A DENTON Hall trainee solicitor has left London for Tokyo as the only UK lawyer to take part in an executive training programme run by the European Commission.
Mark Stableford will spend 18 months in Japan, 12 of which will be taken up by extensive language and culture training.
The remaining six months will be spent on work placement with a Japanese client company.
Stableford is one of only a handful of UK lawyers ever to have taken part in the ongoing Japanese Executive Training Programme, which aims to forge links between European and Japanese businesses.
Steve Lewis, managing partner of Denton Hall's Tokyo office, said: "The training will clearly benefit Mark as well as the firm in building links with Japanese business clients in what is very much a growing market."
Other firms which have sent lawyers to Tokyo in earlier years include Simmons & Simmons and Lovell White Durrant. Other participants departing for Tokyo this month include employees from Shell, Westland Helicopters and Royal Insurance.
John Patrick from PA Consulting Group which recruits participants for the scheme is encouraged by the fact that lawyers are coming forward.
He said: "Putting fee earners forward requires significant long term planning by firms.
"Decisions need to be made about both the individual's career path and how the firm anticipates development in the market in the three-year period between putting someone forward and that individual completing the training."
Lewis agrees that the cost to any participating firm will be significant, but reiterates the overall benefit of the scheme. "Being able to speak the language as well as understand the business culture is invaluable," he said.
For further information on the scheme contact John Patrick on 0171 730 9000.