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Training Contract Programme

Why Train at Covington?

As a trainee at Covington you will have early responsibility and exposure. Working within small teams and playing a significant role in complex substantive work, our trainees work closely with senior lawyers and partners, and have a chance to make a real impact on work that matters.

We offer trainees the opportunity to work on cutting-edge matters. Our clients include Microsoft, AstraZeneca, and Facebook, Fortune 100 businesses and leading technology, life sciences, and media companies. We have represented Facebook, Inc in its US$22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp and its US$1 billion acquisition of Instagram. We also advised Illumina on a four-year project that will map genomes for breakthroughs into cancer and rare diseases.

Please click here to hear from our current and former trainees.

To learn more, download the London recruiting brochure.

What We Look for in Candidates

The candidates we choose are sharp, articulate, and quick thinking. They have confidence and composure, but also honesty and humour. We look for candidates to be on track for a 2.1 degree with a strong academic record.

Core Seats

All trainees undertake the following two seats.

Corporate

Our corporate clients range from start-ups to established multinationals, and include investment banks and investors.

Given the firm’s particular strengths, much of our work is within the pharmaceutical/ life sciences, energy and clean energy, brands, technology, and media industries. Our work includes premium cross-border M&A deals, complex worldwide licensing and collaboration transactions, international project development and finance advice, venture capital financing for emerging companies and their investors, capital markets fundraisings, and fund transactions and formations.

Dispute Resolution

Lawyers in our dispute resolution practice advise companies across a wide variety of industries. Often our work is in ground-breaking, complex fields and we regularly advise on significant, high-profile cases in litigation and arbitration.

The practice also comprises one of the largest and most sophisticated corporate crime and investigations practices in Europe. We advise our multinational client base on a range of issues including bribery, money laundering, sanctions, and fraud.

Electives

Trainees choose two elective seats from five areas. We make every effort to satisfy requests and tailor the training contract to specific interests.

Employment 

Covington’s international employment practice helps multinational employer clients manage HR-legal compliance projects. Our work includes the preparation of global policies and codes of business conduct, expatriate secondments/ global mobility, multi-country project management, cross- border M&A, corporate restructuring, and litigation. Current projects in which we are involved include business and human rights-related compliance initiatives and gender pay gap reporting requirements.

Life Sciences Regulatory

Covington is widely acknowledged to have one of the world’s top life sciences practices globally. We advise companies and trade associations, including many of the major multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers, biotechnology companies and producers of medical devices, cosmetics, foods, food packaging, specialty chemicals and consumer products. Our advice covers a wide range of regulatory, transactional, and contentious matters. We represent our clients before regulators, policymakers, and the national and European Courts. The group has been heavily involved in most of the major regulatory developments in recent years, including the fight against COVID-19.

Technology Regulatory 

We advise clients on a variety of technology regulatory issues. Our expertise spans such diverse topics as data protection, cyber security, copyright and other IP, e-commerce, the use of AI, platform regulation, Internet of Things, digital health, social media, behavioural advertising, geolocation tracking, and biometrics, to name just a few. The team in London works closely with colleagues in our other offices to help clients roll out innovative new products and services globally, as well as supporting clients to manage regulatory investigations and important litigation. We also work regularly with our public policy and government affairs colleagues to help clients shape technology, IP, and related laws at the European and national level.

Project Development and Finance

Our team advises companies, lenders, and governments on a wide variety of energy and infrastructure projects. Our main focus in energy is on power projects rather than traditional oil and gas. We have substantial experience in renewables and are rapidly gaining experience in battery and other storage projects. We consider that the energy transition is not only key to the future of the practice but also to the life chances of people in developing countries. Two-thirds of people in Africa still do not have access to power and one of the team’s pro bono initiatives was commenting on mini-grid regulations before they were brought into force in an African state; another consists of teaching project finance techniques to young African women involved in the energy sector. The team work on projects anywhere in the world but with a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa.

Life Sciences Transactional

Widely recognized as a global leader in strategic transactions, Covington advises on many of the industry’s largest and most innovative life sciences transactions year after year. A hallmark of our transactional practice is our extensive experience structuring, negotiating, and drafting complex global alliances, strategic collaborations, joint ventures, licensing, and other agreements that underpin the life sciences and healthcare sectors. We work with pharma, biotech, medtech and digital health clients, ranging from start-ups through to the largest multinationals, giving us a deep understanding of the issues that arise in relation to agreements at all stages and across all fields within life sciences and healthcare.

Secondments

Brussels Secondment

A secondment to Covington’s Brussels office provides an opportunity to work in our EU competition law practice group. Ranked among the top antitrust and competition firms in the world, the team advises clients on a range of issues–cartels, abuse of dominance, mergers, and State aid–and represents them in front of the European Court, the European Commission, national competition authorities, and national courts.

Dubai Secondment

A secondment to Covington's Dubai office provides an opportunity to work with Covington's project finance, corporate, global dispute resolution, government affairs and public policy, and regulatory practices across the firm in a challenging and rapidly evolving market. The Middle East PDF practice provides a broad range of infrastructure development counsel and project acquisition, finance, and development advice in the oil and gas, power generation, water, mining, and other industrial and agricultural infrastructure sectors. Our Middle East Corporate team advises on mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, investment & private equity transactions and reorganisations across a range of sectors including infrastructure, life sciences, oil and gas / petchem, telecoms, technology and defence and national security. Our lawyers in Dubai provide advice to business entities, government agencies, sovereign wealth funds and private investors in the Middle East and those based outside of the region to navigate a wide array of business opportunities and respond to complex legal challenges throughout the Gulf.

Client Secondment

Opportunities are provided to trainees to undertake a six month client secondment, which typically takes place in the second year of their training contract.