Commercial awareness

It's our business, to know business

Because business matters to our clients, it matters to us. So we’ll expect you to be interested in the commercial world and the issues that affect both our clients and our firm. Before you come to interview, we recommend you pick one or two key business or legal stories that interest you. Then we’d like you to follow them for at least a couple of weeks, so you’re ready to discuss them with us. Some good places to start include Lawyer2B, BBC News Business, The Economist, the Financial Times, and broadsheet newspapers. There are also a range of commercial awareness books available.

Top tips for demonstrating commercial thinking:

  • Complete our free virtual internship aimed at university students:
  • Or complete our introduction to commercial law programme aimed at 16-18 year olds:
  • Learn how a deal works
  • Read our ‘Thought Leadership’ papers here
  • Attend one of our workshops
  • Get up to speed with business and market trends – read the business press and watch the news
  • Form your own opinions


“Commercial awareness is, in its purest form, understanding the key concerns of clients: their size and shape, the markets they operate in, their competitors, the risks facing them and their future direction. It's about understanding how the client can deal with regulations, finance an acquisition or meet ongoing funding needs. There are many technically able lawyers, but the ones who impress clients – and excel – are the ones who understand clients’ businesses.”Christopher Williams, Counsel

If you'd like to contact a member of the Graduate Recruitment team about our application process, or require any reasonable adjustments, please email us at

A typical transaction

So what do you actually do?

We're often asked, "what do you actually do as a Trainee?". Providing an answer is not as straightforward as it might seem, as we're professionally bound to protect client confidentiality and can't share sensitive details of real projects. However, our video below is a 'Trainee's diary' of a typical major deal you'll work on.