The firm is organised into groups which undertake a general spread of work encouraging lawyers to work on an extensive range of financial and commercial matters as well as developing an expertise in specialist areas. Much of the work spans the globe, with transactions involving the firm’s overseas offices as well as leading independent law firms in other jurisdictions. The specialist groups, including Tax, Competition, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, complement these main activities.
The firm’s expertise covers the full spectrum of industry sectors to service a diverse range of clients from leading private equity boutiques to investment banks; start-up businesses to governments; retailers to entertainment companies; and diversified industrial conglomerates to premier league football clubs.
Slaughter and May are appointed as legal advisers to the world’s leading companies on high-profile and often landmark transactions. The firm also boasts more clients listed on The London Stock Exchange than any other legal business.
During the two-year training period, trainees gain experience of a broad cross-section of the practice, taking an active part in the work of four or five groups, sharing an office with a partner or experienced associate. Most trainees spend two six-month seats in the Corporate, Commercial and Financing groups. Some trainees opt to spend part of their time in the Competition or Financial Regulation groups. Many also have one seat in the Commercial Real Estate group. All trainees are asked where they would like to spend the remaining time. This is usually divided between one or two specialist groups and, should they wish to do so, six months abroad. The firm’s overseas offices and close working relationships with leading independent law firms in other jurisdictions mean there are many opportunities in major world cities including Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Tokyo.
Slaughter and May offers a rewarding career working on a broad range of high profile and groundbreaking international transactions for leading corporations, financial institutions and governments.
By choosing to start your career with us, you will benefit from:
a distinctive culture - the atmosphere here is supportive, friendly and collegiate. Individuality and independence of thought are encouraged and excellent results are achieved through collective effort
the quality of our clients and work - the calibre of our clients and the transactions they bring us lead to complex and often challenging work for our trainees
the high calibre of our people - the diversity of our lawyers helps to create an open-minded and varied environment where individuals can flourish and realise their ambitions
a breadth of experience - working at Slaughter and May means that you will not be pigeonholed and will develop an awareness of the bigger picture
our global reach - the international nature of our practice means that our trainees have the opportunity to work abroad
The most successful and enduring global businesses have distinctive cultures that set them apart. Slaughter and May is no exception. We pride ourselves on our supportive, friendly and collegiate atmosphere, in which individuality and independence of thought are encouraged. We achieve excellence through collective effort and a willingness to share expertise.
Many of our people have spent their entire careers with us. Most of our partners joined as trainees and all worked as associates here before being elected to our partnership – we have never elected anyone from outside the firm directly into partnership.This loyalty and commitment are inspired by a pride in what we do and who we are, and by a common goal: doing our very best for our clients and maintaining our position as the premier London law firm.
The responsibility that we give our trainees, and our expectation that they be as meticulous and thoughtful as any partner, ingrains a professionalism that they carry with them for the rest of their careers.
At Slaughter and May you will work at the highest level with the brightest legal minds in a non-competitive environment. We will provide you with all the training you need to develop your skills and expertise to their full potential; you will be highly valued as an integral member of our team.
Quality of Clients and Work
Reputation is a precious asset. It is because of our reputation for excellence that we are appointed as legal advisers to the world’s leading companies on high profile and often landmark transactions.
We are the only law firm to have been involved in almost every aspect of the UK financial crisis. Working closely with treasury legal advisers, we have been at the centre of the measures taken by the Government to support the banking sector. This work has included the transfer of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley into public ownership and a recapitalisation facility to make capital available for banks and building societies.
We have clients throughout the world. They range from governments to entrepreneurs, from funds to leading banks, from retailers to entertainment companies and from diversified industrial conglomerates to Premier League football clubs. We have an extensive practice providing a full range of legal services so it follows that our work is tremendously varied.
Our reputation is not built on results alone: we offer our clients an exceptional service. The absence of billing or time recorded targets benefits both our clients and our fee-earners. While our clients appreciate the value we add, our lawyers are able to focus exclusively on the work in hand and are not burdened by an hours-driven culture.
For our trainees the benefits are clear. The calibre of our clients and the transactions they bring us have a direct bearing on the range and quality of the work trainees do every day. Complex and challenging work requires intense focus and commitment, underpinned by a capacity for innovative thought and attention to detail.
High Calibre of People
It is fundamental to our success that we work as teams of individuals where differing personalities are bound together by a commonly held belief in excellence, quality and service. There is no recognisable Slaughter and May type.
We regard common sense, commercial awareness and strong interpersonal skills as essential qualities; integrity and ambition as key. Our trainees possess a genuine underlying interest in the law and a desire always to do their very best for our clients.We aim to employ the brightest minds regardless of what, or where, they may have studied. Many of our lawyers studied law at university, but historians, biologists, linguists, psychologists and many others are also represented. You will find graduates from 65 universities at Slaughter and May.
Background, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religious beliefs and age are all irrelevant to our application process. This diversity does more than enhance our legal thinking and the way we relate to our clients - it is integral and helps create an open-minded and varied environment where individuals can flourish and realise their ambitions.
Breadth of Experience
Working at Slaughter and May means that you will not be pigeonholed and will develop an awareness of the bigger picture. Our lawyers are multi-specialists: they are equipped to advise each client on a wide range of legal issues. This expertise enables them to enjoy a challenging, varied and interesting workload.
As a trainee in one of our multi-specialist Corporate and Commercial and Financing groups, you will work on the full range of transactions on which those groups advise. One month you could be working with a client on the defence of a hostile public takeover and the next month you could be advising the same client on a bond issue.This is in sharp contrast to the experience that you might have at other City firms where, as a trainee in, say, a financing group, you might well work in a very specialised area of finance and not see the bigger picture. A broader base of knowledge will enable you to make a much better and more informed decision about which practice group you should join on qualification.
Our approach to international work is driven by the fundamental principle that complex transactions require first-class independent legal expertise rooted in a deep knowledge of local practice, procedures and culture.
Beyond London, we have offices in Paris, Brussels, Hong Kong and are in the process of opening an office in Beijing. We also have close working relationships with leading independent law firms in the world’s major financial centres - these are our "Best Friends".
Our "Best Friends" have a reputation for excellence and independence that matches our own. We work together on top international deals in integrated teams to provide a tailor-made and seamless service. In the first half of 2009, together with "Best Friends" based in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands, we advised on more European mergers and acquisitions deals than any other law firm.
The international nature of our practice means that our trainees and associates have the opportunity to work abroad, either in our overseas offices or on secondment with our "Best Friends".
Even before starting your training contract you will have plenty of opportunities to meet other trainees, both future and present.
After accepting our offer you will receive a regular flow of invitations to social events and legal presentations (complementing your learning on the GDL or LPC).
Our Trainee Solicitors’ Committee is a group of trainees elected by their peers to organise activities and parties at various venues in London throughout the year. They also arrange welcome drinks for new trainees. Once in your seat there will be many social occasions to attend – both within your group and with the rest of the firm, including our annual dinner dance.
In addition, there are:
numerous clubs and activities ranging from football, netball, sailing and softball to singing
a variety of language courses for those with A-level standard and above
regular lunchtime cultural talks focusing on an extensive range of subjects including art, music, history and science
numerous corporate membership benefits (through our close links with the arts) at London theatres and galleries, such as free or discounted tickets
You may work long hours from time to time. To make life a little easier, we have an excellent restaurant and coffee bar on-site and a concierge service. We also have a prayer and contemplation room and support groups, including Parents@SlaughterandMay. For cyclists, private lockers and shower rooms are available. Just around the corner is a Virgin Active Health Club - membership of which the firm heavily subsidises - with a pool, extensive gym equipment and a variety of classes.
Our volunteering work and charitable giving are integral to the way we interact with the wider community. You may take an active role but there is no pressure to do so.There are plenty of legal and non-legal volunteering opportunities, often involving local schools. As a volunteer, you may participate in a literacy scheme of regular reading sessions with two local primary schools or get involved in sport and music-based projects. For those who prefer to work with secondary school students, there is also a selection of mentoring and other opportunities.
We support a variety of good causes through our charitable trust, with an increasing interest in developing long-term relationships with community partners. We run a payroll giving scheme that allows you to donate to a charity in a tax-efficient way and we support individual fundraising efforts through our "Funds for Fundraisers" scheme - as a future trainee you can take part in the scheme before you join
The qualities we look for in our trainees include common sense, a sharp intellect, independent thought, judgement and a good sense of humour.
In order to thrive here, you will also need enthusiasm, commitment, a willingness to accept responsibility and the ability to get on well with others.
Our work is intellectually demanding so the minimum standard we look for in our applicants is three very strong A-levels (or equivalent) and either a good 2:1 or a 1st in their first degree.
Proficiency in a foreign language is a bonus but not a requirement.
Our trainees come from a range of universities: it is the quality of the candidate, not their university, which is important to us. A law degree is not essential - approximately half of our trainees have not studied law at university.
All future trainees must attend the LPC at BPP Law School in London. Those who have not studied law will also be required to study the GDL at BPP but you can do so at any of its branches.
Slaughter and May
One Bunhill Row