US firm offers £85,500 to London recruits US firm Covington & Burling has entered the UK graduate recruitment market with a bang by offering trainees £85,500 upon qualification. Although the corporate work and life sciences specialist opened in London in 1989, it has never taken on any trainees in the UK.
A spokeswoman said the firm's decision to create four training contracts starting in September 2004 confirmed its commitment to London.
Covington also launched a summer placement scheme this year, with 17 students spending a week in the London office. It will recruit another four graduates to start in 2005 as part of its UK growth strategy.
Trainees will be paid £28,000 for the first year and £32,000 for the second, rising to £85,500 if they are retained. The spokeswoman added that these figures may be reviewed.
While US firms in London are renowned for offering good wages for long hours, Covington's package puts it streets ahead and could signal a new era in the annual battle for the best talent.
Trainees at White & Case, for example, start at £32,000, increasing to £36,500 after a year and qualifying on £60,000. Meanwhile, lawyers at Weil Gotshal & Manges are currently offered £35,000 in their first year, rising to £37,000 in the second and £60,000 upon qualification.