Humans star Gemma Chan reveals that she nearly joined Slaughter and May

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By Thomas Connelly on

Oxford law graduate did vac scheme at magic circle firm


Humans star and Oxford law graduate Gemma Chan has revealed that she almost joined elite City law firm Slaughter and May before deciding to pursue a career as an actress.

Chan, 32, from Bromley, south London, revealed in an interview with the Evening Standard yesterday that she did a vac scheme at the magic circle outfit.

The now successful actress is best known for her role in Channel 4’s hit sci-fi drama, Humans. But she has also featured in a number of other roles in high profile series including Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Fresh Meat.

Chan, who plays a human-looking robot called Anita in Humans, revealed that her decision to ditch law — shortly after spending time with Slaughter and May, which apparently offered her a training contract — didn’t go down well with her parents.

Opting to enrol on an acting course at Drama Centre London, the actress explained how her father refused to speak to her for months after she turned her back on a potentially lucrative career in City law.

Chan, who would have taken home £400 a week during her experience at Slaughter and May if she were to do it today, probably doesn’t regret her decision to ditch law.

Slaughter and May, which offers around 80 training contracts annually, recently boosted newly-qualified lawyer pay packets by 7.5% to £70,000.

With a successful modelling career to boot, Legal Cheek suspects Chan could give many of the associates at S&M a run for their money in the salary stakes. Although she may struggle to match the £2 million that the firm’s partners are said to pull in each year.

Chan — who has sister who studied accountancy at university before embarking on a career in public relations — told the Evening Standard:

My parents thought they were getting an accountant and a lawyer. Instead they ended up with a PR and an actress.