Herbert Smith Freehills restarts international secondments for trainee solicitors

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Four rookies to go abroad from next month

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is to resume its international trainee secondments next month having put them on hold since the onset of the pandemic.

Four of the firm’s trainees are to go on secondment abroad in March 2021, a spokesperson confirmed. The firm’s policy will then remain under review until the next batch of secondments in September.

Details of the trainees’ destinations are unclear due to the changing nature of COVID restrictions. In the past, trainees have spent time in the firm’s overseas offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, our Firms Most List shows.

HSF is monitoring travel and quarantine requirements, while also following safety measures relevant to each country.

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Elsewhere in the City, White & Case is continuing to provide trainees with international experience amidst the global coronavirus pandemic through remote secondments. The firm is one of only a few that guarantees rookies a six-month overseas seat, and moved to remote secondments last summer.

A White & Case spokesperson told Legal Cheek: “We’re monitoring the course of the pandemic closely and keeping the arrangements for our overseas seats under constant review. We would like our trainees to be located overseas, if possible, and there are a number of factors which we will continue to consider carefully. These include the status of the coronavirus and any restrictions in place in both the UK and the destination. Ensuring the safety of all our people continues to be our top priority.”

Allen & Overy is another City law firm that offers trainees a high chance of international secondment each year. The magic circle member confirmed it continued to run international secondments for trainees throughout the pandemic as appropriate to evolving local guidance around the world. Allen & Overy ensures any trainee that applies to go abroad is offered individual support and briefing on their placement and the impact of the pandemic on it, they said.

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Hopefully all firms offering international secondments will put this back on just in time for the 2021 TC starters


tc hopeful

Any1 kno the nq whack at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker? Rly dream of working there some day .


Tom E

Some good news



International secondments play a big part in why some students chose particular firms for their TC so it’s a shame they didn’t get that experience



Feel sorry for the 2020 – 2021 trainees who didn’t get the option for an international secondment because of this or those that had their secondment cut short and had to come back to the UK



Remote international secondments don’t make any sense.

You’re working the hours of the international office and basically doing more work without any or the benefits of being an a different country


More inside scoops than protein shakes

This’ll be a remote “international” secondment.



Top name brah, fuuuuuaaarkkkkk mirin my gainz?!


Expat Eddie

This sounds about right: none of the plum international secondments like HK or Singapore or Tokyo are possible under current local pandemic legislation across such destination countries. Very unlikely they would grant a short-term work visa to some pinhead trainee given the difficulties in accessing these countries even as permanent residents.



Blue passports are so disappointing. They just scream at entry points “Hi I am British and our voters were more thick and racist than we could ever have imagined.”


Ms Influencer

I was shocked to see they don’t feature any of the pretty watermark pictures on the individual pages unlike the previous passports!!! Wtf did we decide to go with this shabby-ass new passport design???



The shabby-ass design was to reflect the UK’s newly diminished global status. The cavepeople from the Red Wall seats won’t notice these things as they are too drunk when they travel on package trips to god awful Spanish resorts.



The irony is, the hated Burgundy coloured EU format British passport was made in Britain.

The new post-Brexit “based on the old Blue British Passport design” passport is made in Poland!

I wonder if the referendum result might have been different if the government had turned the passport back to blue before the referendum. Burgundy was not compulsory, only advisory. The proof if that Croatia decided to keep their passport blue on entry to the EU.



Very good. I went on international secondment and found it to be a very valuable experience.


Legal Eagle

confirmed that A&O offered circa 19 spaces for international secondment for March 2021 – 4 from Herbies really pales in comparison…



But of the A&O 19, 17 are in Wales.


Rolly eyes

Who cares. Whether a firm sends 18 or 4 it will be remote and will not be worth it



Why does HSF still not allow trainees in tier 2 visas to go for ANY secondments?

Their argument that this is against visa rules does not hold water when all the other big city firms do this without problems.



If the firm operates as different entities in different jurisdictions with an umbrella entity then there are issues with tier 2 as the operating entity in the foreign office won’t be the visa sponsoring firm in the UK.



White and Case and Freshfields guarantee secondments to all their trainees so clearly this isn’t an issue for law firms.



Depends on their structures and depends on their views on tier 2 visas.


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