Standard Chartered Bank is introducing a training programme as a means of bypassing difficult recruitment markets.

Subject to Law Society approval, the bank will take on its first trainee in March 2008, with a view to extending the programme at a later date.

Susan Adams, head of legal, policy and operations at the bank, said: “The recruitment market at the moment is very tight and it’s difficult to get people with the right experience. We want to train people ourselves so they understand how an in-house lawyer needs to think and work.”

The traineeship will involve a corporate seat and a wholesale banking transactional seat, as well as a contentious seat with one of Standard Chartered’s external advisers.

The bank uses a long list of firms for a variety of functions, but its main advisers are Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Lovells and Slaughter and May.

“The intention is for the trainee to spend six months with a law firm, probably on the contentious side, because that’s difficult to provide in-house,” said Adams.

The final seat of the two-year traineeship will be tailored to individual needs and Adams said there would be scope for the trainee to spend time in one or more of the bank’s 60 overseas offices.

Standard Chartered’s legal function consists of 100 lawyers around the globe.