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.


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&#39s 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&#39s 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.