Training Contract Structure

Seat rotations

  • Whether you complete your training contract in London or Bristol, during your two years you'll do four six-month seats in our different practice areas, to familiarise you with the teams, the clients and type of work.

    As we’d like you to get familiar with each of our key business practice areas we require our trainees to undertake:

    • One contentious seat in either our employment, intellectual property or litigation groups
    • One corporate and commercial seat in either our corporate, ICT or projects groups
    • One financial markets seat in either our banking, capital markets or financial services groups
    • There are further optional seats in competition & regulatory, pensions & incentives, real estate and tax.

    Alongside this, if you’re set on specialising in a particular area of law, we’ll do our best to help. We realise that if you play to your strengths and interests, you’re likely to push yourself further. Choice and flexibility have their place alongside breadth and depth.


  • As well as seats in our London or Bristol office, around 80% of our trainees undertake either a secondment with a client, or in one of our international offices, during their training contract. Secondments are a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills while also experiencing a different working environment or culture. Thanks to our international presence we can offer international secondments in Simmons & Simmons offices throughout our network in everything from technology related work in Dubai to corporate deals in Singapore. While locations rotate, secondments are typically based in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

    Our client secondments offer an insight into the world of our clients. As an integral part of our client's team your role truly becomes one of a legal advisor in a business world. You live and breathe their commercial drivers and challenges and get a deeper understanding of what quality legal advice really means to our clients and their businesses. Our client secondment list is regularly updated but includes clients such as BP, Moody's and some of the leading international banks.

Trainee Skills Academy

  • In a business such as ours, talented people are crucial to our success. That’s why we focus so much attention on your training from the outset. Through our innovative Trainee Skills Academy, you’ll get access to the best training and support across a broad range of essential skills. And because our Trainee Skills Academy is the first step on our career path, you can clearly see how your skills will develop at each stage all the way through to partner.

    Here’s a flavour of what to expect:

    • Client – understanding our clients and sectors is one thing, but how do you build client relationships that last, develop your network and engage with clients confidently?
    • People – become self-aware, understand your own working style and that of others, learn how to manage expectations, delegate and prioritise effectively.
    • Commercial – how does a law firm make its money and how might that be different to our clients? Understand the legal market and how the economy might impact this.
    • Technical – it goes without saying that legal skills like drafting, advocacy and negotiation are essential, but presentation skills and IT skills are also important.

    Starting at law school and continuing throughout your training contract, our structured Trainee Skills Academy will help you discover where your strengths lie and push you to develop new ones. And because everyone learns in different ways, you can expect a blend of high energy face-to-face sessions, self-study and online learning. There’s also the option of further study to achieve a MA (LPC with Business) qualification, if you want to extend yourself further. Your career really is in your hands and we’ll provide you with a platform to help you realise your goals.