Allen & Overy (A&O) will take trainees in its Middle Eastern offices from 2016 onwards.
The firm will recruit up to three trainees every year, who will split their time between the Middle East and A&O’s London office, spending at least six months of their two year scheme at the latter. The firm has offices in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai and Riyadh and has been present in the region since 1978.
The magic circle outfit stipulates that candidates must have a link to the region and that Arabic language skills are “preferable but not essential”. Unlike UK-based training contracts, for which candidates are often recruited in their second year, A&O is searching for final-year undergraduates or law graduates.
A&O is not the first UK firm to launch Middle East training contracts. Fellow magic circle firm Clifford Chance took the plunge last year, recruiting three trainees who will split their time evenly between London and Dubai. Pinsent Masons also launched a scheme last year, which saw it take on four trainees.