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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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