Berryman is revamping its training programme and aims to sell itself on a renewed reputation for training its lawyers and staff.
The firm is introducing a three-pronged strategy that comprises a training programme for non-legal staff, a career development programme for qualified lawyers and a new regime for trainees, who will now be required to work five chargeable hours a day.
Senior partner James Jarvis, who was in charge of training before being made senior partner in March, explained: "I want to bring my experience as training principal to the rest of the firm so everyone can benefit from the training programme."
Jarvis admitted he had "balked at the idea" of trainees working chargeable hours, but said trainees had requested the new schedule to better prepare themselves for working life.
"That doesn't necessarily mean we're billing those hours," added Jarvis. "The point is that they're getting used to working on a chargeable rate."
Junior staff will be given the opportunity to expand training beyond basic NVQ qualifications and a reviewed career development schedule for lawyers is currently being discussed.