Hogan Lovells hires first ever Birmingham trainees

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By Alex Aldridge on

Firm to offer two TCs in UK’s second city each year


Global giant Hogan Lovells has recruited the first ever trainees for its new Birmingham office.

Two graduates — one from Birmingham University and the other from Leeds University — will commence their training contracts at the firm’s ‘Legal Services Centre’ in the city during the autumn. Hogan Lovells has confirmed to Legal Cheek this morning that it’s planning for the duo to be the first of many, as it aims to take on two trainees in Birmingham every year from now on.

Certainly, this is an interesting opportunity for law students looking to do a TC in the regions with a huge legal brand, but what it’s not is a backdoor into training in London. Hogan Lovells is keen to emphasise that the Birmingham TCs are distinct from the London ones, with recruitment for each totally separate.

So Birmingham means Birmingham — and apart from a brief part of the induction taking place in London, that is where these trainees will be, working across the office’s core practice areas of corporate, dispute resolution, real estate and finance.

Having said all that, it seems fair to assume that the Birmingham trainees may, if they wish, have a shot at getting a move to London in the future as associates. Of course, much would depend on the state of the market at the time, but if the economy was going well — and lawyers were in demand in the capital — it would make sense for Hogan Lovells to dip into the pool of solicitors already on its books rather than hire externally.

Hogan Lovells’ Birmingham office opened in 2014 with a remit to handle lower cost legal work, such as document review. Mainly staffed by paralegals, the recruitment of trainee solicitors to the centre could be interpreted as a signal that it may over time handle increasingly complex work.

In line with most big law firms’ regional offices, pay for the Birmingham trainees is lower than London rates, with first years set to earn £27,000 and second years £30,000. Notably for those interested in the roles, Hogan Lovells is recruiting just a year in advance, rather than the usual two, for Birmingham rookies — with applications opening for 2017 commencements this autumn.

In the capital, Hogan Lovells takes on a whopping 60 trainees each year and pays each of them £43,000, rising to £48,000 in their second year.