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More than two-thirds of the prospective Halliwells trainees who signed up to a scheme run by Burges Salmon to find them new firms have now landed training contracts.
The scheme was launched in August, with the goal of finding training contracts for the 51 students whose contracts were cancelled when the Manchester firm went into administration earlier in the summer.
A total of 35 firms signed up to the programme, which saw the students’ CVs and offer letters collated and sent to appropriate firms.
At the time of going to press 42 students had taken part, with 33 offered new training contracts. Of those, 14 are from the group due to start at Halliwells in September 2010, with the remaining 19 from the 2011 intake
Burges Salmon senior partner Stephen McNulty, who conceived the scheme, said he believed that several other trainees had earned contracts with other firms independently.
He added that the level of response to the project had surprised him.
“Some people said we’d be lucky [to house everyone] as it’s a tough market,” McNulty said. “But I think some firms have found space on top of their normal intakes.
“People have recognised that they have a responsibility beyond self-interest. The collapse [of Halliwells] was a big shock to all of us and it’s those down the food chain who are most affected.”
Burges Salmon has taken on one extra trainee due to the initiative, while all magic circle firms are understood to have either signed up or expressed support.