We are looking to recruit a paralegal into our derivatives and trading group to assist in a specific project management role.

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.

Practice overview

Our derivatives and trading practice consists of two partners, one FX & derivatives negotiator, 10 solicitors, two trainee solicitors and five paralegals.

The group represent hedge funds, corporate treasuries, financial institutions, managed account platforms, asset managers and high-net-worth individuals in structuring, negotiating and executing complex and bespoke derivative instruments. Our team works alongside our specialist lawyers in financial services, regulatory, capital markets, tax and dispute resolution and is able to advise on both the day-to-day trading requirements of our clients, and the most complex derivative and structured product transactions in both transactional and contentious roles. The team prides itself on not only knowing the legal issues inside out, across a broad spectrum of standard form and bespoke documents, but also on understanding the strategies, risks and operational issues that affect the clients.

Our team advise on a wide range of products including repos, stock loans and all kinds of derivative, covering interest rate, fixed income, currency, commodity, equity, credit, basket and index underliers. The team routinely advises on matters such as, prime brokerage and clearing, and issues around rehypothecation and segregation, custody and collateral, securities lending and margin financing matters, repos, structured products, exchange traded derivatives, central clearing including OTC clearing under Dodd-Frank and EMIR, cash equities and cash bond trading under broker terms of business and electronic trading arrangements.

Our client base is also global; we act for managers in the UK, the US, Europe and the Far East (with a particular concentration of clients in Hong Kong) and we have daily experience negotiating for these clients with the international offices of the leading US, Asian and European banks and broker dealers.

The issues we face are global. We routinely advise on practical issues of trading in the US markets, on structuring offshore derivative instruments accessing the Chinese, Indian and emerging markets and on dealing with multiple regulatory regimes.

Further details about our derivatives and trading group, the work we do and examples of recent deals can be found on our website.

The role

The role entails co-ordinating the launch of new hedge funds for a major investment banking client of the group, and managing on-going negotiations and legal issues following each launch, as well as implementing regulatory driven changes and on-going matters. You will work closely with one of the partners and a team of solicitors in the group and together with another paralegal, you will be responsible for keeping each workstream on track. In addition, you will assist with negotiations of some trade and financing documents and may be asked to research and review points of law and market practice. You will be in daily contact with the client, hedge fund managers, and brokers across the world’s leading financial centres.

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

Broadly, we want to recruit a paralegal that fulfils the following criteria:

Strong academic qualifications from A Levels, with a minimum 2:1 degree.

Some work experience from a magic circle, silver circle or US law firm or a financial institution – in particular experience in the broker-dealer or hedge fund community is an advantage.

Ability to work across teams – the role will require the paralegal to work with investment banks, hedge funds and other law firms across multiple jurisdictions.

Excellent organisational skills – the role is process-orientated, organising negotiation and document execution to very demanding timetables.

Ambitious, with a genuine commitment to develop their professional and legal skills.

Articulate and confident to deliver at the highest standard in a fast-paced environment.

We take a flexible approach to recruitment and aim to recruit people that we believe show talent, motivation and potential – so there is some flexibility in the criteria above where a good case is clearly shown. We are recognised for the quality of our work, and the quality of our people is an essential element of this – any recruitment will only be made if this high standard is met, and we will not recruit merely to make up our numbers.

Paralegal development programme

We have a paralegal development programme which is designed to equip our paralegals with the broad range of skills and knowledge they need to be effective in their roles. The programme also includes sessions covering essential legal and business skills required at the start of a career in law, recognising the fact that many solicitors begin their careers as paralegals. For the right candidate, this role could either provide an opportunity for a long-term paralegal position or potentially a stepping stone towards a training contract.

Our commitment to inclusion

At Macfarlanes we place value on an inclusive culture and have identified the continued development of inclusivity as a key priority. We are committed to fostering a broad and diverse culture throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership. Our goal is to recruit, retain and promote all groups in the firm fairly, and we continually review our processes to ensure that all of our people enjoy the same chance to develop and advance. We believe that an inclusive, forward-thinking culture is both intrinsically important and enables us to provide innovative solutions to our clients.

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, physical abilities, sexual orientation or any other characteristic

Key people

William Sykes


Will is head of our derivatives and trading practice, and advises investment and hedge funds, banks, pension funds and insurers, high-net-worth individuals and corporates on a wide spectrum of trading, hedging and financing transactions. This covers the full range of derivatives, as well as prime brokerage, repo, commodities and clearing.

Will has a broad experience of trading, custody, brokerage and clearing agreements for derivative products, repos / stock lending and physical commodities. He advises sell- and buy-side clients across a wide range of asset classes, and on the associated regulations and issues of market-practice. He has a particular focus on buy-side trading arrangements for investment managers and has clients in the US, the UK, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia. He advises on global trading issues, and has extensive knowledge of local requirements in markets such as India and China.

Like most of the derivatives and trading practice at Macfarlanes, Will has spent time in-house in leading financial institutions, spending six months at The Royal Bank of Scotland and ten months in the Securities Division of Goldman Sachs International.

He acts for many of the largest pension funds, hedge funds and asset managers in the world, and advises a leading global prime broker on its client documentation.

Direct applicants only, strictly no agencies.