Hogan Lovells is offering UK-based aspiring lawyers the opportunity to undertake their training in Moscow.
The top-10 firm has been authorised to take up to six trainees annually to its Moscow office. The first trainee to spend the entirety of their training contract in Russia, Alexandra Dolinskaya, began work in March this year.
Moscow-based partner Richard Cowie said: “Through the introduction of the Moscow training contract Hogan Lovells is responding to the local requirements of our Russia clientele, who are increasingly demanding lawyers who understand their businesses.
“A training contract in Moscow will give trainees hands-on experience in high-profile Russian work, much of which is governed by English law, and will also provide continuity for clients as they will have access to the same on the ground solicitors with whom they worked as trainees.”
The seats being offered are in corporate, capital markets and litigation.
The Moscow office is responsible for recruitment and will use the same selection criteria as London, which requires a sharp intellect, a strong drive and high standard of professionalism.
“When I qualify, I’ll have had two years of experience working for Russian and CIS clients and therefore a good understanding about how business is done here,” said Dolinskaya. “From what I can see, the Russian market is important and many major UK law firms have offices here.”
The firm has confirmed that the trainee solicitors do not need to know the Russian language as English is the language of the office and business.
The trainee solicitor salariies are comparable between London and Moscow, but Moscow has the advantage of a flat rate of tax of 13 per cent.
The news comes less than a month after Hogan Lovells announced a new international secondment opportunity for its trainees to New York (23 May 2012).
The firm also offers secondment opportunities in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore, with up to 30 trainees jetting off each year out of a 75-strong cohort.
Name: Alexandra Dolinskaya
Training: London-based LPC and undergraduate law degree
Seat: Dispute resolution
Why did you decide to train in Moscow over London?
I was attracted to Moscow as a city to work in and liked the idea of a smaller office where I would get a good deal of hands-on experience.
How do you feel it will help your future career in law?
When I qualify, I will have had two years of experience working for Russian and CIS clients and therefore a good understanding about how business is done here. From what I can see, the Russian market is important and many major UK law firms have offices here
What department are you working in?
Dispute resolution – although I can’t say what cases!
What have you most enjoyed since being out there?
Working with the people – Hogan Lovells is a friendly working environment. The work is also diverse – although my first seat is in dispute resolution, I have also had the opportunity to do corporate and capital markets work. The teams tend to be quite small in Moscow and therefore I have had a lot of responsibility and senior lawyer and client exposure.
Do you know the language? If not, is it easy to get by with just English?
I speak Russian, but it is not essential to speak it as English is the language of business. There are many trainees on secondment at other firms who do not speak Russian and do not have any problems, although they may get lost on the Underground from time to time!
Who would you advise to take this route into law?
I would advise this route for anyone who is interested in working in an international environment, and particularly anyone interested in Russian and CIS business.