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To create a new legal brand in today’s competitive legal sector, Square One Law has literally gone back to square one. This is because the feedback from clients made it clear that they wanted experienced lawyers who have a real understanding of their business and market sector and not be delegated to inexperienced members of a larger team.

Our firm is completely client focused and our leaner model means we do not recruit a large number of junior lawyers. However, we do offer a couple of traineeships, previously known as training contracts, to exceptional candidates each year.

Applications for our 2017 Summer Vacation Scheme is now closed. If you have any questions about the scheme please contact

Ricky Handa

Recently Qualified Solicitor

After graduating from Northumbria University with a degree in Law and MSc Business with Legal Management in 2012, Ricky joined Square One Law as a paralegal before starting his training contract in January 2013. In January 2016 he qualified into the commercial property team.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

As a business with legal management graduate I always knew that I wanted to work for a client focussed firm. What struck me about Square One Law was the firm’s commitment to delivering an excellent service.

The firm’s growth over such a short period of time was also a draw as so many high profile people had joined from well established firms, so I knew that there was a pool of knowledge and expertise and the opportunity to learn from people that are leaders in their field.

Was the summer vacation placement worth doing?

I found the summer vacation scheme to be extremely useful as it gave me a flavour of what the Square One Law working environment was like in practice. It was clear from the start that as a trainee I would be valued as part of the wider team and that I would have access to partners who would work with me and assist my development.

What did you enjoy most about your traineeship?

I liked the responsibility. I was not just told what to do and was given the freedom and the responsibility to work things out for myself. I also had the opportunity to suggest solutions rather than be told the answers.

I enjoyed being at the core of the team and working with senior people. Overall I think that Square One Law provides a great working environment, I really enjoy working here and I am really pleased that the firm has lived up to my expectations.

What sort of projects were you involved in?

During the course of my traineeship I was involved in a number of high profile matters. One of the great things about Square One Law is that trainees are not restricted to lower level work; there is the opportunity to assist on major projects.

Examples of this include supporting the corporate partners on the disposal of a regional engineering business for £2.75m and the investment of £5m from the Business Growth Fund to a house builder based in the North East.

How much interaction did you have with clients as a trainee?

Where appropriate I was always invited to attend client meetings and I was expected to contribute to the discussion. I am not convinced that you would get this level of client interaction elsewhere.

Despite playing a reasonably small role in transactions, I was included in completion meetings which is a great way to see the direct impact your work has had.

Client interaction is a fantastic way to learn more about the types of businesses in the North East and the opportunities and challenges faced by the region. This is great for personal development and means a more well rounded experience as a trainee.

Can you tell me about the networking activity you engaged in as a trainee?

As a growing firm Square One Law encourages businesses development and expects everyone from trainees to partners to get out and raise their personal profiles as well as that of the firm.

We are all encouraged to make contacts and develop our own networks at both formal and more social events.

What do you think makes the Square One Law training contract different?

I think the key differences to the training contract itself are the responsibility that you are given from the start, the value the firm places on you and your opinions and the client interaction that trainees are granted.

The ambition and drive to deliver the best level of service is something I don’t think you would get at any other firm.

Alex Clark

Recently Qualified Solicitor

Alex graduated from Northumbria University in 2013 with a degree in Law and worked as a paralegal before joining Square One Law in September 2014. He began his traineeship with the firm in January 2015.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

I studied in the North East and I wanted to return to Newcastle. Square One Law seemed to be doing something different and to have more energy about it than the other firms.

The idea of working for a relatively new firm really appealed to me as there is an opportunity to be more involved and to shape my own training contract and experience as opposed to the rigid structure offered by more established firms.

What did you think about the paralegal day last summer?

At first I was actually a little worried as I didn't want to be at a disadvantage to those that had a full week of work experience. With hindsight I realise that it was the perfect in-between for those in full time employment as I was able to meet everyone and experience what the firm is like, without taking significant time off work.

When you are researching law firms and training contracts you notice that most firms and their websites say the same thing. However, you quickly realise that there is a difference between what you say and what you do. One day at Square One Law was enough to make me realise that they do mean what they say on the website. They are as client focussed and as forward thinking as they claim to be.

Did you find the paralegal experience at Square One Law useful before being offered your traineeship?

I had been working as a paralegal for the previous year so I knew what to expect. I do think that it is a sensible idea and a chance for both sides to get to know each other before making a commitment, although I was confident that it would be a good fit!

Can you tell me what you did as a paralegal at Square One Law?

Within my first two weeks with the firm I was assigned to the litigation team as I have previous experience in this area. Because of this, my paralegal experience was a bit different from the norm as I was exclusively working on one large project rather than assisting the whole firm with smaller tasks.

As a result I feel like I gained a greater understanding and feel like I have really made a contribution during my time as a paralegal.

Now that I have taken my first seat I am working on wider litigation matters but I feel more comfortable knowing that I had the paralegal experience.

What do you think will make your Square One Law traineeship different?

It has to be direct involvement with everyone at the firm. I have an official mentor but I am able to seek advice across the firm at any level as there are no communication barriers. This approachable culture makes it a much more comfortable learning environment and I am not sure that other firms offer such an approach.

Philip Stewart


Philip joined Square One Law as a paralegal in September 2014, and began his traineeship with the firm in April 2015.

When did you join Square One Law?

I joined Square One Law in September 2014. I am from the area and I wanted remain  in the North East so I had done some extensive research into the local legal marketplace and Square One Law seemed like the right fit for me.

What is your current position within the firm and what type of work do you do?

I started my training contract in 2015 and undertook my first seat in the corporate and commercial department.

My current seat is in the commercial litigation department where I have a highly varied and interesting workload. I am assisting the head of the department Gillian Tatt with the preparation of a large case which is due for trial in May 2016. I have assisted with the preparation of various different expert evidence submissions and Disclosure.

Additionally I have worked on property litigation matters such as termination of tenancies, advice in relation to the extension of tenancies and protected tenancies advice.

I am also continuing to manage current caseloads including claims in respect of the mis-selling of certain IT products and a claim in the mis-selling of financial products.

Can you tell me about the work experience week last summer?

The work experience programme takes five days, the first day is mostly an introduction to the firm, and the remaining four days are split between the different departments. All participants are also given a project to complete over the course of the week.

I found the week to be really useful as it gave me a full overview of the firm and an insight into the culture of the business and how everyone works together. There is also the chance to get to know everyone over informal drinks which was a nice way to find out more about those you weren’t directly working with.

What attracted you to the firm?

Having previously worked in London and the South East in a sales role within a large, process driven organisation, I knew that I wanted to be in the North East and in a firm of a size where I could make a difference and not just be a number.

I am very proud of the local business community and I wanted to work at a firm where I could interact with and support those North East businesses.

Square One Law fit the brief and thankfully it has become a reality. What was clear from the start was the firm’s vision, I knew it was trying to create change in the local legal marketplace and I wanted to be part of that.

What do you think makes the Square One Law traineeship different?

Working in a new business and as part of a smaller team means there are more opportunities to get involved than I think there would be at other firms.

Square One Law doesn’t spoon feed trainees. There is an expectation that you will assert yourself and be proactive, don’t be put off though, it is a good pressure as it shows they are investing in you and giving you the opportunity to prove yourself. Again I don’t think this is the standard approach the traineeships.

Hayley Davidson


Hayley joined Square One Law as a paralegal in September 2015, and began her traineeship with the firm in January 2016.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

Having spent time as a paralegal at Bond Dickinson, a much larger regional firm, I knew that I wanted to be part of a smaller firm where I could make a difference. What I really liked about Square One Law was the fact that it attracts high quality clients and large scale, interesting projects but it is still growing so there is still the opportunity to get to know everyone and to really feel part of a team.

Did you find the paralegal experience at Square One Law useful before being offered your traineeship?

Absolutely, my first few months were a great opportunity to get to know more about the firm and how it works day to day, the different teams and of course the people. Working initially as a paralegal gave me a good grounding in what the firm is and what it is trying to achieve so I felt fully comfortable as I started my training contract.

Can you tell me what you did as a paralegal at Square One Law?

As a paralegal I worked with Square One Law’s corporate and commercial property teams.

With the corporate team I was lucky enough to be able to work on two large acquisitions, drafting ancillary documents and assisting with the due diligence process. I found this really interesting and it allowed me to get to know more about how businesses work and developed my commercial awareness.

I also supported the commercial property team with drafting documents and with post completion work, such as land registry and stamp duty applications.

Within both teams I was really surprised by the level of client interaction I was able to have. The teams included me in client meetings which were a great learning experience and something that hadn’t happened in my previous paralegal role.

What do you think makes your Square One Law traineeship different?

My traineeship is different to that of my friends in a number of ways, the projects are more varied and I work on large transactions and directly with senior members of the team. I also get invited to client meetings so I can learn from partners and senior associates about interacting with clients and developing relationships.

Overall I think that it comes down to feeling part of a team. I am not simply given ad hoc pieces of work and by working with the whole team and at all levels, I am gaining an understanding of how different projects work and what my role is within each transaction. This experience is invaluable and I don’t think that this level of involvement and contact with senior members of the team is readily available elsewhere.

Sally Hyslop


Sally joined Square One Law in September 2015. She is currently a paralegal within the litigation team.

When did you join Square One Law?

Following the completion of my LPC at Northumbria University, I took part in the Square One Law summer vacation scheme in June 2015 and started at the firm in September 2015 along with Hayley Davidson.

What is your current position within the firm and what type of work do you do?

My role at Square One Law is unique as I actually started as an assistant before becoming a paralegal in January 2016.

Having never worked in an office before, this was a great opportunity for me to gain experience and to learn more about the firm.

I work closely with all teams, supporting them where I can, although most recently I have been working with the litigation team on a large and complex mediation case. My role involved the preparation of documents and contact with clients in the run up to the mediation. Currently I am assisting the team in preparing disclosure documents for an upcoming trial.

Can you tell me about the work experience week last summer?

The work experience week gave me a good insight into the firm, its practices and its culture. It was a great way to meet the team.

Throughout the week we were given live work to assist with, I worked with the corporate, property and employment teams and what I enjoyed most was the opportunity to really contribute and give my opinion on matters. As the team is still relatively small the whole week felt a lot more personal than other work experience programmes I have attended.

There were plenty of opportunities throughout the week to spend time with people at all levels from across the firm. Being able to interact socially was a great way to find out more about the firm and the type of place that it is to work.

What attracted you to the firm?

Mostly the fact that it is different, even the recruitment process is different and shows that the firm is looking for like-minded people to help it grow.

From the start everyone was very approachable and I felt relaxed from my first interview all the way through the work experience week. Rather than a being a regimented corporate operation, Square One Law felt more personal and more like a business. Its approach seemed more organic and holistic and that was something that I wanted to be a part of.