Applications are currently closed.

You can apply for 2021 and 2022 training contracts from
1 March 2020.

Graduate Law Careers

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Start your career journey with us...

Routes to a training contract

Non-law Degree icon
Non-law Degree
Law Degree icon
Law Degree
GDL icon
LPC icon
Training Contract icon
Training Contract
4 Seats* icon
4 Seats*

4 seats*

Commercial (music, sport, advertising, interactive entertainment, intellectual property, publishing, broadcasting, theatre, film and television)

Company and Commercial





– Intellectual Property
– Commercial Litigation
– Media & Information Group

Private Client and Tax


Why choose Harbottle & Lewis?

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At Harbottle & Lewis we pride ourselves on our personable, friendly, non-hierarchical structure. We are a Firm where an open-door policy really is an open-door policy and where partners are always willing to help. What sets us apart from other law firms is our ethos and the responsibility we give our people.

So, what’s our story? Our origins date back to 1955 when Lawrence Harbottle and Brian Lewis, who met at law school in Guildford, decided to set up their own law firm. The Firm would specialise in the media and entertainment sectors spawning from their mutual interest in the legal aspects of film production and theatre.


As a full-service Firm, we are uniquely positioned to provide clients with an end-to-end service, which gives our trainees quality exposure to so many different parts of the business, providing invaluable commercial knowledge.

Our office is based in the heart of London, just next door to the prestigious Savoy hotel, and it’s here that your career in law could begin.



You’ll get to work on matters from the early stages right through to the finish with exciting, cutting edge clients within the blockchain, adtech, advertising, film and TV industries as well as high profile individuals.

A career at Harbottle & Lewis doesn’t just offer a wealth of opportunities to develop professionally as a lawyer, but also provides exposure to a vast array of some of the most interesting and creative individuals and clients. On a more personal level, we have a truly collegiate, non-hierarchical ethos and culture. We care about everyone who works at the Firm, and our inclusive wellbeing programme means that you’re likely to bump into senior partners and management during one of our very popular and regular yoga or general fitness sessions.

Glen Atchison, Managing Partner

What we're looking for

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We’re looking for talented, open-minded, friendly people who are passionate about law and are curious about business and the world around them.


You should have strong A-levels (or equivalent) and at least a 2.1 degree. It is important to us that you can show initiative as well as being a team player.

We will pay for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in full and provide you with a £6,000 grant for non-law students. We will also pay for the LPC and offer another £6,000 grant for LPC students.



Our aim is to recruit trainee solicitors who will later be employed as the Firm’s future lawyers and progress to partnership. Over the years, the majority of our trainees have stayed with us following qualification.


As a Firm, we take Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seriously and we have renewed our commitment to our volunteering and charitable activities.
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Our trainees lead our Charity of the Year programme, which adds greatly to the Firm’s sense of community. On top of this, all employees are allowed one day a year out of the office to spend on voluntary work with charities or other not for profit organisations.

We encourage all our employees to take part in our CSR programme, which covers a broad range of volunteering options.

One of the opportunities our employees have become involved with is working with Smartworks, Suited and Booted and Dressed for Success, which are charities supporting people seeking employment. They offer opportunities to assist individuals with CV preparation and review, interview coaching and dress advice.

Throughout my time with Harbottle & Lewis, I’ve been given a huge amount of responsibility in all the departments I’ve worked in. I’ve worked on high profile deals and partners do really place a high level of trust in you. I’m also on the social committee so I help the Firm arrange any charitable or social activities, which is a great way to get to know colleagues across all departments.

Katerina Capras, Associate

Rewards and benefits

Our collegiate culture is reflected in the Firm-wide employee benefits.
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Private medical insurance
Employer pension contribution icon
Employer pension contribution
Group life assurance cover icon
Group life assurance cover
Interest free season ticket loan icon
Interest free season ticket loan
Free lunchroom icon
Free lunchroom
Employee assistance programme icon
Employee assistance programme
Study sponsorship icon
Study sponsorship
Cycle scheme icon
Cycle scheme
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Wellbeing programme

Our process

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to take part in a three-stage recruitment process, which takes between two to three weeks from start to finish.


Interview with a member of our HR team and a senior associate


Complete an online aptitude test


Final stage interview with two partners

How to apply

The online application process for 2023 will commence on 1 March 2021 to 31 May 2021. You can apply by selecting the ‘Apply’ button in the menu.

Further information

If you have any further questions or queries, you can contact our Graduate Recruitment team via email:


Throughout your time with us you’ll get support from a Trainee Supervisor who is responsible for overseeing your day-to-day work, training and development in each seat. They will ensure you’re getting the right quality and variety of work across all the different aspects of the department you’re working in.

You will also be formally appraised by the Trainee Supervisor at the middle and end of each seat to review your overall performance, assess the development of your skills and to plan future training. In addition you will meet regularly with the Training Principal who will monitor your training and general progress.

To help you get settled in your first six months you will also be matched with a ‘buddy’. They will act as a point of contact for general queries and will offer you support and guidance.

Where it could all start...

Starting your career with us will equip you with expertise and deep sector knowledge needed to establish yourself as a highly experienced qualified lawyer.

You’ll work on deals or cases from across a wide variety of practice areas and sectors, which will open doors to a whole host of opportunities.

We adopt an environment that’s collegiate, collaborative and supportive, and our trainees will experience a full range of legal work which is relevant and challenging.

During your two-year training contract with us, you will be given the opportunity to thrive in our key practice areas, spending six months in four different seats as shown in the Routes to a training contract section.

There is also a potential opportunity to be seconded to one of our clients where you will gain industry specific experience while being supported by the client and our Training Principal.

We will also train you in drafting; negotiation; legal and court procedures; advocacy; and case and transaction management. Guidance around client care and practice support; research and communication; and on managing your work efficiently will also be given.

Q&A with Gurpreet Sian, Associate

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What's it like working at Harbottle & Lewis?

It’s a great place to work. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive – the firm feels like one big family. The client base and work you get involved with is really interesting, and as a trainee this is really exciting. You feel a real sense of responsibility and pride because you are really treated as part of the team.

Our wellbeing programme is fantastic, we have yoga sessions, HIIT sessions, strength sessions and bi-weekly massages, that anyone can get involved in. It’s a great way of meeting other people in the Firm and socialising.

The free lunch every day is always an added bonus too!

Working with such a wide variety of clients, from high-net-worth individuals, start-up companies to elderly clients. You get to experience working with people from all walks of life, and that is why the client base at Harbottle is such a draw.

Personally, one of the most enjoyable parts of my training contract and being with the Firm has been getting involved with the social committee. This has involved organising Firm events, fundraising days and liaising with many third parties. Through this I’ve been able to meet and work with colleagues in other departments that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with before.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience so far?

Tell us about an interesting matter you’ve worked on and what you were responsible for.

In my family seat, I was involved with working on obtaining urgent protective measures for our client, which involved attending the high court with various emergency applications and injunctions. This involved working on a vast amount of work in a small amount of time, and I was grateful for the partners and associates placing a high level of trust in me to assist on the matter.

Also in my family seat, I was lucky enough to attend a two week final trial at the Royal Courts of Justice on one of our biggest matrimonial matters this year. I was able to work closely with the client, my colleagues in the family department, the QC and junior counsel on the matter. I gained such fantastic experience over those two weeks, and it was so exciting to be working in an environment outside of the office.

To get involved with any piece of work, however small it may be – you never know what opportunities may present themselves through showing hard work and working with different colleagues throughout the Firm.

What lessons have you learnt from your experience?

What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

Every person you meet is a potential door to a new opportunity – personally or professionally. Build good bridges, because you never know how they’ll weave into the larger picture of your life.

I love to travel, experiencing new places and cuisines. I try to make the most of using all of my annual leave on trips (and spending all my money!) and even going away on small trips over the weekends. I think what you experience and gain whilst travelling is completely invaluable.

What do you do in your spare time?

To get involved with any piece of work, however small it may be – you never know what opportunities may present themselves through showing hard work and working with different colleagues throughout the Firm.

Gurpreet Sian, Fourth Seat Trainee

Awards and accolades

  • Legal Business Awards, Management Partner of the Year
  • Spear’s Wealth Management Awards, Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Legal Business Awards, shortlisted: Private Client Team of the Year; TMT Team of the Year
  • Law Society Excellence Awards, Law Firm of the Year, shortlisted
  • Spear’s Tax & Trust Advisers Index
  • Spear’s Reputation Management Lawyers Index (top 10)
  • Spears’ Family Lawyers (top 10)
  • Citywealth Leaders List
  • Citywealth Future Leaders Top 100
  • eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35
  • Chambers Global, Intellectual Property
  • IP Stars: tier 1 firm for Copyright law
  • IP Stars: top UK trade mark lawyers
  • World Trademark Review 1000 – leading individual
  • UK Best Lawyers list
  • The Legal 500 Hall of Fame
  • Top rankings in Chambers High Net Worth (HNW)
  • IP Stars: Rising Stars
  • British Legal Awards: UK Law Firm of the Year, shortlisted
  • Chambers High Net Worth awards: Emerging Practice, shortlisted