City LPC consortium cuts maintenance grants

Would-be lawyers who have enrolled on the new fast-track Legal Practice Course (LPC) are facing lighter bank balances as some of the firms participating in the new programme slash their maintenance grants.

The City LPC consortium comprising Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith, Lovells, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May signed up to a new fast-track course to be run by BPP Law School starting from last month (August).

But some of the firms signed up to the course, which will see LPC study time cut from 10 months to just seven-and-a-half, have taken the axe to their maintenance grants because of the reduction in time spent in class.

Slaughters has cut its grant by 25 per cent from £7,450 to £5,580 while Freshfields has reduced its payments by 17 per cent from £7,250 to £6,000.

Future Lovells trainees will also see their maintenance grants take a hit after the firm cut its payments by 12 per cent from £8,000 to £7,000.

Slaughters graduate recruitment partner Robert Byk said: “We have reduced the maintenance grant for Slaughter and May students proportionately in line with the fact that the overall course is shorter.”

Herbert Smith and Norton Rose, however, have left their LPC maintenance grants unchanged at £7,000.

The new course, which was given the green light by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in January, will have two intakes per year, beginning in February and August.