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San Francisco's Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has saved the day for a number of London trainees who were left hanging followingthecollapseof Coudert Brothers in August.
The firm, which secured a large chunk of Coudert's lawyers after it spectacularly collapsed (see news story on page 9), took on four trainees from Coudert and has also adopted a similar training programme. It is the first time Orrick has offered formal training contracts in the UK.
Orrick finance partner and trainingofficerMartin Bartlam told Lawyer 2B that the firm had offered places to all of Coudert's trainees and future trainees.
"We've taken on four trainees from Coudert - one of the trainees decided to take a placement elsewhere, partly because of the uncertainty at the time," Bartlam said. "Certainly, I can understand if there was some confusion among future trainees as to what was going to happen, but we're taking on all of Coudert's trainees for the next two years."
Bartlam added that the firm was hoping to expand the training contract programme currently on offer.
"Previously we had trainees come in, but it was on an ad hoc basis rather than something structured," he said. "We saw the benefits of having an ongoing trainee programme and when Coudert collapsed it was perfect timing for us to introduce a new system. We'll be taking on five trainees each year and we're also looking to offer a seat at one of our offices in Asia or Paris."