If you are a commercially astute lawyer, looking to assume real responsibility and work closely with colleagues to meet our clients’ most challenging needs, through academic acumen, independent thinking and a meticulous approach, we can offer you exceptional opportunities for your future career development.

Why choose Macfarlanes?

We understand the importance of a stimulating and inclusive workplace and offer multiple pathways to rewarding careers. We are committed to developing and investing in our people and offer our associates the following:

  • Quality of clients and work: We advise some of the world’s most successful and ambitious businesses and business leaders across the full range of corporate and commercial matters and also on their private affairs. This brings an enviable range and quality of work for associates to get involved in.
  • Early responsibility: The size of our firm means that our teams are kept lean and agile. This necessitates early responsibility, creating a rich environment for professional development and direct contact with our partners, enabling you to learn from some of the finest legal minds. Associates are also encouraged to participate in business development throughout their careers, building relationships with clients from the start and developing their own business opportunities. 
  • International opportunities: Most of our work has an international dimension, for example over 70% of our corporate work is multi-jurisdictional. Last year around 15% of our lawyers were seconded to clients or law firms around the world including New York, Qatar, Geneva and the Cayman Islands.
  • Excellent training: Our people are the key to our success. We offer a comprehensive education and training programme, which covers both technical and skills topics. We provide a supportive environment with a strong emphasis on mentoring across all levels at the firm.
  • Diverse career paths: There is more than one path to success. We recognise that everyone’s ambitions are different and that not all our associates will aspire to join the partnership. Our senior counsel role, as well as a stepping stone to partnership, is also an alternative to becoming a partner and reflects the senior status of individuals who are experts in their fields and have shown a long-term commitment to the firm.
  • Development framework: Our development framework gives our fee earners a consistent language for discussing career progression and a clear understanding of what high performance looks like for our firm. This ensures that the correct support and training is offered at each stage to help individuals to reach their goals and understand what is expected from them.
  • Remuneration: Macfarlanes has a competitive, market-driven and performance-related reward strategy that operates from 1 April to 31 March.  Fee earners are eligible for three bonuses; a firmwide bonus and two individual bonuses that recognise and reward individual contribution. In addition, salaries are reviewed annually in July.

For more information on our benefits package, see the benefits and rewards page.

From our specially tailored LPC to our comprehensive education programme during the training contract and beyond, we take training incredibly seriously.
Jat Bains Partner, Finance

Macfarlanes provides a supportive and enjoyable working environment. These are a few examples of what we think makes working here special and why many of our people choose to stay for the long-term:

  • Exceptional people: Our associates are of the absolute highest technical ability, many of whom are leaders in their chosen fields. There is no “Macfarlanes” type. Individual personalities and flair are welcomed and encouraged. 
  • Culture: Our culture underpins everything that we do. It is distinctive and an asset prized by us all. At the heart of our culture is the pursuit of excellence through the drive and commitment of first-class associates and the delivery of excellent client service. We value openness, fairness, independence of spirit and we treat everyone at the firm with respect. We believe that a diverse and inclusive environment is vital for conducting business and are actively seeking to enhance this within our firm through a number of initiatives.  
  • Environment: Our office building in the heart of London’s law district gives our fee earners a collaborative environment for the practice of law, including large floorplates which stretch across two integrated buildings, state-of-the-art IT systems and casual spaces for flexible working.
  • CSR: We take our responsibilities to the communities in which we live and work and to the environment around us very seriously. Our associates and staff are encouraged to become involved in this work and support various initiatives throughout the year. See more regarding this on our CSR page.
  • Social life: The atmosphere of the firm is friendly and the social side of life at Macfarlanes plays an important role in forming strong internal relationships and in turn reinforces our distinctive approach. We encourage socialising, both within teams and firm-wide, and to support this we have a varied programme of social, cultural and sporting events which are open to everyone.
  • Wellbeing: Our people are the heart of our firm and we take the responsibility for their wellbeing seriously. We run a number of wellbeing sessions throughout the year covering topics from sleep to nutrition, mindfulness to the use of technology. We have an award-winning in-house virtual doctor service and an Employee Assistance Programme providing support and counselling to anyone who needs it.   

Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.

Sam Brooks

Partner, Investment management group

"I knew before joining that Macfarlanes was very well-regarded in the investment management space. I think the firm provides the opportunity for first-class professional development, has a justified reputation for producing excellent work and innovative legal solutions, and offers exposure to technically interesting issues and high quality clients."

Read Sam's profile

Kirstie Hutchinson

Partner, Finance

"The City is a leading global legal and financial centre, and I wanted the challenge and buzz of working in a sector at the top of its game."

Read Kirstie's profile

What we look for

We are looking for associates with that "something special”, including strong interpersonal skills, an ambitious, commercial approach, drive, motivation and above all a commitment to excellence. We look for outstanding academics including a 2:1 degree or above and a Commendation or Distinction in the LPC (and GDL if applicable), or a Pass in all SQE exams on the first sitting as part of a Training Programme. We consider equivalent qualifications if the applicant has qualified outside the UK.

From our lateral hires, as well as outstanding technical aptitude, we expect associates to have the ability to gain the confidence of their colleagues, partners and clients, the composure to deliver at the highest standard within a team of other highly competent associates and the willingness to take on responsibility at an early stage as client contact is encouraged from the start.

In what we believe is a consequence of our coveted culture, many of our people stay with the firm for the long term. This has a hugely positive impact on knowledge retention and client relationships, but we also understand the importance of new perspectives and diverse backgrounds to ensure that we can offer different approaches to problem solving and that our thinking remains fresh, innovative and not institutionalised.

Training and development

It goes without saying that our lawyers must have a comprehensive and up to date knowledge of the law and practice relevant to the situations on which they are advising our clients. They must also have the skills necessary to deliver that advice effectively. Consequently we take training and development extremely seriously.

We offer a comprehensive education and training programme, which covers both technical and skills topics. Most of the programme is delivered in-house, although we do take the opportunity to send lawyers on external courses where appropriate. A number of these courses lead to diplomas or other qualifications. Much of the in-house training is delivered by our partners, albeit with the active involvement of many of our senior associates. In this way we ensure that training is relevant and is aligned as closely as possible to our practice. Where relevant, we ask our clients and other professionals to share their experiences with us as part of the training programme.

The technical legal programme is based on a similar structure in each practice group: a series of "core" seminars/workshops for junior qualified lawyers; discussion groups for more senior lawyers; a number of more general seminars in relation to specific issues or new developments; as well as regular updates and sessions to share learning from recent matters. In addition, there are a large number of cross practice area groups who have their own updates or other training sessions.

We also run a series of training courses for lawyers at different levels of experience which focus on the development of essential skills. These include management, communication and business development skills, as well as more specific legal skills such as drafting and negotiation. We also assist our lawyers to develop a proper understanding of finance and the commercial and business world in which their clients operate.

We encourage our lawyers to focus on their individual development needs as part of our review processes and throughout the year in discussion with their mentors. Every lawyer is allocated a mentor who will be a partner or senior counsel.