Freshfields becomes third Magic Circle player to embrace solicitor apprenticeships in London

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on


From 2025

Magic Circle law firm Freshfields will take on in its first solicitor apprentices in September 2025, as the list of City outfits embracing the training contract alternative continues to grow.

Freshfields says it will recruit up to six apprentices who split their time between the office and the classroom, gaining a law degree and the SQE before qualifying as a solicitor. They will be based in the firm’s London office.

The move sees the firm join fellow MC rivals Linklaters and Allen & Overy, with the former taking on its first apprentices in September of this year, and the latter launching a similar scheme back in Autumn 2022.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Freshfields currently runs an apprenticeship programme within its Manchester support hub, although this leads to qualification as a paralegal rather than a solicitor.

Earlier this summer the firm lent its support for CityCentury, an alliance of over 50 top firms that have joined forces with the aim of recruiting at least 100 solicitor apprentices into London within the next year or so.

Speaking at the time, Freshfields’ London managing partner Mark Sansom, and early careers partner Craig Montgomery, said: “We are delighted to be working with CityCentury and to continue our efforts to diversify access routes into the profession. Alongside other participating law firms, we will continue to modernise and develop our routes to qualification and to help preserve the City of London as a world leading hub for diverse legal talent.”

The Legal Cheek First Most List 2024 shows Freshfields is one of the largest graduate recruiters in the City with an annual trainee intake of around 100.

Other firms to announce apprenticeship plans in recent months include HFW, Weil and Hogan Lovells.

Related Stories

Top firms pledge to treat training contracts and apprenticeships as equals

Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields and NRF among big legal players promising not to disadvantage candidates qualifying through alternative routes

Oct 13 2022 8:43am