US firms turn to College of Law for bespoke training

A group of US law firms in London are in talks with the College of Law about setting up bespoke training programmes for their future trainees.

Last Friday (30 April) the College of Law’s chief executive Nigel Savage met with the 51 Committee, a collective of US firms in London which was established last year, to discuss ways of meeting firms’ legal education requirements.

The meeting, chaired by Michael Hatchard, a partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom who set up the think-tank, marks the first time the group has turned its interests to the issue of education.

Other member firms on the 51 Committee include Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Shearman & Sterling and Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Savage said the group was considering the move after the split of the City Eight and the development of bespoke courses by Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters in partnership with the college.

One of a number of issues that arose was schooling trainees on US capital markets. Savage said one of the suggestions was to create an “added-value” course, which would be taken during the training contract stage.

A US-style LPC was ruled out for the “medium term” on the grounds that members of the committee took on too few trainees, believed to be between 40 and 50 students collectively, for such a course to be economically viable.