Training Contracts

Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors is committed to investing in its junior lawyers, and our trainee programme is where it all starts.  We see our trainees as future owners and leaders of the firm  – indeed, five of our current partners trained with us – and our hope is that we will retain every trainee we recruit, and that they will go on to enjoy successful careers with the firm.

We offer traditionally structured training contracts, where – typically – our trainees undertake four seats of around six months each.  We are a mid-sized regional practice, offering both private client and commercial law services and a typical training contract will involve seats in both of these areas.  We are blessed with great clients and there is plenty of quality work.

Trainees undertake a short initial induction programme and then work under the direct supervision of a training principal (typically a partner, and often the head of a team).  Both team managers and team members will give you the support that you need during your training contract and there will be plenty of opportunity for getting involved in both client work and on the job training.

We don’t have a typical training contract applicant.  However, what we tend to look for is:

  • A track record of good academics – GCSE, A-level and degree (or their equivalent).
  • A genuine interest in the law, our region and working at Gaby Hardwicke.
  • Independence.
  • Collegiality
  • A determination to succeed and to do the best that you can.

We consider applicants on both the LPC and SQE routes.  However, we currently only offer training contracts to SQE applicants who want to undertake a full, traditional contract.

We have three main offices – in Eastbourne, Bexhill-on-Sea and Hastings – and trainee seats might be in any or all of them.  In each office our new trainees will find like-minded colleagues, be they existing trainees, newly qualified solicitors, paralegals or executives.

As a firm we care a great deal about our working culture – making sure that our staff are well trained, happy and willing to go the extra mile for clients is important to us.  We therefore encourage trainees to get involved in firm life and extra-curricular activities as much as they can.

We offer competitive salaries from September 2024, (£28,500 in Year 1 and £31,000 in Year 2) and a great package of benefits.

The Recruitment Process

Our recruitment process for trainee solicitors has two stages:

  1. Formal application by covering letter and C.V. Applications are considered by our training principal, who selects between 8-16 candidates for interview.
  2. A formal interview by a panel of partners, plus a short written assessment exercise.

Our minimum academic requirements are a 2.1 degree, not necessarily in law, and a minimum of 128 UCAS points from 3 A levels or the IB equivalent.

We are now inviting applications for training contracts (up to two) commencing in September 2026.

All applications and any enquiries should be directed to debbie.ellis@gabyhardwicke.co.uk.

What our past and present graduate trainees are saying…

Pollyana Cooke
Graduate Trainee Solicitor
"Gaby Hardwicke provides a supportive environment, giving trainees the confidence, to learn through hands on experience".
Christiana McKeown
Graduate Trainee Solicitor
"After starting at Gaby Hardwicke as a paralegal, I was certain about wanting to develop my legal career here. The firm offers the opportunity to work with top lawyers and undertake high-quality, varied work, all whilst being supported by the firm’s friendly culture.”
Cara Grant
Partner
“I joined the firm as a trainee in 2003 when it was much smaller than it is today. However, the progressiveness of the firm, the quality training, support and guidance that I received enabling me to qualify as a Solicitor and then become a Partner, the quality of the work and the people who work here (at all levels) have meant that I have never felt the need to look anywhere else. I am proud to be a part of such a high quality law firm”.
Callum Garlick
Associate Solicitor
"Gaby Hardwicke has a very understanding approach to staff and clients alike. I chose to qualify at Gaby Hardwicke because of its excellent reputation and the great care it takes in nurturing people to maximise their potential and maintain its quality service.”
Fraser Argyle
Graduate Trainee Solicitor
"I am very grateful to be undertaking my training at Gaby Hardwicke. The firm provides a challenging yet supportive environment giving a wide-range of experience and learning opportunities.”
Nadia Winn
Associate Solicitor
“The training and support I have received throughout my training contract and since I qualified has been second to none. It is a testament to the firm to have such dedicated, forward-thinking and driven employees, whom I am fortunate to have as my colleagues and mentors.”

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