CRS trainee recruitment image

Address: 5 Fleet Place, London EC4M 7RD

Phone: 020 7203 5000


Instagram: @CRStrainees

Offices: London, Cheltenham, Guildford, Doha, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Manama, Paris, Zurich.

No employees: 1000+

No lawyers: 500+

No. partners: 170

Total Trainees: 45


Training contract vacancies per annum: 24

Vacation scheme places per annum: 40

Minimum degree: 2:1

Application deadline: 31 January 2022

Apply here – Charles Russell Speechlys LLP Online Application Form (

Salary and Benefits


Trainee – Year 1: £40,000 (London), £35,000 (Guildford), £32,000 (Cheltenham)

Trainee – Year 2: £43,000 (London), £37,000 (Guildford), £34,000 (Cheltenham)

NQs: £68,000 (London), £54,000 (Guildford), £50,000 (Cheltenham)

Benefits include:

  • 25 days annual holiday, plus long service accrual
  • Private medical insurance
  • Income protection
  • Life assurance
  • Pension scheme
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity/shared parental benefits
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Qualification leave
  • Dress for your day policy


We’re only human. And we consider that our superpower, not a weakness. We’ve built our firm on establishing trusted, personal relationships with our clients.

After all, we are here to guide them through their most pressing challenges and most rewarding opportunities. We do this by getting to the heart of our clients’ needs to bring them best-fit solutions – based on our years of experience, collective legal expertise and international outlook.

We have a broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal needs. We know it’s not enough to understand the law – we have to understand our clients just as well. So we apply a people-focused lens to every action we recommend to our clients. Our unique approach to law has made us a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses, and among the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families. Major corporates and institutions benefit from our personalised approach as we embed ourselves in the teams of our clients. Working alongside them and connecting them with the right people across our firm to help them excel in new opportunities.

Our firm is headquartered in London with offices across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Our international connections mean we can work with clients anywhere in the world. Whether a business operates in a single country or across borders, we’ll put together a team pulling from our sector and geographical expertise and our partnerships with the best law firms across the world covering 200 legal jurisdictions.

Main areas of work

Banking and finance, commercial, commercial dispute resolution, construction, engineering and projects, corporate, corporate tax, corporate restructuring and insolvency, employment, pensions and immigration, family, financial services, IP litigation, private property, private wealth disputes, real estate disputes, real estate and tax, trusts and succession.

These practice areas are focused on the following sector areas: charities and not for profit, construction and infrastructure, energy and natural resources, financial services, healthcare, private wealth, real estate, retail and leisure, sport and technology, media and telecommunications.

Our Training Contract

We offer Training Contracts in our London, Cheltenham and Guildford offices.

There are some recent changes to the way Solicitors qualify and we have given a lot of thought as to how we can continue to support you throughout your training contract.

For our 2024 cohort, our Training Contract will support those who are already studying under the current LPC route and those who will take the new SQE route. Both pathways are designed to give you the best possible training with the firm and encourage you to develop the key legal and business skills to enable you to become a successful lawyer.

I have started or completed the LPC

If you have already started or completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at point of offer, you will be able to qualify under the existing route:

  • Completed law degree / Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and started / completed LPC already.
  • 2-year ‘Recognised Period of Training’, also referred to as a Training Contract.

You will not need to sit the SQE exams or accrue ‘Qualifying Work Experience’ as outlined in the new route to qualification.

I have not started or completed the LPC

If you haven’t started or completed the LPC at point of offer, you’ll undertake the new SQE route:

  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDip) which replaces the GDL – for non-law students who haven’t already started / sat the GDL.
  • Solicitor’s Qualifying Exam preparation courses and exams – you’ll do both SQE 1 and SQE 2 as well as our SQE Plus programme which will contribute towards a Masters in Legal Practice (LLM).
  • 2 years of ‘Qualifying Work Experience’ with the firm.

Non law students – Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDip)

We have partnered with The University of Law to provide all of our post-graduate courses.

If you have not studied a law degree, we will sponsor you to complete your Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDip).  This will replace the previous version of the GDL course.  This 9-month programme will cover all the foundation subjects covered in a law degree and will begin to prepare you for the SQE exams.

We appreciate that full time study isn’t feasible for everyone so we also offer a 20-month part time option too. If you prefer to study part time, you’ll be able to choose the approach that works best for you from a range of weekend, evening and online options.

If you have already started or completed the old GDL, we will accept this form of the course.

Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) Courses and Exams

Once you’ve completed your law degree or PGDip, we will then sponsor you to study for and undertake the SQE.  You’ll undertake the SQE preparation course with The University of Law:

  • SQE 1 Preparation Course – September to January
  • SQE 1 Exam – January
  • SQE 2 Preparation Course – February to April
  • SQE 2 Exam – April
  • SQE Plus programme – May to July

Our programme with The University of Law includes the SQE Plus Programme – you’ll chose modules from our CRS Elective Modules list to study in more detail.  This will prepare you well for practice at the firm by focusing on our areas of specialism, alongside developing practical legal skills. The SQE 1, SQE 2 and SQE Plus programme combines together so you’ll be studying for a Masters in Legal Practice (LLM).

Sponsorship details

We provide sponsorship for PGDip, SQE prep courses and SQE exam fees with our chosen provider, the University of Law. During your period of study we will also provide you with a maintenance grant of £6,000 if you are based in London and £4,500 if you are based outside of London.

Keeping in touch with you

As we recruit two years in advance, the Early Talent team will keep in regular contact with you before you start.  We organise Early Talent events throughout the year for our current and future trainees which provides a great opportunity to network and get to know those you will be working with.  By the time you join us, you’ll recognise a few familiar and friendly faces and it will already feel like home.

Your Training Contract

While at the firm, both routes will consist of 4 x 6-month seats, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of different practice areas and engage in high level work with both private and commercial clients.  We provide a practical learning environment for Trainees where emphasis is given to early responsibility and supervised client contact. Your legal training will also be supplemented by our CRS Business School which has specific programmes designed for Trainees to develop professional and commercial skills.

Throughout the training contract there are regular catch ups and reviews between the trainees and supervisors to support your development and ensure you are continuing to receive a broad range of quality work. This, together with our in-house training programme, the Charles Russell Speechlys Business School, ensures that you’ll develop the required legal and business skills to become a successful lawyer.

Vacation Schemes

Deciding which law firm is right for you is not always easy. Our vacation scheme will help you to feel fully informed and experience our culture for yourself.

Our Vacation Scheme provides a chance to spend time at Charles Russell Speechlys and see exactly what we do on a daily basis.

You’ll spend 2 weeks in either our London or Cheltenham office, or 1 week in our Guildford office depending on which vacation scheme you apply for. Each week is spent in a different practice area where you will carry out real fee earning work that could include attending client meetings and going to court.

Support is always close at hand, with a current trainee as mentor and an associate as sponsor for each placement. You’ll also meet a variety people, either at organised social events or as part of your day to day interactions, and this will give you a real insight into the culture of the firm.

During your time with us you’ll be automatically considered for a Training Contract and will take part in an assessment centre which will be reviewed along with your performance during the Vacation Scheme.

Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to ensuring we offer a work environment where equal opportunities are available to all, everyone is assessed on their own abilities and that we maintain a culture of mutual respect; where everyone can bring their whole self to work and where our differences are welcomed and celebrated.

This commitment is driven from the top and it is a key part of the Firm’s business strategy.  We have Partner led action groups in place, with a specific focus on improving our female talent in partnership and senior leadership roles and to improve our ethnic diversity across the firm.   Our dedicated Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team, together with D&I Partners and their respective focus groups, meet regularly to identify initiatives, changes to policies and processes, training, events and other ways to raise awareness, support and promote an inclusive work environment.