Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach

Information for Trainees

"If you are looking for a firm that 'earns consistent praise from previous trainees' and can provide high-quality files and great client contact, then Payne Hicks Beach could be the ideal place for you" Lex 100: the student guide to the UK's premier law firms

Payne Hicks Beach is a long-established firm of solicitors with a history since 1770. We are privileged to be located in picturesque Lincoln’s Inn at the heart of the legal world in Central London. We have broad ranging practice areas from Private Client and Family to Property and Corporate. Our solicitors have an excellent level of technical expertise and we have an outstanding reputation in many of our practice areas.

Payne Hicks Beach is noted as having a first-rate training programme for aspiring solicitors. The firm has been included in The Lex 100 Winners List for many years and has again been named a Lex 100 Winner for 2017/18. Over the years, the firm has received top tier place medals for job satisfaction, living up to expectations, work life balance, friendliness of the firm, quality of work, client contact and stress levels.

The review given by The Lex 100 states:-

Keeping trainees happy is a knack that some firms seem to excel at more than others and Payne Hicks Beach is certainly getting things right with its 100% score

The Lex 100 Guide comments that trainees at the firm feel that they are “treated as valuable members of the firm from day one”, get “more responsibility” with "supportive and down-to-earth colleagues'" and "the partners and solicitors put a lot of trust in you". The firm is credited as having “a prestigious and stellar client base" as well as an “unbeatable reputation” with the added benefit of a "beautiful setting in Lincoln's Inn".


  • Details of Training

    During the two year training period trainee solicitors usually spend six months in four of the top leading law firm, Payne Hicks Beach's five specialist departments, so that they have experience of a wide cross-section of the Firm's work.

    These departments are:

    • Private Client
    • Family
    • Company and Commercial (including Employment)
    • Property 
    • Dispute Resolution

    As far as possible, the trainee's choice of department will be taken into consideration. Trainees are involved in the day to day activities of the department to which they are assigned. They attend conferences with clients, counsel and other professional advisers and may be asked to assist in all aspects of the department's work. Since there is usually only one trainee per department at any one time, the trainee plays a very important role.

    During each six month period the trainees are given increased responsibility, depending on their ability and aptitude, and are subject to continued assessment. Mid and end of seat appraisals take place.

    The Firm considers the continuing academic learning of its trainees to be extremely important. In addition to the Professional Skills and induction courses, the Firm runs a formal training programme and trainees are required to attend all lectures and seminars, on various legal topics, held throughout the two year period.

    Partners, Associates and many others devote a great deal of time to your development. As one of a small intake of trainees each year, you will need to be ready for real work and supervised client contact from the very start.


    We pay a competitive rate of remuneration and benefits, comparable to similar firms in London.

    Course Fees and Maintenance Grant

    The fees for the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course and a maintenance grant whist studying are paid, if incurred after selection. These are not repayable provided examinations are passed at the first attempt, training is completed and the trainee remains with the Firm for a period of at least two years post qualification.

    We have an exclusive arrangement for the provision of legal training with BPP.

    Academic Requirements

    Trainees are selected from a large number of applicants, so very high standards are set in the selection process.

    We expect successful applicants have obtained, or be on course for a 2:1 degree classification for their undergraduate course, unless there are exceptional circumstances.



    If you have any enquiries, please forward these to

  • Training Programme

    Trainees are selected from a large number of applicants, so very high standards are set in the selection process. The Firm recruits both law and non-law graduates and also mature students. Although good academic qualifications are essential, (an upper second class degree is a minimum requirement), we are also looking for applicants with personality and enthusiasm.

    Trainees need to develop a range of skills to enable them to become a successful solicitor.

    All trainee solicitors must complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) during their training contract and the PSC comprises two sections: Core and Electives. In addition to the PSC, you will attend a general induction to the firm, equipping you with the basic skills you need for the first day in your seat.


    If you have any enquiries, please forward these to


  • Social Life

    The Firm is a sociable environment in which to work. It organises various cricket, tennis, sailing and other sports and social activities including the London Legal Walk, wine tasting and quiz nights.

    All members of staff also participate in events laid on in support of our chosen charities.


    If you have any enquiries, please forward these to

  • Diversity

    The Firm is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and all applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief.

    The Firm ensures that everyone is equally valued, respected, and treated with dignity and fairness.

    To view our diversity statement please click here.

    If you have any enquiries, please forward these to


  • Application Process 2021

    Please apply using our online system Allhires.

    We are looking to recruit three trainees for training commencing in September 2021. The closing date for applications is 31 July 2019. Following the closing date all applications will be reviewed. Successful applicants will be invited to attend an assessment day on either the 5, 7 or 9 August 2019.

    Candidates will be told as soon as possible following the assessment day whether they have been selected for interview. We will also notify you if you are on the interview reserve list. If a place then becomes available it will be offered to a reserve. Interviews will take place on the 13 and 15 August 2019.

    Offer letters will be sent out as soon as verbal acceptances are received. At that time those on the reserve list will also be notified.

    Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unfortunately unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

    If you have any enquiries, please forward these to

  • A day in the Life of a Trainee

    Emily Bueno, trainee, Payne Hicks Beach

    Departments to date: Dispute Resolution and Private Client

    University: Newcastle, Trinity College Dublin, Bristol and Kaplan

    9.00:      I arrive at the office, make myself a cup of tea and scan the headlines. I often see cases we are working on in the news, as well as clients. I then check my emails and review my to-do list for the day, prioritising more urgent tasks.

    9.30:      Last night, the Associate who was supervising me gave me some feedback on my draft Deed of Appointment and Trustees’ Resolution for an offshore client of ours. I incorporate her amendments and proofread the documents before sending them to the Partner in charge. I have drafted a number of documents in Private Client, including Wills, Letters of Wishes, a Deed of Appointment of Additional Trustee, Deeds of Exclusion and Trustees’ Resolutions. Being the only trainee in the department, means that you are given lots of substantive work like this.

    10.30:    I continue with a task I was set yesterday. A client wants to set up a charity, so I am researching what the law requires for an organisation to be recognised as charitable. I collate this research into a Memo, and I start to draft an objective for our client’s proposed charity, so that it will be registered by the Charity Commission. I have been given a number of really interesting research tasks like this in Private Client; I particularly enjoy being asked to research tricky tax points.

    12.30:    I head out to Fleet Street to buy lunch and get some fresh air. There are lots of places to eat nearby, and when the weather is good Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a great place to go for a stroll and enjoy an al fresco lunch. The firm often has lunchtime seminars on topics related to its practice areas, which I always like to attend. Once a week we have ‘Staff Lunch’ when our brilliant catering team puts on a delicious spread, which is also a nice opportunity to meet fee earners from other departments. 

    1.30:      I return to the Memo, giving it a proofread and then sending it off to the solicitor in charge of running this matter. 

    2.30:      I share a room with a partner, which means that he involves me in a lot of his work. A client of his wants to move all her family trusts to our firm, so I set these up as clients on our system and draft an engagement letter for him to approve. 

    4.00:      Time for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, which someone has kindly brought in. PHB is a really friendly firm and people are always very generous with bringing in baked goodies.

    4.15:      A potential client has emailed my supervisor explaining her confusion about the statutory residence test. I review the legislation and draft a response to her. The rules are quite complex and the potential client’s personal situation is not entirely clear, so this is tricky to draft.

    5.30:      I email an Associate about my progress on another matter. This is one of the key things I have learned. I am often juggling a number of tasks, so it is important to prioritise these and keep people updated as to your progress.

    6.00:      I write my to-do list for tomorrow and check with my supervisor if there is anything I can help with before I head home. I typically leave between 6 – 7 pm, but will of course stay later if I am busy or need to get something urgent done. He tells me to go home, so I head off to a yoga class in nearby Covent Garden.