School at Brunel University London.

Main areas of work

Our main practice areas are: commercial, competition, corporate and M&A, derivatives and trading, employment, finance, financial services regulation, investment management, litigation and dispute resolution, pensions, private client, private equity, real estate, restructuring and insolvency and tax.

Who we’re looking for?

At Macfarlanes, we don’t have any preconceptions about who you are or where you’re from. We want people who are academically strong, with determination and drive. However, we aren’t looking for any particular educational background. For us, it’s your potential that really counts.

We’ll want to see that you have resilience, determination and exceptional communication skills. You must be confident when it comes to giving advice and making decisions. Most of all, we are looking for people who will relish the chance to work alongside some of the world’s most successful and ambitious businesses and individuals.

We expect you to have a 2:1 degree or above – that could be in law or in another subject.

Online assessment

Candidates applying to our first year insight scheme, vacation scheme or training programme will be required to complete an online assessment. This assessment will be completed once you have submitted your application form. It should take 45 minutes to an hour to complete and we are looking for your honest answers so we can find out more about you. It is important that you find a quiet space with minimal distractions to complete the assessment.

The assessment has been designed following consultations with individuals across the firm and is therefore tailored to Macfarlanes and the skills that we associate with success. As you complete the assessment you will work through a mix of scenarios across a range of practice areas which are designed to test a candidate’s situational judgement and critical reasoning. This will provide a small insight into life as a trainee and help give you a better sense of whether this is the career for you.

The answers to the online assessment will be considered alongside a candidate’s written application to help us decide whether they will progress to the next step of the recruitment process. Next steps for each of our programmes are outlined below.

Macfarlanes is unlike any other law firm. We hope you use the assessments as a chance to build your understanding of us and what makes us different, just as we see it as a chance to gain an understanding of you.


The UK 300 2021/22

The UK 300 2021/22

The 300 most popular graduate employers in the UK, as voted by students

Shortlisted - The best social mobility strategy award

Shortlisted - The best social mobility strategy award

As voted for by students. Announced at the targetjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2022

The sustainability recruitment alliance

The sustainability recruitment alliance

Committed to sustainability practices in recruitment

Winner - The best social mobility strategy award 2023

Winner - The best social mobility strategy award 2023

As voted for by students. Announced at the targetjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2023

Latest opportunities

Latest opportunities

  • Training programme 2026