Working in Edinburgh as a trainee solicitor at Shoosmiths

Gillian Todd is a 2nd year trainee solicitor in Shoosmiths’ Edinburgh office. Here she shares an insight into working in Edinburgh and what the historical city of Edinburgh can offer a junior lawyer.

Our office

Shoosmiths has been based at Saltire Court, Castle Terrace since 2012, occupying a second-floor office space to accommodate its 78 strong workforce. The building sits in the heart of the city with spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle – it’s easy to take it for granted when it’s your everyday view but I imagine not many offices reward you with a castle when you glance out the window!

Saltire Court opens up into a five-storey-high space that feels suitably impressive considering the grandeur of its surrounding environment, with an atrium at either entrance. Its close proximity to Lothian Road’s Royal Lyceum Theatre and Usher Hall connects Edinburgh’s business and art worlds, adding character and livening up office-working in August during the Fringe festival.

The open plan layout accommodates our agile working practices and ensures everyone from estates to Real Estate can work flexibly and collaboratively. Each desk is equipped with dual-monitors and supporting apparatus, providing a seamless working environment whether you’re in and out of calls or needing to focus on a demanding task. There are various meeting rooms of differing sizes designed for everything from quick 1-1s to client meetings to team strategy days, all aptly named after historic cinemas in Edinburgh.

We will soon be moving to the new Haymarket development in the centre of Edinburgh’s commercial district. The new Grade-A office space will offer a range of state-of-the-art facilities and the development itself will have a variety of shopping, leisure and hospitality amenities which should accommodate a lunch hour spree or post-work pint very nicely.

Our People

Our office is a truly welcoming and fun place to work thanks to the people in it, from our receptionist Rachel greeting you on arrival to Dougie in our estates team dropping off your mail. There’s always someone up for a coffee and a chat or just to bounce an idea off of – we’re a social bunch who recognise that the best work often comes from a collective approach. On that note, you’ll often find our Glasgow colleagues around the office in Edinburgh and vice versa as our collaborative practice extends across the central belt, and with the new office within touching distance of Haymarket train station this crossover is only going to increase.

The location

As a leading international finance centre, Edinburgh has a reputation for excellence, and we’re ideally placed in the commercial district to the west of the city centre. Moving into our new office will make us a part of a new thriving business hub alongside the likes of Capricorn Energy (formerly Cairn Energy), Baillie Gifford and Dentons. Edinburgh is also one of the fastest growing locations for tech and innovation start-ups, highlighting its status as an exciting, future-facing city.

Edinburgh is a great blend of the old and new which means there’s something for everyone. It’s also incredibly walkable – and there’s so much history and architecture to soak up that walking anywhere makes you feel like you’re on holiday – but the bus links are also great if you’re needing to get from one end to the other. There’s plenty of shopping opportunities, from George Street’s high-end retailers to smaller boutiques and vintage outlets dotted around the Old Town. You’ll never be short of new cafes, restaurants and bars to try – some favourites include the Educated Flea in Broughton, veggie-friendly Hendersons on Hanover Street and The Blackbird in Bruntsfield.

Facts & figures for Edinburgh (correct as of November 2022)

  • Address: Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh
  • Head of Office: Alison Gilson, Partner
  • Total number of staff: 78
  • Number of partners: 12
  • Number of trainees:
    • 1 x 2nd year trainees
    • 2 x 1st year trainees
  • Current trainee vacancies: 2 to commence in September 2025
  • Trainee salary: £29,000 - £31,000
  • NQ Salary: £54,500
  • Likely trainee seats: Corporate/Banking, Real Estate, Employment, Commercial Litigation, plus secondment opportunities to clients
  • Local junior lawyer & business networking groups:
  • Find out more local knowledge:
    • Fedinburgh on Tik Tok is your best guide to the city’s food scene, from brunch to cocktails.
    • Edinburgh Live will keep you updated on local news and goings on
    • Follow Diarmid Mogg on Twitter for a weird and wonderful history of many of Edinburgh’s tenements
    • My Little Edinburgh – Come a wee wander with Zoe on Instagram
  • A few facts about Edinburgh
    • Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and over 75% of the city's buildings are listed - the highest concentration in the country.
    • It’s the greenest city in the UK! Take a walk through the Royal Botanic Garden in the city’s New Town or amble over to the south of the city towards The Meadows to fully appreciate the best green spaces on offer.
    • The city’s Fringe Festival is the third most ticketed event in the world - topped only by the World Cup and the Olympics

Apply for an insight evening, placement and training contract in Shoosmiths’ Edinburgh office here.


This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.


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