Commercial 2 to 4 years' PQE
London, UK
2d ago

We are recruiting a solicitor with two to four years’ post qualification experience to work within our commercial practice.

The ideal candidate will have experience in leading projects, advising clients on a variety of commercial, IT and / or IP matters whilst working closely alongside partners and other solicitors to provide exceptional service.

About Macfarlanes

We are an independent London-based law firm with a high-profile client base from around the world. We are known for the quality of our work, both in terms of our ability to handle the full range of corporate and commercial matters, and the fact that we can advise our clients on their private affairs.

We handle work of the highest quality and complexity on a wide range of matters.

Our size and partner-led approach enable us to give our clients a more personal service underpinned by the highest standards of commitment and care.

As well as that, our independence allows us to choose precisely the right lawyer or firm for our clients' needs in any jurisdiction in the world.

What this means for you

Offering a partner-led service enables our fee earners to learn and develop through working closely with a senior member of the team.

Our size means that you will often be very close to the front line in a client facing role, gaining a greater insight into the issues facing our clients.

We expect all our fee earners to assume real responsibility, as well as to participate in client and business development activities.

That means wider exposure for you and a steep learning curve.

Our matters often have a cross-border element, so our fee earners frequently liaise with global businesses and specialists in overseas jurisdictions.

The importance we place on the development of our fee earners’ legal and commercial skills has allowed us to develop the excellent reputation we have we believe our education and training programme is second to none.

We all work together as part of a cohesive and supportive team, with the firm recognising, appreciating and rewarding the efforts of its employees.

Practice overview

Our commercial practice currently comprises two partners, one senior consultant, five senior associate solicitors, four associate solicitors and one trainee solicitor.

The practice covers a wide range of work including commercial contracts, IT and technology, intellectual property, outsourcing, sport and data privacy, as well as working with a number of other departments around the firm (notably the corporate group, which the commercial practice works closely with on M&A transactions, joint ventures and other transactional work).

Although lawyers are not left to fend for themselves, our teams are lean and lawyers are expected to be proactive. Continued professional education is an important aspect of the firm’s culture and lawyers at all levels engage in, as well as being expected to lead, regular education and training sessions.

The role

The successful candidate will have relevant experience in the majority (though not necessarily all) of the following key areas :

Commercial contracts :

  • drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, such as standard terms and conditions, supply of goods / services agreements, agency agreements, distribution agreements, franchise agreements, operational management agreements and sponsorship agreements;
  • advising on rights under commercial contracts; and
  • advising on amendments to / novations of commercial contracts.
  • IT and technology :

  • drafting and negotiating IT contracts, in particular software licences, support and maintenance agreements and website terms and conditions;
  • cloud-based solutions work; and
  • hardware / software procurement / purchase / disposal work.
  • Intellectual property :

  • advising on available IP protections (liaising with agents as necessary);
  • drafting and negotiating IP contracts, including licences and assignments;
  • developing IP structuring and protection strategies; and
  • advising on rights against potential infringers (working alongside litigation specialists).
  • Outsourcing :

  • drafting and negotiating sourcing and procurement agreements; and
  • advising on outsourcing to the cloud.
  • Data privacy :

  • advising on compliance with data privacy law, including the GDPR.
  • Corporate support / due diligence :

  • undertaking due diligence from a commercial perspective and drafting / managing the preparation of due diligence reports;
  • negotiating SPA / BPA warranties and participating in disclosure exercises; and
  • drafting and negotiating transitional services agreements.
  • Experience in any of the following other areas would also be very helpful :

  • consumer credit;
  • consumer rights legislation;
  • advertising and marketing compliance matters;
  • sales promotions / lotteries / gaming;
  • e-commerce;
  • hospitality; and
  • sports and media.
  • This job description encompasses the main duties of the role and is by no means exhaustive. It is anticipated that duties may vary from time to time according to the needs of the practice area.

    The candidate

    The right candidate should possess the following key requirements :

  • qualified lawyer;
  • intelligent, motivated and with strong academics from A Levels (or equivalent), with a minimum 2 : 1 degree (or equivalent) from a highly regarded institution;
  • two to four years’ post-qualification experience from a recognised commercial / IT & technology / IP practice. We will consider candidates from non-UK jurisdictions;
  • excellent technical knowledge;
  • the ability to instil confidence to the client by delivering clear, efficient and robust advice in a commercial context;
  • experience in leadership as well as the ability to work as part of a team;
  • credible and self-sufficient; and
  • exceptional interpersonal skills at all levels.
  • We are recognised for the quality of our work, and the quality of our solicitors is an essential element of this any recruitment will only be made if this high standard is met.

    We strive to provide our solicitors with long-term careers and have a career development programme in place which is designed to support each of our solicitors’ aspirations, enabling them to enhance their legal and commercial skills, and to reach their full potential.

    Our commitment to inclusion

    Macfarlanes is committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and partners, the continued improvement of which has been identified as one of the firm’s key priorities.

    The firm remains focussed on recruiting, retaining and promoting all groups in the firm fairly, without discrimination of gender, race or ethnicity, background, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic.

    At Macfarlanes we believe that an inclusive, forward-thinking culture is both intrinsically important and enables us to provide innovative solutions to our clients.

    We have identified the continued development of inclusivity as a key priority and are committed to fostering a broad and diverse culture throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership.

    We continually review our processes to ensure that all of our people enjoy the same chance to develop and advance.

    We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, bringing different perspectives and experiences, making Macfarlanes an exciting and stimulating place to work.

    We seek to recruit the best candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, background, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation or any other characteristic.

    As part of our commitment to recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse workforce, we ask you and / or your recruiter to answer all the diversity questions when submitting an application to Macfarlanes.

    This data will allow us to measure our progress towards improving the diversity of our applicants, and ultimately, our hires.

    Our diversity data reporting is anonymised to maintain the privacy of applicants. If you have any questions relating to how the diversity data is used, please contact a member of the recruitment team.

    Should you require any adjustments during the application and / or interview process, please do not hesitate to inform your recruiter or a member of the recruitment team.

    Please note, the job description is available in other accessible formats (for example, large print).


    Malcolm is head of the firm’s commercial practice. Malcolm advises clients on related commercial matters, including in the context of distribution, franchising, parallel importing, and commercial joint-ventures.

    He also provides compliance advice, programmes and seminars to corporate clients and trade associations, tailored to fit the issues faced by those businesses and the regulatory requirements of the sector concerned.

    Regarding intellectual property, Malcolm advises on licensing arrangements, research and development projects, strategic alliances and co-operation agreements, as well as in respect of regulatory issues and transactional matters.

    His cross-disciplinary experience means that he is ideally placed to advise on matters involving intellectual property separation issues or that otherwise present a tension between intellectual property exploitation and EU laws on free movement and competition.

    The breadth of Malcolm’s expertise makes him a natural first point of contact for many businesses, which has helped him to enjoy long-standing relationships with general counsel at several clients of the firm.

    Malcolm is recognised as a leading individual by Chambers. He is a regular contributor to legal journals and speaks at conferences.


    Will’s practice encompasses commercial contracts, outsourcing, intellectual property and wider commercial matters.

    Will has a broad commercial practice which is centred on advising on a wide range of commercial contracts and arrangements, with a particular focus on clients operating in the financial services, technology, media and hotel and leisure sectors.

    Will has a particular interest in outsourcing and has acted on a wide range of mandates, predominantly acting for customers.

    He has considerable recent experience acting on outsourcings for clients in the funds, asset management and broader financial services sectors.

    In addition to Will’s stand-alone commercial contracts work, he also advises on the commercial aspects of M&A and other corporate transactions, working closely with the corporate and M&A team to advise the firm’s wider corporate and private equity client base.

    Will also specialises in advising clients on the exploitation and commercialisation of their intellectual property assets, in particular in relation to brand licensing, sponsorship and franchising arrangements.

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