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Building a base: Akin Gump launches London trainee scheme

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is launching its first trainee scheme outside of the US in a move that will see it expand the programme established by the London office of Bingham McCutchen it recently consumed.

Following the move of 28 partners from Bingham McCutchen, Akin Gump’s enlarged London office is set to establish a programme that will induct five trainees across the next two years.

The scheme will see intakes in September 2015 and 2016, while a summer work placement programme will launch shortly for June 2015. The deadline for placement applications and Akin Gump’s training contract application process for 2017 will be 31 July 2015.

The London trainee programme will be overseen by the office’s new co-head James Roome (pictured), who set up the trainee scheme at Bingham in 2006. That office, before combining with Akin Gump, had been taking on three trainees a year.

Roome told Legal Business: ‘You need a base size before you can properly support and give good training. Our greater size here meant that we had been able to develop and support the structures for a successful training scheme. With the combined operation, we’re now looking for trainees outside the normal recruitment cycle to allow us to grow our programme to the larger scale the office can now support.’

Plans are in place to make the trainee programme more international, with London-based trainees and associates set to be able to secure secondments to overseas offices including Hong Kong which is also gaining a training scheme transferred from Bingham.

Kim Koopersmith, chair at Akin Gump, said: ‘We plan to work off the base set up by the London team who have joined us from Bingham. The team has had a lot of ideas on how to use the trainee programme to build the talent base and we look forward to capitalising on that.’