Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is set to resume its international secondment programme, having put it on hold since the first wave of the pandemic.

Four trainees are to be sent on international secondment in March 2021, The Lawyer can reveal, while the firm’s policy will then remain under review until the next batch of secondments in September.

Due to the ever-changing situation regarding Covid-19, it remains unclear where the secondees will be relocating. In the past, trainees have been sent to Europe or the Middle East, where the firm has offices in over 10 different countries.

The firm is closely monitoring travel and quarantine requirements on a daily basis in preparation for the programme, while it is also following local safety measures relevant to each country.

HSF’s CEO Justin D’Agostino has himself been caught up in coronavirus travel restrictions since spring and has been in Hong Kong for over six months having been unable to visit the firm’s other offices.

The suspension of international secondments was one of the many measures taken up by the firm at the height of the pandemic in spring, with HSF also deferring trainee start dates by six months.

Eight out of 28 trainees that were set to start in September 2020 were paid £8,000 to push back their dates by six months, while the firm also deferred 10 and 13 members of its March and September 2021 intakes respectively.