All seven of our trainees from our 2017 intake have accepted positions as associates in October 2019, representing a 100% retention rate.
The newly qualified lawyers join our Competition Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Tax Litigation and Investigations, and Divorce and Family teams. Six of the seven new associates will be based in London, and the other in Leeds.
John Cahill, Managing Partner, commented:
“This year we are able to offer associate roles to all of our 2017 trainee intake. This reflects their talent, commitment and hard work. They will make an outstanding contribution and help the firm meet its strategic objectives, including continuing to deliver outstanding litigation and dispute resolution for clients.”
The new associates are:
- Kirsty Bourke, Competition Litigation, London
- Shereen Zaki, Competition Litigation, London
- Aleks Valkov, Commercial Litigation, London
- Zara Okereafor, Commercial Litigation, London
- Hannah Jones, Commercial Litigation, Leeds
- Cécile Perrault, Tax Litigation and Investigations, London
- Elizabeth Biggs, Divorce and Family, London
Trainee recruitment at Stewarts
We recruit trainees almost exclusively from our existing paralegal pool, we are one of only a handful of firms to adopt this strategy.
Emma Hatley, the firm’s training partner spoke to The Times in 2017 about the benefits of this arrangement. She said:
“The real advantage is that we can evaluate how the candidates perform in the work environment over a more protracted period than could by achieved on paper or by interview.
“Another advantage is that the firm can consider candidates pursuing a second career — we have applicants from the media and banking sectors — and those who, for whatever reason, may not have succeeded as well in formal exams, but have what it takes to be a successful litigator.
“It is probably a reflection of the competitiveness of the legal industry that the paralegal role is an increasingly common pathway to a legal career.”
Peter Neenan, a partner in our Aviation team, who joined the firm as a paralegal, commented in the same interview:
“As a paralegal in the Aviation department I was given responsibilities that many ‘magic circle’ firms would not even have given to trainees. The practical exposure meant that I understood the firm and its culture, the aviation department and their expectations — before I even considered seeking a traineeship with the firm. They knew what my strengths and weaknesses were.”
New trainee intake – The Class of 2019
In September 2019, 10 of our existing paralegals will start their training contracts across our two offices. They will rotate around the firm’s 15 litigation areas, as well as the firm’s Knowledge Management and Compliance department.
Incoming trainee Sophie Parris said that her experience in the firm’s personal injury department has given her a good grounding to start her training contact:
“I have learnt how to conduct myself and remain calm in challenging situations, something that will be incredibly important as I continue in my career.”
The new trainees will be:
- Hannah Fletcher
- Ryan Hooton
- Oliver Ingham
- Sophie Parris
- Fiona Porter
- Finn Smith
- Emmanuelle Sultan
- Faith Wylde
- Alice Russell
- Ben Waller
Ten new trainees is a record number of trainees for the firm, with nine places being offered in 2018 and seven in 2017 and 2016. Traditionally, the firm has had between four to six training contracts available.
Stewarts Career Stories
We encourage our people to strive for excellence in everything they do. Our culture promotes a good work/life balance and supports the career progression of our staff.
We’ve highlighted some of the careers of our people, outlining the diverse paths they have taken to get where they are today.
Interested in joining us?
At Stewarts, we aim to recruit and retain the best people at all levels of the firm. The ability, dedication and technical excellence of our people are critical to the successes we achieve for our clients.
If you are interested in working for Stewarts our Careers section provides further details of our recruitment process and current opportunities.
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and teams on our Expertise pages and more about the firm on our About Us section.
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