LA’s Latham kick-starts London trainee scheme

Latham & Watkins is to roll out its first-ever UK graduate recruitment programme, making it the last of the large US firms in London to hire trainees.

LA's Latham kick-starts London trainee schemeLatham & Watkins is to roll out its first-ever UK graduate recruitmentprogramme, making it the last of the large US firms in London to hire trainees.

The firm, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, intends to take its first annual intake of between five and 10 trainees in 2007 and will start interviewing later this year.

It has taken on newly qualified lawyers for the past five years and sees the step to take trainees as a natural evolution of its operation in London.

The trainees will start on £35,000 a year which, in common with the figures on offer at other US firms, outstrips the amount paid by even the largest of the UK firms.

Latham joins the graduate recruitment market later than its US rivals operating out of the capital.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom will take its first intake this year, as will Hogan & Hartson, while Arnold & Porter took on UK trainees last year. Firms such as New York’s Weil Gotshal & Manges, though, already have well-established graduate programmes.

The step into graduate recruitment follows Latham’s establishment of a UK litigation practice. Under Law Society rules, trainees must do one contentious seat as part of their two-year training programme.