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London Early Talent

The Real Contract

The Clifford Chance Training Contract is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for aspiring lawyers, opening a door to countless opportunities that will allow you to flourish in your career. But signing your contract is only the beginning; it takes commitment, dedication, and perseverance to complete the training.

That’s why the Real Contract is not something you sign. The Real Contract is the one you enter into with yourself - the commitment you make at the start of your journey to see it through to the end, and the promises you keep with yourself along the way that push you to your true potential.

The Real Contract celebrates what it’s really like to be a lawyer at Clifford Chance. Hear stories from seven lawyers at different stages of their careers, as they write a letter to their younger selves reflecting on the start of their legal career and what The Real Contract means to them.

Explore the booklet to hear their stories and read the letters they wrote to their younger selves. 

Explore the booklet

Hephzibah Adeosun (she/her)

Associate, Corporate

Hephzibah is a newly qualified Associate in the Corporate Transactions and Advisory Group. She joined the firm and started her Training Contract in 2019. Here, she talks about some of the most motivating moments of her Training Contract, lessons she's learned along the way and gives her advice to future trainees.

Lucy Johnson (she/her)


Lucy is a newly qualified Associate in the Global Financial Markets Practice and Chair of the Trainee Committee. She has been at the firm since 2021 and had the unique challenge of starting her Training Contract during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, she discusses how she made the best of this, overcoming imposter syndrome and the importance of recognising what sets you apart and using this to add value.

John MacLennan (he/him)

Partner, Global Financial Markets (GFM)

John is a Partner in the Global Financial Markets Practice. His journey at Clifford Chance began with a slightly different route. Before transitioning to commercial law, he practised as a barrister in Crime and Contract law. Here, John talks about why transitioning to commercial law and pursuing his career at Clifford Chance was a challenge worth taking on.

Emmanuel Goriola


Emmanuel is a newly qualified Associate, and has been with Clifford Chance since 2021, including six months in the Madrid office. Here, Emmanuel shares what he has gained from working in a different office, how he builds strong relationships with clients and the achievements that make the hard work worth it.

Maggie Zhao (she/her)

Partner, Structured Asset Backed Real Estate

Maggie is a Partner in Structured Asset Backed Real Estate (SABRE), having worked in the Beijing office for two years before moving to London to begin her Training Contract in 2001. She is also part of the Clifford Chance Partnership Council. Here, she reflects on what it was like closing a transaction for the first time and, 20 years on from completing her Training Contract, shares the one piece of advice she would give to her past self.