White & Case expands trainee intake as PE capacity boosted following Linklaters hires

White & Case has beefed up its private equity capacity at newly-qualified level following its recruitment of Linklaters partners Ian Bagshaw and Richard Youle, and is also expanding its trainee intake this summer.

The firm is understood to have taken two newly-qualified lawyers (NQs) focusing on private equity from King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin and Hogan Lovells as well as two from Clifford Chance. The four are due to start in September.

Meanwhile White & Case has increased the number of trainees from 14 to 19 for this summer’s intake to meet the growing demand for English qualified lawyers, according to training principal Justin Benson.

“We expect the programme to continue to expand as we recruit an increasing number of trainees to meet the growing demand for English qualified lawyers from across our practices in London and, more broadly, the increasing need for English law capabilities throughout the firm’s global office network,” Benson added.

The firm has also retained 12 of its 14 ‘home grown’ NQs, a retention rate of 86 per cent. In spring this year, it kept on 100 per cent of its 14-strong intake.

The news comes just four months after it emerged that the US firm’s London office had offered Linklaters PE associates £40,000 to follow Bagshaw and Youle. White & Case attempted to recruit up to 10 Linklaters associates to build up its London PE practice around Youle and Bagshaw. It managed to get more than four to sign up (31 March 2014). 

Youle and Bagshaw joined the firm last October, quitting the Linklaters partnership after several years of negotiations with American firms including Fried Frank and Ropes & Gray. Sources told The Lawyer at the time that the pair wanted to build a five-partner team within 18 months and were keen to recruit former colleagues (17 October 2013).

The firm declined to comment on the lateral hires.