CMS Cameron McKenna has revealed that its Bristol office will be taking on trainees for the first time.
The top 20 outfit has traditionally opted to send London-based trainees to Bristol on temporary secondment rather than commit to full-time hires.
But now the firm will bolster its growing West Country base by taking on two additional trainees a year with the first pair starting next month (August).
Anthony Takyi, Camerons’ graduate recruitment officer, said: “Our Bristol office has grown rapidly over the past year and this step has been necessary to keep up with demand.
“It’s envisaged that the trainees will get the opportunity to work across our Bristol office’s three main practice areas: insurance, banking and real estate.”
Camerons admitted that with most seconded London trainees preferring to stay in the capital it was forced to hire expensive external candidates to fill new qualified vacancies in Bristol.
However, the firm hopes that by hiring trainees directly into Bristol it can combat the pull of the Square Mile and start to promote from within.
Takyi added: “There are growing qualification opportunities in the South West but many of our London trainees, while taking a lot away from their six month secondment, tended to see their careers resting in London.
“As a result, we took the decision to initiate the Bristol scheme as a means to develop its own trainees with the underlying aim of getting them to qualify and stay in the area.”
Camerons plan will not impact the number of trainees currently taken on in London and the firm’s Bristol trainees will also get the opportunity to undertake a six month seat abroad.
The news will give a further lift to the Bristol legal market after it was announced earlier this month that the College of Law plans to launch a new £1.2m branch in the city in 2010.