HFW offers future trainees £5,000 to defer training contracts

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The push backs continue

HFW’s London office

HFW has joined a growing number of law firms that are offering their future trainees cash to defer the start date of their training contracts.

The international firm confirmed this morning that it will be compensating incoming trainees, who were due to start in September 2020, £5,000 each to defer their training contracts until April 2021.

Jeremy Shebson, managing partner at HFW, said in a statement: “Given the continued uncertainty with COVID-19 in the UK, we have taken the decision to defer our September 2020 trainee intake to make sure that we are bringing them into the business at a time when we can provide them with the support that they need to develop their skills and start their career.”

Shebson added:

“We have put together a comprehensive package of financial, training and other support for the trainees during the deferral period, and we look forward to welcoming them to HFW in April 2021.”

The soon-to-be rookies were informed of the deferral individually via a personal phone call, a HFW spokesperson said. They also received personal contact from Shebson to reassure them that they remain part of the firm’s future plans.

A programme of training sessions and other events have also been arranged to keep in touch with new starters throughout the deferral period.

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Today’s news comes less than 24 hours after we exclusively reported that Womble Bond Dickinson has pushed back the training contract start dates of its autumn trainee cohort by six months. The firm also extended its training contracts by six months and told Legal Cheek that all individuals impacted will be compensated.

Elsewhere, Herbert Smith Freehills has offered future trainees £8,000 to defer their start dates by six months, while those at DLA Piper are being offered up to £10,000 to do the same but for a year.

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Fair enough and respectful of them to do.


Genuinely confused

What is a HFW? Is it a protest group?


Hope for Wildlife is a quite famous charity.

Though I think that it is a bit weird that they hire trainee solicitors.


Happy to help

Probably the producers of Honey Frosted Wheaties – the breakfast of the champions.






Nice to have made the effort to do personal phone calls, rather than a generic email.



5k to defer until April 2021 sounds pretty tight..

Friend was asked to defer until Jan (another firm) and offered 8k..


Duke of Wellington

Who? Who?



Harlow Watson and Furlong I think


Roger Roger Vector Victor

Home from work…

But isn’t this a highly regarded shipping firm?


Tommy Scrutton

“A highly regarded shipping firm”? Talked about being damned by faint praise.


QMUL Law Student

Rank the following for international private equity and public M&A: HFW, CMS and SPB.


Incompetent observer

1. Not QMUL



Private equity is dead. Covid killed it.


Bad supervisors and even worse training

I’d avoid hfw even if they offered £50k
Rubbish firm to be a part of


Boom shakala

Lmao sounds like someone that didn’t get kept on. Salty much



Very true. Holding on to past glories as an elite shipping firm. Masses of departures of decent people, not great for female and ethnic diversity imo. Had a rep as a “departure lounge”! Whenever I’ve encountered them (now as a Trainee elsewhere) there’s almost a sense of arrogance which doesn’t even come across from
the MC or US firms I more regularly face off against. Though in all fairness, in recent times efforts have been made to break away from the shipping rep no more so than the appointment of Shebs.
The recruitment team is a bit of a shambles, always got the impression they didn’t know what they were doing and saying. Were very disorganised on an open day.
Below mid market and a bit of a nobody imo! But hats off to the comms team that are doing a good job on trying hard to give the opposite impression. From what I recall, usually in the 30s within the various revenue/profit/etc rankings.
And before the attacks begin, yes I attended an open day. But the conscious decision to NOT apply for a vac scheme or TC, so don’t have any bitternesss or that chip on my shoulder.



You never worked there and yet not only appreciate the dynamics of the firm appointing a non-shipping managing partner, but know him well enough to call him “Shebs”? Hmm.

I do work at HFW and while it’s not perfect (what firm is?), it’s come a long way in the few years that I’ve been there and I find it a pretty decent place to work – most people are nice, don’t take themselves too seriously, better work/life balance than a lot of firms, sector focus is a bit different and makes the work interesting, business seems to be heading in the right direction, etc. YMMV, of course.



Amusing to read all the law students above criticising firms they have no real knowledge of and coming out with nonsense like ‘coronavirus killed PE’.

Embarrassing. Pathetic. Insecure.


Don’t assume

Don’t assume people leaving messages are all students or that students have no real knowledge of what’s going on just because they’re student. All students can read and may also have friends or family working in PE.

I agree that COVID-19 has significantly impacted PE and effectively brought it to a standstill. I wouldn’t choose a firm that’s highly exposed to PE work in the short/medium term.



Jake, I work in funds. Private equity is dead. Still, you should do some mentoring on insecurity with your spare time.



Whys is it that all firms with 3 letter names suck.= CMS, HFW, A&O



In this thread: corporate lawyers who’ve never seen the inside of a court room acting like they’re real lawyers.


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