London

Trainees

About London

We focus on developing a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and the sectors in which they operate. We provide targeted legal advice quickly and efficiently to meet our clients' business and personal needs.

Our London office boasts some of the City's leading lawyers. The challenging and exciting nature of our work enables us to attract some of the brightest talent in the legal profession, across a range of specialist areas.

Our clients benefit from this great strength in depth because we can deploy the right people with the right level of expertise at the right time.

"I was attracted to Stephenson Harwood because of the high calibre of work that the firm is involved in and by the small intake of trainees which means you are afforded a higher level of responsibility from day one."

Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

Major practices

Commercial litigation

Our commercial litigation team has a long track record of advising clients on their most challenging disputes and we’ve acted on many of the largest, bet-the-company cases. Clients span every major industry and sector, ranging from multinational corporations, financial institutions, large and medium sized companies, professionals and trustees, to governments, charities, and high net worth individuals and their corporate interests. We represent clients in High Court litigation, international and domestic arbitration, manage proceedings in other jurisdictions, and co-ordinate proceedings across multiple jurisdictions.

Corporate

Our award-winning corporate team provide a range of expertise, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, investment funds, equity capital markets, corporate governance, private equity and venture capital. Comprising dedicated and pragmatic individuals, our corporate team has an international client base across a variety of sectors, with a particular focus on life sciences, corporate real estate, financial and professional services, insurance, healthcare, transport, oil and gas and technology.

Employment, pensions and private wealth

Our multidisciplinary employment, pensions and private wealth team advises on both litigation and advisory matters. We work closely with our specialist experts and our international offices to provide a breadth and depth of expertise in all areas of employment, pensions and private wealth. Our employment team handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious, transactional and advisory employment work, and is a market leader in restrictive covenants and employee competition. Our pensions group advises on a variety of matters – ranging from advice on day-to-day legal issues to documentation, corporate transactions, investment, member disputes and litigation. Our private wealth team is renowned for giving no-nonsense practical advice on complex tax, contentious and non-contentious private wealth issues in an agile and responsive way. We act for ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices internationally, predominantly for entrepreneurial wealth generators. We’re best known for advising on some of the most complicated, sought after work in the market, with a focus on international, cross-border work.

Finance

Our award winning finance team is highly regarded for its excellence, broad experience and versatility. We work on demanding and innovative deals globally acting for many leading UK and international banks and financiers, investment companies, corporates, lessors, funds and other stakeholders on challenging transactions, which often involve novel instruments or structures. Our team’s expertise covers a broad range of assets including ship and offshore assets, aircraft, rolling stock, machinery and equipment, infrastructure projects, oil and gas projects, real estate and renewables. Our team is particularly known for its work advising on real estate finance, but also boasts market leading practices specialising in leveraged and acquisition finance, trade finance, Islamic finance, leasing and restructuring.

Marine and international trade

Our international practice is serviced by specialist lawyers based in key shipping and trade hubs worldwide. We’re well-positioned to advise on any shipping or trade-related concern, from the most complex marine incident or financing structure to the more straightforward sale and purchase dispute or cargo claim. We’ve acted on some of the most high-profile and important cases in the maritime industry for some of the world’s largest ship owners, shipyards, ship finance banks, marine insurers, P&I clubs, offshore services companies and commodity traders.

Real estate and projects

This combined team advise across the spectrum of infrastructure and real estate project development and financing, providing full lifecycle support. This includes investment acquisitions and disposals, financings development projects, sale and leasebacks as well as ongoing property and asset management matters. Our real estate and projects team is also experienced in securing planning permissions and advising on environmental issues. Clients include the spectrum of public and private sector participants, including major institutional investors and financiers, developers, fund managers, hotel groups, public sector bodies and corporates operating in the space.

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Amir Mahdavi, trainee solicitor

Law, Queen Mary University

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Paulina Corbetis, trainee solicitor

Law, Cambridge University

VIDEO

Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

International Development and European Politics, Leeds University

VIDEO

Geon Sik Kang, trainee solicitor

Law, London School of Economics

Working to create a better world

We know we have a responsibility to use our combined experience and global reach to have a positive impact within our communities. This includes everything from our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment to offering our expertise pro bono, being aware of our environmental impact to giving back through fundraising and charity work.

Belonging, inclusion and diversity

At Stephenson Harwood, we want all our people to feel they can be themselves and thrive at work.

We want you to do your best work in a team that values who you are and the unique perspectives and contributions that you bring. That’s how we unlock our entrepreneurial spirit.

Our strategy on belonging, inclusion and diversity focuses on every element of culture, leadership and talent management, and recruitment, which is why we work with a range of organisations including Stonewall, The Business Disability Forum, Aspiring Solicitors, Rare Recruitment, City Parents and many more.

Our employee networks are for, and run by, our people. They create a sense of belonging by celebrating diversity, connecting people across the business, and working with the community. Whatever your role, you can contribute to fostering our inclusive culture by joining our employee networks: Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), disability and neurodiversity, gender equality, mental health and wellbeing, SHout (LGBT+) and social mobility.

Starting early

Our commitment to diversity starts with young people, often long before they would come to work for us. We want to widen access to the legal profession, ensuring that young people who don’t have the resources, or personal connections in the legal sector, have access to our office and our people. 

We partner with Whizz Kidz to provide work experience to young wheelchair users. 

We’re also founding members of the Aspiring Solicitors Foundation, which focuses on removing financial hardship for students so they can pursue a career in law. 

Through our longstanding partnership with Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, we’ve also developed an online careers toolkit for those interested in a career in law across the UK. 

Our new scholarship programme offers £15,000 per year to cover the costs of university fees and contribute to living expenses. Recipients will also have a mentor from the firm, and will be invited to our insight days, work experience, and are guaranteed a place at an assessment centre for a training contract.
 

Using our legal skills pro bono

Our lawyers use their skills to give free legal advice, research or representation for a social, community, humanitarian or environmental cause. Our litigation team in London works with the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau to offer free legal advice to those who cannot afford a solicitor.

In Paris, our lawyers are working with Plastic Odyssey to develop a three-year marine expedition to develop new local solutions to reduce plastic waste in emerging countries. Lawyers in Hong Kong work with Pathfinders who assist vulnerable children born in Hong Kong, and their migrant mothers to work towards safe, legal and sustainable futures.

Focused fundraising

We focus our fundraising activities on a specific cause that our people care about.  Employees nominate and vote for our charity of the year.  Our current charity of the year is Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a leading movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day. 

Our partnership with CALM is an important reminder of the importance of taking care of our own mental health, ensuring that our colleagues know that CALM is there for them too.

To support our charity of the year, we combine fundraising with fun, wellbeing and social activities, often discovering new skills in the process! From bake off challenges, to races, tea tasting, to quizzes and much more.

Doing our bit for the planet

We work hard to minimise our impact on the environment. We achieve this by complying with the standards laid down in ISO 14001 and ISO 15001, the international standard for environmental management systems and energy management systems respectively.

As members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, we collaborative with law firms to improve the environmental sustainability of our operations and activities.

In 2020, our London office achieved carbon neutral status, offsetting the unavoidable carbon emissions which result from our operations. To offset the emissions, we’re contributing to a community reforestation project in East Africa, through a carbon credits programme.

Inside story

Technical training, diverse work and an international client base

by Nicholas Morgan, trainee solicitor

Events

To get a better idea of what life is like at our firm, come along to one of our upcoming events.

1 Oct 2020

Law fair

University of Bristol

6 Oct 2020

Aspiring Solicitors event

Stephenson Harwood's offices

9 Oct 2020

Aspiring Solicitors event

Stephenson Harwood's offices

13 Oct 2020

Law fair

University of Manchester

21 Oct 2019

Law fair

University of Oxford

22 Oct 2020

Law fair

University of Cambridge

2 Nov 2020

Law fair

University College London

11 Nov 2020

Hong Kong London Law Fair

TBC

17 Nov 2020

Law fair

University of Durham

18 Nov 2020

Skill Session

University of Exeter

18 Nov 2020

Law fair

University of Southampton

26 Nov 2020

Virtual Open Day

Virtual

9 Dec 2020

Virtual Open Day

Virtual