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Why HFW?

The work we do

Our strategy is to become the world's leading law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors.

We have more than 600 lawyers, including 180 Partners, based in offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

We pride ourselves on our deep industry expertise and our entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.

By completing a training contract with us you will gain experience of these sectors in a dynamic international environment. All of our Trainees complete at least one seat abroad, which we consider to be a core part of your development as an international lawyer. You will work with high-profile clients on complex, often precedent-setting cases and transactions. You will gain experience of both litigation and transactional work. Transactional work can involve – for example, working on the financial arrangements for a new fleet of ships or a wind farm; buying and selling a company; or working on the insurance aspects of a corporate deal.

Our sectors:

Our core sectors are at the heart of everything we do as a business, from legal services to pro bono and CSR.

See below for more information on our 6 sectors:


Our market-leading aerospace practice has been at the forefront of legal developments in this sector for over three decades. Our specialist lawyers have unrivalled experience of resolving the most complex claims and advising on aviation safety, economic regulation, finance and leasing, competition and antitrust. We also offer a bespoke aviation mediation service. We were recently named Aviation Law Firm of the Year at The Legal 500 Awards 2019 and the China Business Law Awards 2019.

Practice: aviation liability; transactional and commercial; business and private aviation; competition and regulatory; finance and leasing; disputes.

Clients: airlines; insurers; banks; manufacturers; support providers; owners; operators; freight forwarders; governments; logistics operators; lessors; MROs.


We have a market-leading team of more than 90 specialist commodities and dispute resolution lawyers across our global network, including the major hubs of London, Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Houston and Sydney.

Our global team comprises experts across all areas of the commodities industry, including physical supply, transportation, storage, OTC and exchange-traded derivatives, finance, digital trade, insurance, operations, compliance, sanctions and regulation.

Many of our lawyers have worked in the industry, giving us unrivalled experience and expertise, including secondments to the legal departments of traders and banks who are active in commodities.

Practice: hard and soft commodities; international sale of goods; trading and trade finance; disputes; freight and FFAs; mining, minerals and bulk construction products; derivatives; renewables; sanctions and other regulatory issues; oil and gas; start-up commodity trading company service; power.

Clients: energy and chemical companies; coal and metal traders; soft commodity trading houses; trade finance banks; governments and agencies; brokers; insurers; trade associations.


Our global construction team has been instructed on some of the largest and most complex projects across a wide range of international markets and industries, including the energy and infrastructure sectors and, throughout Australia and Asia, the property sector.

We advise contractors, owners, consultants, insurers, property developers, financiers and investors (both private and institutional) on every aspect of the construction process, from project establishment and procurement to claim resolution. We also offer a project monitoring service to support clients on legal and contractual issues.

We have specialist lawyers worldwide, with hubs in London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

We are currently acting on the world’s largest offshore wind project and have advised on more than half of all offshore UK wind farms.

Practice: procurement; risk management; live project advice; dispute resolution; property development, investment and finance.

Clients: contractors; owners; consultants; insurers; property developers; financiers; private and institutional investors.


Our specialist team advises clients at every stage of the energy chain, including exploration and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading and sale of oil and gas, electricity generation, and energy management. We also have expertise in renewables, carbon trading and mining.

Many in our team have direct experience of working in industry and our lawyers build long-term relationships with our clients in the sector.

We have added four energy and resources partners in the past six months, and now have 33 partners and more than 90 lawyers across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

Practice: public/private M&A and equity investments; capital markets, including IPOs; joint ventures; commercial and general advisory; infrastructure projects; trading (physical/financial/carbon); dispute resolution; insurance and reinsurance.

Clients: governments; regulators; national/international oil companies; service contractors; utilities; investors; financiers; insurers.


Our global insurance and reinsurance practice is recognised as an industry leader, offering a comprehensive range of advisory, dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory legal services to clients across the sector.

We have a specialist team of 23 partners and more than 70 lawyers across our network of international offices.

Our insurance and reinsurance work is high value, likely to be complex and multi-party, and very often international in nature.

Practice: dispute resolution (casualty, construction, energy, financial institutions, income protection, legacy, life, management liability, marine insurance, medical expenses, personal accident, political risk and trade credit, professional indemnity, property, reinsurance, specialty, TMT, IPR, cyber risks, war and terrorism); transactional and regulatory (M&A and asset purchase, capital and debt raising, new product development and policy drafting, complex risk transfer, insurance regulation, commercial agreements, restructuring and run-off, life insurance, tax).

Clients: insurance and reinsurance companies; policyholders; captives and mutuals; brokers and intermediaries; managing agencies and MGAs; TPAs and other service providers.


We are widely recognised as the world’s leading shipping and maritime law firm and have been serving clients in the industry for over 135 years.

We have more than 190 shipping lawyers and 13 Master Mariners across our international offices, specialising in dry shipping, admiralty and crisis management, and transactional work.

We represent the full spectrum of those involved in the industry, and have a reputation for innovation in service delivery, collaborative cross-office teamwork and in-depth industry knowledge.

Our partner Rory Butler was recently named by trade publication Lloyd’s List as one of the 100 most influential people in shipping, and partner Richard Neylon featured in The Lawyer’s list of the UK’s top 100 lawyers.

Practice: dry shipping; admiralty and crisis management; ship finance; offshore; logistics; regulatory; technology; corporate shipping; ports and terminals, cruise; yachts; marine insurance.

Clients: shipowners and charterers; P&I Clubs; banks; international agencies; shipyards; marine insurance underwriters; governments; brokers.

Our services

Within our sectors we offer a broad range of legal services to our clients in areas such as: corporate, finance, dispute resolution, EU, competition & regulatory, employment, fraud & insolvency, and oil & gas. You would have the opportunity to experience many of these during your training contract.

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