What is it like working here?

Some our newly qualified associates talk about their experience working here so you can hear about more about the different training seats available.

We have some of the best rentention statistics in the sector – and we think this is due to a combination of the client base we have the privilege to work with and the friendly culture we retained as we’ve grown. But hear more first-hand from some of our people below.

Meet Nevin, one of our second year trainees


Nevin tells us about her time and experience so far training with us.

View Nevin's profile








Harriet Barber


EDUCATION: Durham University and BPP, London. SEATS: Real estate, corporate (Milan), family and private client

Harriet's experience in the corporate team in Milan


‘I worked as part of the team on the acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team in order to avoid a winding-up petition’

The Milan office is much smaller than our office in London, and consequently provides a supportive environment in which to establish good working relationships with Italian colleagues. As the only UK trainee, I was quickly made to feel like an integral part of the team and was given plenty of opportunity to assume responsibility. I was involved in the day-to-day

running of a smaller, highly confidential matter, acting as the main point of contact for the Italian clients and liaising with colleagues in order to incorporate a new UK company.

On a much larger scale, I worked as part of the team on the acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team in order to avoid a winding-up petition. I also produced first drafts of memoranda of understanding, framework agreements, introduction agreements, consultancy agreements, non-disclosure agreements and equity term sheets for deals involving designer fashion brands and Formula 1 teams.

Joshua Swift


EDUCATION: Durham, St. Aidan's College and University of Law. SEATS: Contentious trust and succession disputes, commercial, litigation and arbitration and real estate.

Joshua's experience in the litigation and arbitration team


‘I particularly enjoyed the varied nature of the work with the ability to get involved in such a wide mix of practice areas’.

My seat in the litigation and arbitration team was thoroughly enjoyable and extremely valuable in honing my litigation skills. I was involved in a number of cases, including a $60m insolvency matter in the Bankruptcy Court, various interest rate hedging and Forex disputes in the Commercial and Chancery Courts and a defamation/misuse of private information claim in the Chancery Court.

I was able to make a real contribution to these cases through drafting inter-partes correspondence, engaging in settlement discussions, researching the law for clients, preparing for interim applications and trials and liaising with Counsel and clients. I particularly enjoyed the varied nature of the work with the ability to get involved in such a wide mix of practice areas.

Ugo Privitera


EDUCATION: University of Catania, Italy. SEATS: Private client and tax (international), family, corporate (Milan office) and dispute resolution.

Ugo's experience in the private client and tax team


‘I have advised clients in areas such as UK trusts and inheritance tax, the rules governing domicile and residence, offshore trust and foundation matters, double taxation and tax information sharing arrangements.’

Typically, international private client & tax work involves estate and tax planning for high net worth individuals who are resident but not domiciled in the UK. The relevant tax rules are complex and require very careful advice, closely tailored to the client’s specific needs and circumstances. Other work includes the structuring, establishment and oversight of trusts

(frequently offshore), family office work and advice on aspects of private international law.

I have advised clients in areas such as UK trusts and inheritance tax, the rules governing domicile and residence, offshore trust and foundation matters, double taxation and tax information sharing arrangements. I have also advised on immigration issues, with a particular focus on relocation planning. I have also assisted in drafting UK wills and trusts for clients with multijurisdictional interests.

Sarfraz Ali


EDUCATION: Durham University and BPP. SEATS: Real estate, family, private client and tax, commercial (corporate).

Sarfraz's experience in the family team


‘To see clients being guided through such a traumatic period by some of the leaders in their field to an invariably positive end was extremely fulfilling, and the primary driver behind my decision to qualify into the team.’

I worked on a diverse range of cases during my time as a trainee in the family team. My matters ranged from ‘big-ticket’, highly contentious litigation in financial remedy proceedings through to private negotiations between parents regarding share care arrangements for their children. Because of this, I got a true feel for the team’s ethos, namely to use the most appropriate method of dispute resolution to achieve the best result for the client with as little emotional and financial strain as possible.

It was clear from the outset that the work of a family law solicitor can be unpredictable and challenging, not least because the clients themselves are often under immense stress and pressure (and understandably so). At the same time, to see the same clients being guided through such a traumatic period by some of the leaders in their field to an invariably positive end was extremely fulfilling, and the primary driver behind my decision to qualify into the team.

Emma Horn


EDUCATION: Oxford University and College of Law. SEATS: Residential real estate, family, corporate, contentious trusts and succession.

Emma's experience in the commercial real estate team


‘I have assisted on a few large transactions, such as the purchase of a hotel in York and the sale of a large offices-to-residential conversion just outside of London.’

My experience to date has been incredibly varied. I have had a lot of experience in development work, acting for both landowners and promoter. I have also worked on a number of investment purchases, as well as more typical landlord and tenant type work. I have

assisted on a few large transactions, such as the purchase of a hotel in York and the sale of a large offices-to-residential conversion just outside of London.

Closer to home, I have also worked on the leases of the various other floors in the building in which Withers is currently based, 16 Old Bailey.

Sheeraz Salar


EDUCATION: University of West of England, Bristol and Bristol Institute of Legal Practice. SEATS: Real estate, commercial, wealth planning and tax, family.

Sheeraz's time in the corporate and commercial team


‘The partners and associates in the team are happy for trainees to take responsibility for matters and get fully involved in the work being undertaken by the team.’

My day-to-day tasks in the corporate and commercial team ranged from advising clients on company formation, drafting share sale and purchase agreements, board minutes, resolutions, articles of association and shareholders agreements. In addition, I also worked on setting up a number of charitable companies limited by guarantee which involved preparing the charity’s governing documents, advising on the charity’s charitable purposes, drafting the Charity Commission’s application form, registering the charitable company with Companies House and the Charity Commission, and attending to post-incorporation tasks such as preparing board minutes and resolutions.

Trainees in this seat can also expect to be involved in everyday tasks such as attending client meetings, preparing transactional documents, drafting letters, engaging with other party solicitors and undertaking complex and interesting research.

The partners and associates in the team are happy for trainees to take responsibility for matters and get fully involved in the work being undertaken by the team. Furthermore, due to the breadth of work that is on offer in the department, as a trainee, you can expect to gain exposure to a whole range of corporate and commercial areas.

Amy Shillitoe


EDUCATION: Exeter University and BPP. SEATS: Real estate, commercial, wealth planning and tax, contentious trust and succession.

Amy's experience in the charities team


‘A charity is really a type of client rather than a strictly delineated area of law, and so the team’s work is very broad.’

Charities can be companies limited by guarantee or shares, charitable incorporated organisations, trusts, unincorporated associations, Royal Charter bodies or statutory corporations so we regularly move from corporate law through to trust law when advising.

A typical day might, for example, begin by drafting Articles of Association for a new charity, move on to analysing whether there is a power of sale under a particular charitable property trust (looking at the trust, property and charity law issues) and finish by doing some research on society lotteries and gambling law. But the next day might be completely different – that’s what Charities is all about. A seat in Charities is consequently very diverse and, given the relatively small size of the team, usually includes an opportunity to play a key role in every matter you are involved in – generally working directly with a partner or special counsel.

After qualifying into the Charities & Philanthropy team, I had the opportunity to spend 5 months on secondment to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) working with their in-house legal team on fundraising, data protection, commercial contracts and lotteries. Many in the team have also had the opportunity to do a secondment with charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and the Tate.

Victoria Harrison


EDUCATION: Oxford University, Christ Church, Nottingham Law School (GDL) and BPP (LPC). SEATS: Wealth planning (Geneva), family, litigation and arbitration, real estate.

Victoria's experience in the wealth planning team in Geneva


‘I had an excellent six months and could not recommend the seat more: the office is very friendly and it is great to have had the opportunity to spend time in another city, particularly for those who like to ski!’

The Geneva office is a smaller outfit than the London office. I was the only trainee, which meant that the level of exposure to interesting work and clients was fantastic. The work often cut across several practice areas (e.g. family, immigration, charities, corporate, real estate) and I worked with partners and associates in our other offices and departments on a regular basis.

Typical tasks included drafting tax advice for clients proposing to move to the UK, drafting wills, and conducting research (given that the relevant

tax rules are complex and change regularly). I also worked on disclosures under the HMRC’s Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, which was
operating during my time in Geneva and which allowed people to disclose previously unreported tax liabilities to HMRC on favourable terms.

Overall, I had an excellent six months and could not recommend the seat more: the office is very friendly and it is great to have had the opportunity to spend time in another city, particularly for those who like to ski!