US law firm Fried Frank launches London pupillage programme

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Rookie barristers will undertake a six-month secondment at a Holborn-based chambers

The London office of US law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson has taken on its first trainee barrister, not solicitor, after gaining approval from the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The New York-headquartered outfit already takes on approximately four trainees a year, but has now revealed its first pupil started her training last month. This barrister move isn’t going to be a one-off; the firm is already looking to recruit a second.

Its current pupil is spending her first six months under the supervision of the firm’s in-house barrister and disputes resolution partner James Kitching. When her first six is under her belt, the unnamed pupil will then spend her final six months (pupillage, unlike a training contact, is only a year long) on secondment at London’s 33 Bedford Row.

Legal Cheek understands that the firm — which launched its London office in 1970, becoming one of the first US players to establish itself on European soil — is looking to eventually take on pupils for the full 12 months.

So far, Fried Frank has remained tightlipped over pupil salary figures. However, an old Pupillage Gateway advertisement which closed earlier this year (screenshot below) suggests “financial support” of between £30,000 and £39,999. The advert also states that pupils will be based “primarily” in the firm’s litigation department.

The BSB has confirmed to Legal Cheek that Fried received BSB pupillage training organisation (PTO) approval last December. The Gateway — which advertises pupillage opportunities across England and Wales — reopens on 28 November.

Earlier this year, Legal Cheek reported that Fried Frank had brought forward its UK training contract plans to accommodate three stricken King & Wood Mallesons trainees. The scheme’s launch had originally been scheduled for 2018.

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