Clifford Chance launches Dubai-based training contract

Clifford Chance has launched a Middle East graduate scheme that will see trainees split their time between London and Dubai.

The programme will allow trainees, after completing their Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in London, to take two seats in the magic circle firm’s Dubai office along with two in London. They will eventually qualify as solicitors in England and Wales with a view to working in the Gulf. Middle East managing partner Robin Abraham described the firm’s move as “critical to our commitment to the region.”

The firm’s first intake of three trainees has already been recruited to start in August, while the firm is looking to recruit eight more in total for its 2015 and 2016 intakes. Shona Sibbald, Clifford Chance’s Middle East Head of HR, said: “We are particularly pleased to see a high number of applications from graduates with Arabic backgrounds who are keen to join Clifford Chance in Dubai and develop their careers locally, giving them the opportunity to stay close to their families and in the comfort of a familiar environment while they undertake part of their training.”

Clifford Chance is not the first firm to launch such a scheme. In May, Pinsent Masons unveiled a joint UK and Middle East training contract, which will see trainees rotate between Dubai, Doha and London before qualifying in English law with a view to moving to Pinsents’ Middle Eastern hub.

Separately, Clifford Chance has also launched a two-year training scheme for Saudi nationals, allowing them to train in the corporate and banking and finance practices of the firm’s Riyadh office.

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