Norton Rose’s seating plans

Norton Rose trainees won’t quite be getting their money’s worth like they used to: the firm has scrapped two of its six training contract seats, including its compulsory international seat.

Wannabe lawyers will still get to go abroad: an international seat, including one in Australia, is still an option. But it’s hardly a natural response to the “great deal of change and growth” the firm has highlighted on announcing the changes to its trainee scheme.

Trainees will now get a stint in each of the corporate, banking and disputes teams and have an additional option to chose one of those again, a different London practice group, a client secondment or a seat abroad. It’s also goodbye to the second compulsory banking seat.

Operating a compulsory foreign seat is no doubt expensive, particularly when the options now include Perth and Sydney. But it would be a step too far to think Norton Rose is trying to save cash spent on investing in future solicitors.

Those already at the firm needn’t worry – it only affects the future intake, not current trainees. Not having to go abroad will be seen as a plus by some, but just a month after the firm made a noise about sending its young lawyers to train with kangaroos, it’s a bit of a U-turn.

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