Skip to main contents
Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin, Partner

Freshfields in three words Dynamic, international, supportive

Andrew Austin, Partner

Andrew Austin, Freshfields Partner, talks about the future, leading by example and meritocracy.

No-one expects you to be the fully-formed article when you arrive.

We look for people with an open mind, enthusiasm, positivity and a thirst to learn.

Freshfields is far more dynamic than you might expect.

We are an old and prestigious firm and we are proud of our traditions, but that doesn’t mean we are old-fashioned. We’ve been successful for 275 years because we’re constantly changing and reinventing ourselves. The legal profession and the way we deliver services to our clients are changing fast, so it is an exciting time. Come and talk to us and you’ll see!

Many firms talk about meritocracy but we have a formal framework to ensure that career progression is clear and fair.

At every stage, from trainee to partner, you will know what is expected of you. For our associates, for example, we have published ‘career milestones’ – a diverse list of skills they need to progress at each stage of their career. That means we can have very open, honest conversations about career development – because everything is set down in black and white, you can challenge your manager if you don’t think you are getting the experience you need at any stage.

Bringing your whole self to work is a big thing here.

Halo, our global LBGT+ network, and other diversity groups within the firm are really important. Many years ago, when I was quite junior, I wasn’t sure how people would react if I was out at work – whether it would affect my chances of progressing or how clients thought of me. Having people there to talk to and who’d been through similar things themselves was really helpful. Plus these groups really help you build networks across the firm.

There’s no ‘Freshfields type’.

We’ve always hired non-lawyers – I’m a non-lawyer myself, having done French and German at university. For example, we work on some really cutting-edge mandates so people with science, technology, engineering and maths backgrounds do really well here.

Our partners are expected to lead by example.

A big part of a partner’s job is to set the tone for the firm and to be really clear about what good behaviour looks like. But we expect people at all levels of the business to lead by example, to challenge established ways of doing things and to speak up if there is a problem.

What does Freshfields expect of trainees?

We recruit based on potential and we promote based on performance. All the people we see are really bright but the ones who do best here are genuinely interested in our clients and their businesses, work best in teams, manage others well, have an open mind, and are keen to learn.

What can trainees expect of Freshfields?

A very supportive environment and a lot of variety. You work really closely with very clever people, sparking ideas off each other; everyone gets on and we are always talking to each other. And you will work in a range of different teams and on lots of different, complicated deals and cases – there is no risk that you will be stuck on one matter for the bulk of your training contract.

Freshfields in three words

Dynamic, international, supportive

First year undergraduate
  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Freshers meet
    Freshfields workshop

    4 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 9 Nov 2019

  • Spring scheme

    • 10 Apr – 11 Apr 2019

      Application window dates:

      1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

    • 17 Apr – 18 Apr 2019

      Application window dates:

      1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Vacation scheme
    insight workshop

    6 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct – 9 Nov 2018

  • Summer vacation schemes

    17 Jun – 5 Jul 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

    8 Jul – 26 Jul 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

  • Training contract 2021

    Summer application window dates:

    Law (UK LLB) only

    3 Jun – 18 Jul 2019

    London/Asia training contract 2021

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Training contract 2021

    Winter application window dates:
    Law and non-law

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

    Summer application window dates:
    Law (UK LLB) only

    3 Jun – 18 Jul 2019

  • Final year non-law Workshop

    11 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:
    Non-law only

    1 Oct – 9 Nov 2018

  • London/Asia training
    contract 2021

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Training contract 2021

    Winter application window dates:
    Law and non-law

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

    Summer application window dates:
    Law (UK LLB) and GDL graduates

    3 Jun – 18 Jul 2019

  • Graduate workshop

    13 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct – 9 Nov 2019

  • London/Asia training
    contract 2021

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

Close Application Window Application window