The LawCareers.Net Training & Recruitment Awards recognise excellence at all levels.
Our 17 winners and their fellow nominees come from every category of law firm, from the City to the high street.

Best Recruiter – Large City Firm


Hogan Lovells

Macfarlanes LLP

Rigour and fairness are the cornerstones of trainee recruitment at Macfarlanes, a firm that goes toe to toe with larger City competitors on clients and work quality, but does things differently when it comes growing its business. The firm has never merged, preferring to grow organically, which is why it invests so much in hiring and training the next generation. Equal weighting of vacation scheme and direct training contract applicants combines with a CV-blind policy and a careful scoring system to ensure that every candidate is measured on exactly the same criteria. This is vital when you’re recruiting your partners of the future – and makes Macfarlanes a worthy winner of this year’s Best Recruiter – Large City Firm award.

Reed Smith

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Slaughter and May

Taylor Wessing

Best Recruiter – Medium City Firm

Boodle Hatfield LLP

The process was very open and friendly and the message was clear about what the firm was looking for. They really do look for a good fit, rather than just churning through candidates.

Farrer & Co LLP

Goodman Derrick LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP


Stephenson Harwood LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP

Best Recruiter – Medium Regional Firm

Birkett Long LLP

Capital Law

Gordons LLP

Michelmores LLP

Muckle LLP

The recruitment process was transparent and open. It gave me a good sense of the firm before being offered a training contract.

Mundays LLP

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards)

Best Recruiter – National/Large Regional Firm

Addleshaw Goddard


Burges Salmon LLP


Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP


Openness and transparency are at the heart of Shoosmiths’ award-winning approach to recruitment, so that the whole process is designed for candidates’ benefit. The programme is geared to enable candidates to do well, not trip them up, and the willingness of people at the firm to engage extensively with students means that even those who do not go on to train at Shoosmiths tend to receive careers advice that will benefit them in the long term. See for yourself why Shoosmiths has been named this year’s Best Recruiter – National/Large Regional Firm and discover the many opportunities on offer to engage here.

Womble Bond Dickinson

Best Recruiter – Small Firm

Acuity Legal

Curzon Green Solicitors

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors LLP

The process was incredibly fair and thorough. The partners interviewing were extremely welcoming and enthusiastic. The process could not be faulted and it gave a very good impression of the firm.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Best Recruiter – US Firm in the City

Cooley (UK) LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher UK LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell’s mantelpiece is already groaning with awards in recognition of its stellar trainee recruitment programme which, remarkably, is still under 10 years old. S&C eschews the large trainee intakes at other City firms in favour of small cohorts, meaning that the level of investment in every trainee is first rate and that extensive exposure to high quality international work is guaranteed. That approach is mirrored in a best-in-class vacation scheme and the wider recruitment process – read on to learn more about this year’s Best Recruiter – US Firm in the City.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

White & Case LLP

Best Trainer – Large City Firm

Ashurst LLP

Baker McKenzie

Bird & Bird

Trainees are given a huge amount of responsibility at an early stage. There are opportunities for personal development and knowledge sharing, and you are assigned a trainee buddy to offer support and guidance.

Charles Russell Speechlys


Norton Rose Fulbright

Travers Smith LLP

Best Trainer – Medium City Firm:

Bristows LLP

A leading name in the world of intellectual property and patents, Bristows has a long-established reputation for attracting STEM graduates to its award-winning training programme. Trainees benefit from a level of early responsibility that larger firms cannot match, while the small intake of 10 new joiners a year ensures that every trainee’s development is individually tailored. Added flexibility is provided by a mix of three and six-month seats and a variety of secondment opportunities.

Collyer Bristow LLP

Devonshires Solicitors

Forsters LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Withers LLP

Best Trainer – Medium Regional Firm

Clarion Solicitors

Sills & Betteridge LLP

Steele Raymond LLP

Taylor Walton LLP


I received excellent client contact throughout my training contract. The supervision has been fantastic – there is a good balance between assisted work and independent exercises.

Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP

Trethowans LLP

Best Trainer – National/Large Regional Firm


Gateley PLC

Gowling WLG (UK) LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP

Unlike some firms, Osborne Clarke does not recruit for the short and medium-term needs of the business, but is committed to trainees’ long-term career progression with the firm, whatever path they choose. Every trainee in every diverse annual intake benefits from bespoke support that begins even before the training contract officially starts. And once a trainee is through the doors, the firm ensures they experience a wide variety of work areas, which helps to develop a well-rounded skillset ahead of qualifying.

Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP

Best Trainer – Small Firm

Atherton Godfrey LLP

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP

Kesar & Co Solicitors

PDT Solicitors

Thackray Williams LLP

The supervision and assistance has been excellent.  The access to senior members of the firm is as good as I could have envisaged, and all members of the firm are pleasant to deal with and helpful.

Best Trainer – US Firm in the City

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Covington & Burling LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Great supervision and training. I felt valued and supported as a trainee and was able to undertake a broad spectrum of work.

Latham & Watkins

Milbank LLP

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP

Best Training Principal – Large trainee intake

Accutrainee – Susan Cooper

Addleshaw Goddard – Garry Elliott

Hill Dickinson LLP – Richard Capper

I cannot praise this person enough. They are personable, supportive and encouraging. They really listen and take into account your own wishes, strengths and qualities as a trainee, and have a vision for you at the firm that tends to wholly match your own.

Hugh James – Gwen Morgan-Evans

Macfarlanes LLP – Sean Lavin

Weightmans LLP – Sarah Dowd

Best Training Principal – Small trainee intake

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP – Ian Masser

Howard Kennedy – Vernon Dennis

Marriott Harrison LLP – David Strong

Milbank LLP – Tom Canning

Our training principal is extremely approachable and discreet, human and understanding. They are very clearly enthusiastic about the training programme and receptive to new ideas from the trainees on how the programme is run.

Thrings – Fiona Kellow

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP – Sue Greaves

Best Work Placement Scheme – City Firm

Farrer & Co LLP

There are no “identikit” people at Farrer & Co, a firm that knows its strengths lie in the varied skills, talents and experiences of its lawyers. With the firm’s edge provided by its people, a high-quality recruitment process is a must – the cornerstone of which is Farrers’ first-rate vacation scheme, which deservedly takes this year’s award for Best Work Placement Scheme – City Firm for providing candidates with an experience of real trainee life across the variety of practice areas in which it boasts unique expertise.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP


Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Withers LLP

Best Work Placement Scheme – Regional Firm

Burges Salmon LLP


Michelmores LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP

What you see during a vacation scheme always reveals much about what a firm is really like, so it’s no surprise that Mills & Reeve’s work experience programme is so well regarded – the firm has been named in The Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work For for 16 years running. Now it has added the award for Best Work Placement Scheme – Regional Firm to its heaving trophy cabinet thanks to a vacation scheme that is modelled as a “mini-training contract”, enabling candidates to experience a greater variety of practice areas than most other schemes offer.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards)

Ward Hadaway

Commendation for Diversity

Dechert LLP

Dechert immediately stood out among the submissions for its commitment to both fostering a diverse and inclusive culture at the firm, and its passion for driving change within the profession across a whole range of areas. Their unrivalled success in partnering with Aspiring Solicitors for two years coupled with their recent adoption of Rare’s contextual recruitment system has resulted in extremely impressive statistics. With the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, various initiatives, and a focus on mental health training, Dechert showed us that they are serious about improving diversity and supporting their employees.

Latest Tweets

Hannah spent her vacation scheme at @MillsandReeve in the real estate, commercial disputes, family and commercial departments. Find out what she thought of the scheme here.

The coronavirus: are cruise operators being treated fairly in the media? By @HillDickinson via @lexology

The latest two @LawCareersNetUK #podcasts cover the #SQE with the bonus episode on BARBRI's coming SQE Prep! Check it out here: #legaleducation #solicitors #law #legalcareers Retweeted by LawCareers.Net

Have you watched our Meet the Lawyer video with Jaime from @talk2mayerbrown? It's a fantastic insight into the firm and what it's like to work there!