London Trainee Solicitor Programme

Why Choose Sidley?
Sidley’s London office offers students the best of both worlds—the experience of working in one of the largest international law firms along with the relaxed, down-to-earth friendliness of a smaller office. Here you will find high-quality work on par with Magic Circle firms and an energetic, meritocratic and supportive environment. 

There is a world of opportunities for you to get involved and make your mark at Sidley, from trainee right through to partner. We have a reputation for working on innovative, complex transactions, which helps to make life here all the more interesting and challenging.

During Your Training
You will have many opportunities to learn and develop during your training. You will get involved in real work from day one, and will gain international experience not by constantly traveling but by working on multijurisdictional matters and with people from all around the world.

Trainees spend time in at least four of our practice groups, which include: Capital Markets; Corporate and Securities, Competition, Corporate Reorganisation and Bankruptcy, Disputes Resolution; Employment, Financial Services Regulation, Funds, Global Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, and Tax.

In each group, you will sit with a partner or a senior associate to ensure that you receive individual training, which is both effective and based on practical experience. In addition, there is a structured timetable of training on a cross-section of subjects.

We take a flexible approach that is driven by your ability and willingness to contribute and develop. As a result, you can get as much as you like out of a particular seat, depending on how much you invest in it.

Salaries and Benefits
Our trainee solicitors currently receive an annual salary of £45,700 in their first year and £49,900 in their second. Our newly qualified associate salary is £120,000.

As a trainee, you will also enjoy an exceptional range of benefits, including:

  • 25 days holiday per year 
  • Non-contributory pension scheme 
  • Private medical insurance
  • Life assurance
  • Income protection insurance
  • Free membership to in-house gym
  • Season ticket loan
  • Subsidised restaurant
  • Free use of private clinics for GP appointments
  • Employee assistance programme
  • GDL/LPC and Financial Assistance
    We offer financial assistance to our future trainee solicitors for the GDL (if applicable) and the fast-track LPC, and expect both courses to be studied at BPP Law School. We pay the course fees and provide an annual maintenance grant, which currently is £7,000.

    Continuing Your Career with Us
    When you join us, we’d like it to be for the long term. We have an excellent track record of retaining trainees on qualification. Ideally, you will stay at Sidley once you’ve qualified and continue developing with us all the way to partnership. 

    How to apply
    Each year we take on around 12 recruits. We’re looking for people who are bright, with outstanding academic qualifications. You’ll need to have a minimum of three A-levels (at least three A grades), and to have (or be expected to achieve) at least a 2.1 degree or equivalent (not necessarily in law).

    Beyond pure academic ability, we’re looking for people who are genuinely intrigued by the commercial world. People who are sociable, who can work well with others and get on well with clients. People who have demonstrated self-discipline, the ability to persevere and use their initiative. If you can focus, analyse things and ask the right questions, you’ll be in a strong position.

    Applications for the 2020 intake will open on 1 February 2018 and will close on the 20 July 2018. Please complete an application form here.

    If you have any questions, please email

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