Address: 1 Fleet Place, London, EC4M 7WS




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''Good for banking' 'friendly atmosphere' 'the firm's objective was to expand and it has done just that since I applied' 'I attended the vacation scheme and found the office welcoming' 'high-quality commercial work without having to be based in London' 'I liked the fact that energy is such a big department' 'international scope of work' 'good in emerging markets'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''Good work and good teams' 'although lots of smaller firms have merged into one big firm, it hasn't lost the friendly smaller firm mentality' 'open-door policy' 'international work' 'the people and the clients' the support of all the staff' 'high-quality work' 'there are lots of CSR and social activities to get involved with' 'the culture'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''Some departments expect us to be available at all times, even though as trainees we are not given phones or work laptops' 'the offices could do with a makeover' 'for the biggest law firm in the world, the lack of international secondments' 'the hours can be brutal' 'the regional salaries' 'the social life in the Milton Keynes office'
Best moment? 
 ''Leading a conference call with a client' 'champagne at a closing at 10am' 'going to the Supreme Court' 'getting great feedback on a prospectus I drafted' 'completion of an international deal for which I was mentioned in the Financial Times' 'helping run a deal with a NQ' 'attending an important Upper Tribunal appeal trial on business ratings'
Worst moment?
 ''Trying to juggle too many deals at once' 'working late nights and not knowing when you can leave' 'being shouted at whilst on secondment by someone really senior' 'spending a long time bundling' 'burning the midnight oil when preparing for a court hearing' 'document review' 'a complicated disclosure task''

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Stewie (Family Guy) - bent on world domination

The Verdict

The firm

Global firm Dentons continues to expand internationally and 2017 saw the firm's merger with Amsterdam-based law firm Boekel. The firm has more than 7,300 lawyers and professionals in over 140 locations and serves the local, regional and global needs of private and public clients. 

The star performers

Asset finance and leasing; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial property; Commodities: derivatives; Data Protection; Debt capital markets; Franchising; Emerging markets; Environment; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Islamic finance; IT and telecoms; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Oil and gas; Pensions; Planning; Private equity: transactions: Mid-cap deal capability; Rail; Trade finance.

The deals

Advised John Lewis Partnership on its commercial joint venture with Clipper Logistics for a click-and-collect service for customers; acted for RBS in a high-profile derivatives mis-selling case; represented TUI UK on its acquisition of a 915-cabin cruise ship “Legend of the Seas” from Royal Carribean Cruises; acted for a London investment bank in relation to a $5m shari'ah-compliant loan granted by a Qatari investment bank; advised Secure Income REIT on the £196m acquisition of a portfolio of 55 hotels held in Jersey Unit Trusts.

The clients

ASOS; Emirates; Lions Gate Entertainment; National Grid; Network Rail; Pertamina; Royal Mail Group; Sainsbury's; Topland Group; Virgin Atlantic.

The Verdict

Dentons' 'international presence is second-to-none' and the firm is 'growing at an impressive pace'. Given that Dentons is 'the biggest firm in the world in terms of headcount', it is unsurprising that trainees cite the 'global reach' and the 'international scope of the work' as clear reasons for choosing the firm. One trainee reported that 'every deal I have worked on has been multi-jurisdictional'. The firm has a 'clear direction in terms of its business plan' and trainees welcome the 'focus on training and learning', especially the 'compulsory twice-a-week training course in the banking department'. Recruits can expect 'great support' from everyone 'from the partners to the night shift secretaries', which is greatly appreciated because they have 'more responsibility and client exposure and are doing 'real tasks like drafting' and other 'technical work' from an early stage. It follows that Dentons is very much a 'teamwork-based place to work' where there is a 'friendly environment and culture' and the 'firm wants you to learn and progress and will let you embrace and encourage this in any direction you want'. The flipside to 'more responsibility and client exposure' is that 'some departments expect trainees to be available at all times' and the 'unpredictability of the hours can be frustrating'. Moreover, some recruits felt that 'considering the firm's international presence, they need to work on providing more opportunities to work abroad for trainees'. However, respondents enjoy 'working on exciting cases for interesting clients' and 'being given the freedom to pretty much run my own deal', sometimes as early as three months into their first seat. If you want to work for a 'global firm with a clear approach' whilst undertaking 'high-profile work', apply to Dentons.

 Why Dentons?

Who we are:  Dentons is the world's largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognised by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons' polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

Dentons is a truly 'polycentric' international law firm that fully embraces the diversity of its geography, cultures and legal traditions. The firm has no headquarters, no dominant national culture, and proudly offers clients talent from diverse backgrounds and countries.

Training:  As part of Dentons, you'll be given all the responsibility you can handle. You'll learn on the job by taking a real part in running deals and cases, meeting with real clients and taking your place in the fast-paced and increasingly global world of business. After all, it's this type of experience that makes great lawyers and prepares you for the daily pressures of your professional career. At Dentons, you'll get it almost from day one.

If commercial law is your ambition, beginning your career with us will help you fulfil it. You'll be welcomed into a team globally renowned for its expertise. We'll help you develop your skills and knowledge in an open and supportive environment.

London:  A training contract in our City office in London will place you at the centre of one of the world's leading legal practices. In your first two years, you'll spend six-month seats in four of our practice areas. Along with a seat in our banking and finance practice and a contentious seat (or an external litigation course), you may also have the opportunity to work in one of our international offices, or to work directly with one of our clients within their team and office.

Milton Keynes and Watford:  Our Milton Keynes and Watford training contract will see you rotate between these two offices where we are able to provide a City-level out-of-town legal service to many household name clients.

Our practice areas across the Milton Keynes and Watford training contract include corporate, dispute resolution, real estate, property litigation, financial litigation, construction and employment, and you'll spend six-month seats in four of them. You must complete one non-contentious transactional seat (eg, corporate or real estate) and one contentious seat.

Vacation placements:  We offer two-week vacation schemes in London during the Easter and Summer vacations and in Milton Keynes and Watford during the Summer vacation.

These placements consist of business games, department visits and social events, giving potential trainees an insight into commercial law and our way of life at Dentons.

Social activities:  You'll have plenty of time to socialise with your peers in activities organised by our trainee representatives. It's not just our trainees who like to have fun, though. We believe social activities are vital to the happiness of our team, and they're an important part of our firm's culture.

You can participate in over 20 sports teams, including football, rugby, hockey and cricket. Or, if you prefer something less competitive, we offer aerobics, yoga and a choir. Our busy social committee organises firm-wide events like quiz nights, sponsored walks and drinks evenings, with all proceeds going to our nominated charity of the year.

About the firm

Address:1 Fleet Place, London, EC4M 7WS

Telephone: 020 7242 1212

Fax:020 7246 7777


Chief executive: Elliot Portnoy

Total partners: 138

Other fee-earners: 344

Total trainees: 55

Other offices: Please visit for a full list of offices. 

Who we are: 

What we do: We offer an international legal practice focused on quality in sectors such as: energy, transport and infrastructure, financial institutions and funds, government, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, retail and hotels, and TMT.

What we are looking for: There's no typical candidate for our training contract programme. The expertise within our firm is as diverse as the needs of our global clients. We look for people with a wide range of skills, aptitudes and personalities, with the potential to contribute to our growing success. Being a team player is important, as is having the drive and ambition to succeed in a highly demanding work environment.

What you'll do:You'll learn on the job by running parts of real cases, meeting with real clients and taking your place in the fast-paced and increasingly global world of business. We offer four six-month seats, which may include a seat in one of our international offices or with one of our clients. You will be given responsibility early on, working with your team and clients in real business situations.

Perks: Subsidised gym membership, season ticket loan, pension scheme and private medical insurance.

Sponsorship:GDL/LPC fees during actual years of study; study maintenance grants of £5,000 per year of study (£6,000 in London).


Facts and figures

Training contracts available for 2020: 30

Applications received pa: 1,700 

Percentage interviewed: 20% 


First year: £40,000 (London)/£28,500 (Milton Keynes/Watford)

Second year: £44,000 (London)/£30,000 (Milton Keynes/Watford)

Newly qualified: £70,000 (London)/£44,000 (Milton Keynes/Watford)

 Application process

Apply to:Graduate recruitment.

How: Online application form.

What's involved:Online application form, a critical thinking exercise, first interview with human resources, followed by an assessment centre.

When to Apply:

Training Contract (non-law students): By 31 March 2018.

Training Contract (law students): By 31 July 2018. 

Winter Vacation Scheme (London): By 5 January 2018.

Summer Vacation Scheme (London, Milton Keynes and Watford): By 5 January 2018.