Event: Why US law firms are thriving in London

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Shearman & Sterling’s James Webber, Ropes & Gray’s Daniel Martin and Barbri’s Vivian Ji join UCL legal market expert Dr Steven Vaughan, formerly a solicitor with Freshfields and Latham & Watkins, in an all-star panel discussion followed by drinks and networking with speakers, firms’ trainees and graduate recruitment teams

Over the last few years US-based international law firms have poured resources into London, boosting their office sizes, developing trainee programmes and raiding UK rivals for some of their best talent.

With newly qualified solicitor salaries at these firms considerably higher than the rates paid by magic circle rivals — and recently rising further — the dynamics of legal graduate recruitment are shifting.

What’s more, the training infrastructure at many US firms’ increasingly chunky London offices is now as well developed as many UK outfits, while the route to partnership is ever more well-defined.

On the evening of Thanksgiving, Thursday 23 November, at Barbri International in Moorgate, central London, we’ll be hearing from a host of English-qualified solicitors at leading US firms alongside a US-qualified lawyer working internationally and a leading legal academic. Speakers include:

• Competition law and graduate recruitment partner James Webber of Shearman & Sterling, one of the longest established US firms in London;
• Restructuring partner Daniel Martin of Ropes & Gray, which now offers seven training contracts annually in London;
UCL senior lecturer Dr Steven Vaughan, formerly a solicitor with Freshfields and Latham & Watkins, whose research specialisms include the legal profession and corporate finance; and
Vivian Ji, a US and Chinese qualified attorney who manages Barbri International’s legal education programme having previously worked for Baker McKenzie and practised in-house at United Technologies.

Why are US firms doing so well over here? What’s it like to work for them? And how will they continue to change the London legal market? Students will be able to ask these questions and more in a Question Time-style panel discussion.

Afterwards there will be drinks and networking with the speakers and a collection of the firms’ trainees and members of their graduate recruitment teams.

APPLY TO ATTEND. You’ll be asked to submit a CV and two questions for the panel. Please note that the details of those offered places will be shared with the organisations represented at the event.

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