Derivatives and trading

We are looking to recruit a solicitor between NQ to 1.5 years’ UK post-qualification experience to join our derivatives and trading group.

About Macfarlanes

We are an independent London-based law firm with a high profile client base from around the world. We are known for the quality of our work, both in terms of our ability to handle the full range of corporate and commercial matters, and the fact that we can advise our clients on their private affairs. We handle work of the highest quality and complexity on a wide range of matters.

Our size and partner-led approach enable us to give our clients a more personal service underpinned by the highest standards of commitment and care.

As well as that, our independence allows us to choose precisely the right lawyer or firm for our clients' needs in any jurisdiction in the world.

What this means for you

Offering a partner-led service enables our solicitors to learn and develop through working closely with a senior member of the team. Our size means that you will often be very close to the front line, gaining a greater insight into the issues facing our clients. You might be surprised at just how significant your contribution is.

We expect all our solicitors to work closely with clients and assume real responsibility, as well as to participate in client and business development activities. That means wider exposure for you.

Our matters often have a cross-border element, so our solicitors frequently liaise with global businesses and specialists in overseas jurisdictions.

The importance we place on the development of our associates’ legal and commercial skills has allowed us to develop the excellent reputation we have for producing strong lawyers – we believe our education and training programme is second to none.

We all work together as part of a cohesive and supportive team, with the firm recognising, appreciating and rewarding the efforts of its employees.

Practice overview

Our derivatives and trading practice consists of two partners, one FX & derivatives negotiator, 10 solicitors, two trainee solicitors and four paralegals.

The group represent hedge funds, corporate treasuries, financial institutions, managed account platforms, asset managers and high-net-worth individuals in structuring, negotiating and executing complex and bespoke derivative instruments. Our team works alongside our specialist lawyers in financial services, regulatory, capital markets, tax and dispute resolution and is able to advise on both the day-to-day trading requirements of our clients, and the most complex derivative and structured product transactions in both transactional and contentious roles. The team prides itself on not only knowing the legal issues inside out, across a broad spectrum of standard form and bespoke documents, but also on understanding the strategies, risks and operational issues that affect the clients.

Our team advise on a wide range of products including repos, stock loans and all kinds of derivative, covering interest rate, fixed income, currency, commodity, equity, credit, basket and index underliers. The team routinely advises on matters such as, prime brokerage and clearing, and issues around rehypothecation and segregation, custody and collateral, securities lending and margin financing matters, repos, structured products, exchange traded derivatives, central clearing including OTC clearing under Dodd-Frank and EMIR, cash equities and cash bond trading under broker terms of business and electronic trading arrangements.

Our client base is also global; we act for managers in the UK, the US, Europe and the Far East (with a particular concentration of clients in Hong Kong) and we have daily experience negotiating for these clients with the international offices of the leading US, Asian and European banks and broker dealers.

The issues we face are global. We routinely advise on practical issues of trading in the US markets, on structuring offshore derivative instruments accessing the Chinese, Indian and emerging markets and on dealing with multiple regulatory regimes.

The role

Duties will include:

  • The role is predominantly transactional, negotiating a broad spectrum of derivative and trade documents between broker-dealers and/or hedge funds, and managing the document and execution process for fund launches and businesses as usual transactions.
  • Day to day advisory work for our predominantly buy-side client basis will also be required. A good working knowledge of current regulatory issues is therefore useful, although we carry out extensive training in this regard.
  • Creating and/or diligencing innovative structures for our clients and colleagues in other departments.
  • Supporting wider firm transactions with hedging queries and related collateral and regulatory issues.
  • Researching new products and regulations around the world, whenever our clients wish to trade.

This job description encompasses the main duties of the role and is by no means exhaustive. It is anticipated that duties may vary from time to time according to the needs of the practice area.

The candidate

We want to recruit a lawyer that trained in the UK and fulfils the following criteria:

  • Experience gained from a magic circle, silver circle, leading US firm or a recognised investment bank trading desk, including work on some or all of OTC Derivatives and ETDs, prime broker and custody agreements, collateral arrangements, clearing and repos.
  • Preferably will have completed at least one seat within derivatives, finance or funds during their training contract.
  • Strong academic qualifications from A Levels, with a minimum 2:1 degree (from a highly regarded university) and commendation or above in the GDL and/or LPC (or equivalent).
  • Articulate and confident to deliver at the highest standard within a team of highly competent solicitors.
  • Ambitious, with a genuine commitment to develop both their professional and legal skills and the profile of the group.
  • The ability to instil confidence to the client by delivering clear, efficient and robust advice in a derivatives context.
  • Willing to take on responsibility.
  • Be committed and motivated.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills at all levels.

The team is known as being very friendly and collegiate, and so the right person would need to fit well within the group and, for example, be willing to pitch in with transactions that others are working on, if required to help relieve workload pressures.

Our commitment to inclusion

At Macfarlanes we understand the importance of an inclusive culture, the continued development of which has been identified as one of our key priorities. Our focus is to foster an inclusive culture throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership. It is about recruiting, retaining and promoting all groups in the firm fairly, and we are continually reviewing our processes to ensure that everyone has the same chance to develop and advance. An inclusive, forward-thinking culture also enables us to provide innovative solutions to our clients.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, bringing different perspectives and experiences, making Macfarlanes an exciting and stimulating place to work. We seek to recruit the best candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, background, religion, physical abilities, sexual orientation or any other characteristic.


Location: London

Opening date: Monday 13 January 2020

Closing date: Monday 10 February 2020

Competitive salary and benefits package


Apply here