U.K. TRAINEE SOLICITORS
S&C’s award-winning trainee solicitor programme offers recruits the opportunity to do some of the most interesting and exciting work available, meet exceptional people and develop their legal and personal skills in a supportive environment. The trainee solicitor programme is overseen by S&C London partners Ben Perry and Craig Jones and is part of the Firm’s integrated, global approach to recruiting, associate development and client service. In this regard, S&C differs from many of its competitors in that it is truly one law firm and one partnership worldwide, fostering a strong culture of teamwork and collaboration between offices. By recruiting the very best law and non-law students and graduates to train as solicitors with a view to continuing their careers with the Firm, S&C is showing its long-term commitment to the U.K. and continuing the organic growth of its London office and its English and EU law practices.
Our London office invites you to apply for a training contract starting in 2025. Applications open 1 May through 14 July 2023.
To apply for a training contract starting in 2025, please e-mail a copy of your CV (including a full classification and percentage breakdown of all academic results) and a cover letter to [email protected].
Who We Are
S&C is a global law firm providing comprehensive and integrated legal services worldwide. The professional quality of S&C’s lawyers and work is illustrated by both our repeated selection by some of the world’s most prestigious clients for their most critical and complex legal matters and by our regular top rankings in independent surveys.
With more than 850 lawyers across an international network of 13 offices on four continents, S&C has maintained an international reach by developing offices to serve client needs and staffing them primarily with lawyers who have been with S&C for their entire careers.
The London office, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022, is S&C’s largest office except for its New York City headquarters. There are approximately 85 lawyers and trainees working in the office across a number of practice areas, including M&A and private equity, capital markets, finance and restructuring, project development and finance, competition law and tax. S&C London is unique in the scale, complexity and significance of the work carried out in an office of its size.
The continued success of S&C has been based on the quality of lawyers and the broad, deep and “generalist” training that we offer. We don’t pigeonhole our lawyers and this generalist approach that we have adopted sets us apart from other firms and means that our lawyers are able to offer a broader perspective on cutting edge legal issues than more narrowly trained practitioners. We also believe this approach fosters creativity and innovation, which are attributes we value in our lawyers at all levels of seniority.
From an early stage, you will be encouraged to take real responsibility. You will draft written advice; participate in meetings and conference calls; deal with clients and other lawyers on a regular basis; review and draft contracts, notices, letters and other documents; review and draft public disclosure documents; co-ordinate the signing and closing of transactions; carry out research into specific questions of law; or practice and participate in discussions on tactics and strategy.
As a trainee at S&C, you will experience the full range of matters and practice areas the Firm advises on such as preparing antitrust filings as part of a large merger, working on a large public takeover transaction or drafting completion precedent documents in an acquisition financing. In our view, this can be challenging as you have to cover more ground but it provides our trainees with the opportunity to develop at a unparalleled rate in comparison with their peers at other firms.
What we do
S&C provides the highest-quality legal advice and representation to clients around the world.
Major global corporates, financial institutions and investment funds come to S&C to handle their most complex and challenging international work. Throughout our history, S&C has always led from the front on truly transformational matters. In particular, we represented European bankers in financing the development of America’s railroads and industrial infrastructure; were instrumental in paving the way toward the construction of the Panama Canal; advised governments, companies and investment banks on many of the major privatisations in the U.K. and Europe; stood at the forefront of the major transactions and developments during, and since, the global financial crisis of 2008; guided our clients through the unprecedented events of the pandemic; and more recently the economic fallout caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
S&C position in the market means that the Firm gives cutting edge advice on the issues of the future. The Firm is keenly engaged on environmental and social governance (ESG) matters including, green and sustainability-linked financings and on transactions involving clean technology and renewable energy.
The group in London includes lawyers who cover a wide range of practice areas:
Mergers and Acquisitions - we help clients structure, negotiate, complete and implement all types of public and private M&A transactions across all industry sectors;
Private Equity - we advise the world’s leading privately managed funds on all aspects of their investments;
Capital Markets - we work with issuers, selling shareholders and underwriters on some of the largest, most intricate and most significant securities transactions;
Finance and Restructuring - we work with borrowers and lenders on all types of financing arrangements and with banks, credit funds and other financial investors, companies and their directors, and other professionals to help companies in financial distress; and
Project Development and Finance - we advise project sponsors, lenders and governments on the development, construction, operation and financing of the world’s most important infrastructure and natural resources projects.
Our award-winning Competition Group undertakes a varied spectrum of work. Our lawyers are regularly involved in merger control work, where they work on competition law and foreign direct investment (FDI) aspects of M&A transactions and help obtain competition law and FDI approvals.
The group also represents companies under investigation by the European Commission or relevant national authorities for alleged breach of competition law, and provides advice to clients on general competition law issues and on state aid issues.
The U.K. Tax Group deals with a variety of contentious and non-contentious U.K. and cross-border tax work, involving not just the London office but also other S&C offices worldwide. The lawyers in the tax group regularly offer advice on tax aspects of M&A, private equity, capital markets and other financing transactions, structuring investment funds, as well as tax aspects of employee incentives.
Our trainees have recently been involved in advising on some of the most complex and significant transactions in the market including those listed below:
- Acacia Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company, on its acquisition by Eagle Pharmaceuticals
- e&, a multinational telecommunications company, in its acquisition of a stake in Vodafone
- The lenders to Cineworld Group, one of the world’s largest cinema chains, during its restructuring
- Coca-Cola HBC, a growth-focused consumer packaged goods business and strategic partner of The Coca-Cola Company, on its acquisition of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt
- Draft Kings, a sports betting company, on its potential acquisition of Entain, which was the largest proposed M&A transaction in the UK announced during 2021
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on its merger with Peugeot to create Stellantis
- Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division on the sale of Navico, a marine electronics company, and the acquisition of Amedes, a German laboratory group
- Nippon Steel, a Japanese industrial group, in the acquisition of two Thai steel companies
- Philips, a Dutch conglomerate, in its European and U.S. tender offers and debt offerings
- Watlow Electric, a global industrial technology company, in its acquisition and carve out of Eurotherm from Schneider Electric
- West Street Infrastructure Partners on its acquisitions of Adapteo, a leading flexible real estate provider in Northern Europe, Calisen, an owner and manager of essential energy infrastructure assets in the UK, as well as on further capital raisings by CityFibre, a UK digital infrastructure provider
- A group of landlords in the restructuring of Virgin Active
There are many approaches to the practice of law and a large number of firms who offer training contracts. Distinguishing between these firms from the outside may at first appear to be a daunting task. During the process when you are considering a training contract and trying to decide where you are most likely to thrive, our view is that it is important to understand the culture of a firm as well as what the firm does.
At S&C, we pride ourselves on a supportive and inclusive culture. Even the brightest and most ambitious students and graduates can find the move from academic study to legal practice daunting. The smaller size of our trainee intake in London enhances this supportive culture and trainees are easily able to form strong relationships with partners, associates and staff throughout the office and across the Firm.
To make this transition as easy as possible, we offer regular contact with partners and associates who guide and mentor you. Our partners and associates embrace an “open door” policy and we offer mentoring, coaching and training, both on the job and more broadly. In parallel with this, trainees are encouraged to take ownership over their career trajectories early on. We think that’s critical to the transition. The broad range of our practice means that all of us, even the most senior lawyers, encounter new issues and challenges on a daily basis, and a collegial and supportive approach is key to our continued success.
You will have the opportunity to work with a variety of lawyers, many with international backgrounds, who approach problems in different ways. This rich experience exposes you to different approaches and working styles, which you can adopt as your own in a way that best suits you, providing you with the tools and confidence to advance your career.
Though we expect our lawyers and trainees to operate at their fullest capacity, life at S&C is not all hard work. Lawyers and trainees enjoy regular social, sporting and cultural events, and they are encouraged to pursue outside interests and passions. We have an excellent subsidised restaurant on site, and subsidised memberships in a private health club and gym in our building are available.
S&C has been honoured with several awards for its Trainee Solicitor Programme.