Watson Farley & Williams Trainee Recruitment

Training Contracts and Vacation Schemes

About Us

Watson Farley & Williams LLP was founded in 1982 in the City of London.  We have since grown rapidly to over 150 partners and a total staff of over 800.  The firm has offices in London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Athens, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Dubai.

We are a distinctive law firm with a leading market position in international finance and investment, maritime and energy.  In our chosen sectors we compete successfully with some of the best law firms in the world.  Building on our origins in ship finance, demand for our maritime work remains as strong as ever.  At the same time we have seized opportunities to excel in related areas where our finance expertise has most relevance, such as energy, natural resources, transport, real estate and technology. 

Open Days

Our open days offer the opportunity to experience the firm first hand.  We understand that it is important for candidates to have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with us in order to decide whether you would like to apply.

The open day provides an insight into some of our core practice areas and a chance to meet some of our trainees and associates, as well as gaining some valuable tips about the recruitment process.

We welcome applications from undergraduate students, right from their first year, and all other candidates preparing to make a vacation scheme or training contract application in the current recruitment season.

More details and the online application form can be found on our website (see below).

Vacation Schemes

Our vacation scheme is the best way to familiarise yourself with WFW.  The two-week placements are in our London office, either near Easter or during the summer.  To appreciate first-hand the kind of work trainees undertake day to day, you will work with solicitors in one of our practice groups for the whole period, where possible.  To complement this focus on one area, you will also participate in a variety of training and social events designed to give you a general overview of the firm.

Training Contracts

At WFW we deal with training and ongoing development in an individual way.  During each seat we discuss with you plans for the next one to ensure you gain valuable insight from the six seat programme, including one seat guaranteed in an overseas office (currently Paris, Singapore, Athens, Bangkok or Hamburg).

Your training contract will be hands-on, with as much experience of clients and real, high-profile work as possible.  You’ll also benefit from plenty of exposure to senior lawyers, many acknowledged leaders in their field.

The firm has a reputation for challenging work.  Yours will be no exception as we believe that only total immersion can provide you with the experience you require.  We give you early responsibility but we also offer plenty of support and feedback.

Applying to Us

Each year we recruit 18 trainees.  Although there is no typical WFW trainee, there are certain qualifications, skills and traits for which we look.  We ask for at least ABB from A-level results, or their equivalent if you have taken other qualifications, and a 2.1 or above (predicted, if you have not yet completed your degree), or equivalent.  You will also need to achieve a commendation or higher in the GDL (where required).  As well as academic achievement, we also particularly value applicants with clear initiative, drive and commercial awareness.