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Ashurst to save three King & Wood Mallesons trainees who have been left in training contract limbo

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But Slaughter and May remains tightlipped over reports it will do the same

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Ashurst has confirmed it will be taking on “up to three trainees” from beleaguered international law firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM).

A spokesperson for Ashurst told Legal Cheek that it is “currently interviewing” candidates and hopes to “finalise the process by the end of this week”.

According to Legal Cheek’s Most List, the firm offers around 45 London-based training contracts annually, with trainees pocketing £41,000 in their first year, rising to £46,000 in year two. Upon qualification Ashurst’s new recruits — if offered permanent associate positions — will take home £70,000, the same as if they had qualified at KWM.

Meanwhile magic circle firm Slaughter and May has remained tightlipped over a report it will also take some of KWM’s young recruits. Despite at least one story to the contrary, Legal Cheek understands that the firm is not “in talks” with KWM trainees but has received a number of applications which will need to meet the usual criteria.

So far the London office of US giant Goodwin Procter is the only firm to officially confirm it is taking on KWM trainees. With five making the switch, the outfit also scooped up 15 associates and six partners.

Last week, Legal Cheek revealed that KWM would be cancelling all of its trainees’ contracts. With the firm severing contractual ties with its current trainee cohort on Friday, a spokesperson from KWM said:

The training contracts need to be terminated so the trainees can transfer to other firms and this requires Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) approval. The latter will inevitably take a short time.

Legal Cheek has been told around two thirds of KWM’s 60 or so current trainees have already secured positions at other firms. It is understood these firms include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Allen & Overy and DLA Piper. Revealing the proposed rescue plan back in December, we understands that all current trainees will be given an opportunity to complete their training elsewhere.

UPDATE: 13:32, Monday 16 January

A report suggests that US outfit Fried Frank has brought forward its UK training contract launch to accommodate three KWM trainees. Originally scheduled to take on its first London-based wannabe lawyers in 2018, the firm — which has five offices across the US and Europe — has fast-forwarded plans due to KWM’s impending administration.

Legal Cheek has contacted the firm for comment.

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29 Comments

Anonymous

I’d say Ashurst is on probation at the moment.

(6)(2)

Care4lawyers Charity

This is Tarquin, and he needs your help. His commercial law training contract was cruelly taken from him, through no fault of his own. When poor Tarquin lost his training contract, felt so lost and lonely, separated from his own kind, unable to afford champagne and late night chauffeurs, and dumped by his privately educated fiancée. Tarquin fell so low he even had to start shopping in Aldi…

But you can help. For a donation of just £5K per month you too can help to save a commercial law trainee like Tarquin from the dire poverty and degradation of Legal Aid work.

Please call 0800 106 107 and give just £5K per month.

Thank you.

(17)(1)

Safe MC trainee

£5K? Chicken feed!

(0)(0)

The Square Mile Sage

Lol, Ashurst is the next shop to go pop. I’d look elsewhere if I were them…

(46)(4)

Anonymous

Agreed. I’m giving them 6-9 months. There’ll be quite a few shops that will go down the pipes in 2017.

Irwin Mitchell and DWF also come to mind…

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Why?

(0)(2)

Anonymous

It usually helps to read the legal press from time to time…

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Ashurst made £182 million profit in its most recently available accounts at Companies House and has relatively little debt. It usually helps to read the legal press with a discerning eye…

(0)(2)

DWF partner

Yeah, and also bled dozens of partners over the same period of time. It’s KWM all over again lol

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Not for a few years yet anyway

(0)(0)

Anonymous

You’d be surprised, these things can go fast. Let’s check back in 9-12 months.

(0)(0)

LegalRec

How long before a “current KWM Trainee” tells us how many of them have not “secured” or “bagged” another place yet??

Maybe you’re not as good as your peers? #JustSaying.

(7)(5)

Anonymous

Want some vinegar with that chip, luv?

(12)(2)

LegalRec

Chip?? Is ear drops for the sore ears from all the moaning I’m after….luv.

(2)(7)

Anonymous

Future Hogan Lovells trainee here – we got an email a couple of days back saying the firm is interviewing KWM trainees and looking to take on 2…

(1)(7)

Anonymous

Why have they told future trainees that? Unless they’re future trainees to join your intake?

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Yup, they are.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Sounds like those qualifying in Feb/March will get special extenuating circumstances for qualification, so approx. 45 trainees left to rehouse. Recent post suggests 30 of the 45 have found firms – so where have the remaining 27 gone? Looks like Goodwin Procter have picked some up too, but there are still plenty who have already sorted out a new firm.

But good PR by Ashurst – “will be taking up to 3 trainees” could easily mean they still take on 0.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

What PR? Offering to maybe take up a few rats off a sinking ship with no bog roll?

(5)(2)

Anonymous

“will take home £70,000”? They might earn that, but they won’t be taking it home.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

I’d take Fried Frank or Goodwin Procter over KWM anytime. Looks like some trainees are set to cash in on pretty good US shops – these places are bound to offer 90k+ for their NQs, possibly more.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Does Frank know he’s gona get Fried?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

the trainees who will be joining MC firms will essentially be getting a free upgrade if you ask me…

(4)(0)

Jones Day trainee

More like those at US shops. The MC sucks bro.

(2)(1)

Justin Credible

Well that’s unbelievable Jeff.

You’ll have the added bonus of working with the Freuchie Freuchie moaning bankers of Credit Agricole there too. Enjoy!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Going from KWM to Ashurst must be a huge insult, even by the low standards of KWM

(2)(1)

Chippy Charlie

Lol, more like other way around. Ashurst were always way above a pit like SJB/KWM.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

LOL, please. Ashurst was on par with KWM or at a lower level.

(0)(0)

Labongo Congo

Addleshaw (leading top shop in the city*) has been queuing along with the other high end (yet gritty) outfits to pick at KWM’s carcass. It’s desperately waiting to see if a handful of NQs want to be laterally hired straight into a Managing Associate position. One does, because they for some reason want a life of living hell, whilst two others appreciate the trauma of working with circus monkeys in an office so have applied to work for London Zoo.

*Leeds.

(3)(0)

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