Current Trainees

Frankie 2Francesca Hawker
“I was very interested in following a career in commercial law as my father works in the house building industry. I first met the Watson Burton team at a careers fair, they were really friendly towards me and as a result I wanted to know more about the firm. Since starting my traineeship I’ve seen first-hand that Watson Burton has a close-knit, family feel to it – and when they say they have an ‘open door’ policy, they really mean it! The partners are very supportive and understanding, and I never feel overwhelmed.

“All of the departments are encouraged to mingle together, which makes you feel like you are part of the ‘bigger picture’ at Watson Burton… and this inclusive approach strengthens your connections with other members of staff. There are many great social aspects to the firm too: we’ve all taken part in the ‘Watson Burton Olympics’ on a Nintendo Wii – which has been great fun!”




Jane Robertson

“After completing my LPC at the University of Law in York, I undertook a vacation scheme with Watson Burton where I got a good feel for the company. I then went on to apply for the graduate traineeship.

“The programme is going very well. I have the opportunity to experience my preferred areas of law, but I’m also learning about the ‘business’ aspects of a commercial law firm, such as the soft skills that are required in working with clients and colleagues. This is very important as whichever area of law I decide to specialise in, I can take those transferable skills forward with me in my future career. I also receive support from all members of staff as well as other trainees and we often get together to discuss the different areas of our work. What’s really positive about Watson Burton is the firm’s open-door policy: everyone is very helpful and welcoming.”



Katy 1Katy Ames

“I studied English and History at the University of Sheffield where I also gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Law, before undertaking an LPC at The University of Law in Leeds. Upon graduating, I wanted to move back to Newcastle and pursue my interest in law, so I applied for various traineeships.

“Watson Burton seemed like the friendliest firm and somewhere that would involve me in real client work, where I would be able to make an impact and contribute to the success of the business. I’ve been given the opportunity to get involved in construction and real estate projects, as well as getting the chance to communicate directly with clients: this has been hugely beneficial for me. Watson Burton is a place where I feel comfortable asking questions… and everyone is always happy to help!”




Kieran Kelly

“I initially undertook Watson Burton’s spring vacation programme in April 2016 – it provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the firm’s ethos with other trainees and develop my experience of practise in a commercial legal setting.  When I applied for the graduate programme I was attracted to the level of responsibility you are given as a trainee: you are involved from the outset.  Contributing to the progression of a case from its inception to conclusion is particularly rewarding.

“Law has always been my passion and my commitment to practise within a commercial environment has been realised here. Watson Burton’s strong commercial awareness, alongside its engagement with a number of exciting industries, is particularly impressive.”



Watson, MatthewMatthew Watson
“Watson Burton has a fantastic reputation regionally and nationally, so after graduating with an MLaw from Northumbria University, I decided to undertake the firm’s spring Vacation Scheme. I was then offered a training contract and from day one of starting on the graduate programme, it’s been highly enjoyable.
You are given a great deal of responsibility right from the start, and with supervision, you can get involved on a case and feel like you are actively contributing to the client work.

“Plus, in some working environments, you might feel that it’s too intimidating to ask questions, but at Watson Burton, there’s a genuine desire to help you develop and learn. Your opinion and feedback is valued too and it feels like a two-way relationship. In addition, Watson Burton has a relatively small graduate intake, which means that you’ll receive much more one-to-one mentoring than in some other law firms. That really makes a difference.”



Irons, Megan

Megan Irons
“Watson Burton are very supportive throughout the recruitment process and I’ve seen at first hand that if the firm sees potential in you, they will work with you to develop it.

“In my case, after graduating I undertook Watson Burton’s Vacation Scheme, which was the start of my relationship with the firm. I was then offered a graduate training contract at Watson Burton, but before starting that, I worked as a paralegal in the firm, working mainlyin the corporate team. This gave me the opportunity to get to know the staff, the company culture and gain more of an understanding of the kind of work Watson Burton undertakes.

“I then commenced my graduate training contract at Watson Burton. I’m learning about so many different aspects of law and there is a real sense of community here – everyone supports each other.”


Olivia Grad

Olivia Coulson
“I had my first taste of life at Watson Burton during a vacation placement a few years ago… and it really sold the firm to me. It felt like they really invested in the next generation.

“However I was still very nervous when I walked through the door a few years later, on my first day as a trainee. Within minutes, though, I was completely at ease. It’s obvious that at Watson Burton, they want to encourage you to grow as a professional and will help you get the best out of your traineeship.

“As a trainee here, your work really makes a difference – you are given responsibility and the firm puts its faith in you, they believe in your abilities. I’ve already supported the team on very high level work with major clients and the partners ensure you are heavily involved. I’m learning so much here!”



Roof, RosieRosie Roof
“What first struck me about Watson Burton was the importance the firm places on its graduate training programme. I first met the Watson Burton team at a law fair at university and the fact that partners from the firm were attending the event and meeting the undergraduates made a huge impression. It showed that they are committed to providing a launchpad for the next generation of legal professionals.
“I started my training contract after undertaking an LPC at Northumbria University and I am really enjoying the opportunity I’ve been given here.
At Watson Burton you’ll work alongside real experts in their fields, from corporate to construction, employment to commercial litigation. You’ll also get the chance to attend networking events and meet the firm’s clients, and gain experience across the whole business.  Plus, the team will help you to settle in quickly, which is a great help when you’re starting your career.”




Sarah Stubbs
“If you’re looking for a traineeship with a commercial law firm where there’s a great work/life balance, where you’ll be valued – and where you’ll be part of the team, then you should apply to Watson Burton. I’m certainly glad I did!

“The training here is very ‘hands-on’ and you can work on real cases from beginning to end – the work is very interesting and varied too. The trainees are integrated very well into the departments they work in, and while every day is challenging, the working culture is warm and friendly – whatever level you’re at.

“Watson Burton is a large firm with a fantastic reputation, however it’s not so large that you’re ignored or pushed to one side: this is a place where you can progress as a trainee and thrive in your career.”