Debenhams Ottaway is a great place to start your career in law. Our long-running training contracts have been very successful, with a third of all lawyers and partners starting out at Debenhams Ottaway as trainees.

What should I expect as a trainee?

Our training programme provides high levels of supervision and client contact. You’ll be assigned a supervisor and you’ll receive regular feedback and support throughout your contract. Trainees experience a wide range of practice areas including dispute resolution, family, employment, corporate and commercial, property and private client. This means you’ll gain knowledge and experience in a range of different areas, to help you decide which area of law you would like to pursue.

I have always felt supported at Debenhams Ottaway. I was entrusted with lots of responsibility from day one of my training contract and have regular contact with clients. All of the partners are friendly and approachable and always make time if I have any questions or queries.Daniel Tominey, Litigation solicitor

What are we looking for in our trainees?

We are looking for people with the enthusiasm, imagination and drive to succeed. We like candidates to demonstrate a commitment to client service, who are commercially aware and think outside the box. We encourage our trainees to get involved at all levels. Recent activities include organising social events and getting involved in firm wide marketing initiatives. You do not have to have studied law to join us, however, you must have successfully completed the LPC at the start of the training contract.

Everyone is always so willing to explain things to you, even people that aren’t in my team are happy to stop and talk to me about their work. I think that is quite unique to Debenhams Ottaway that everyone is always there to help you and is invested in you.Jenny Dodds, Trainee Solicitor

What if a training contract is not right for me right now?

If the training contract isn’t right for you, we have other roles to help you get your career in law off to a flying start, from paralegal/legal assistants to business or legal support. This is a great opportunity if you are looking for an alternative route into law that are less formal than the training contract process.

When can I apply for a training contract?

We recruit trainees annually – the number of trainees and timings are based on the needs of the business to ensure that trainees have a high quality training and experience during this period. For our March 2025 intake, please send your applications to no later than 1 January 2025.

How can I apply for a training contract?

If you’ve got enthusiasm, imagination and the drive to succeed, talk to us to find out more about joining the Debenhams Ottaway team. Drop our team a line at to find out what opportunities there might be for you.

Debenhams Ottaway is a great place to start your legal career, but don’t take our word for it. Find out from some of our team what makes us different and why they like working at Debenhams Ottaway.

I’ve had support since I started as a trainee solicitor. I’ve always been encouraged to push myself and always go for the next opportunity. It’s really rewarding to see Debenhams Ottaway put their faith and trust in me.Barry Griffin, Senior Associate

The people are the reason why I’ve stayed here since qualifying. They have seen me grow and they’ve been through that journey with me and supported me throughout.Rachel Hyndman, Partner

A bit more about Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway is a multi-service law firm in the heart of St Albans. We work with individuals, families and businesses in Hertfordshire, London and across the UK, helping them make the most of new possibilities or deal with unexpected challenges at home or in business. Our long and successful history as a leading private wealth adviser is now matched by the reputation of our corporate, real estate and litigation teams that work with medium-sized businesses, owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs.

Debenhams Ottaway is an exciting and demanding environment to work in and we offer support and guidance to help you achieve your best. We believe passionately in providing outstanding support to clients and staff alike and our teams of talented and ambitious people work together to help clients succeed. Our career framework gives you the opportunity to learn and develop in a structured but flexible way.

Teams and lawyers across the firm are recognised in Chambers UK, Chambers HNW and The Legal 500. These leading legal directories benchmark law firms and individual lawyers based on independent research and recommendations by fellow professionals and clients. The firm is also Lexcel accredited with further specialist accreditations in conveyancing, private client and family.

Away from the law, our long standing history in Hertfordshire mean that we are committed to supporting our local community. We encourage staff at all levels to get involved in projects that have a positive impact for the benefit of charities and the wider community. Each year we focus our fundraising on one local charity that is voted for by staff. We also have a busy social calendar for staff to socialise away from the office. Events include quiz nights, a summer BBQ, end of financial year celebration and a Christmas party.