Davenport Lyons trims its trainee cohort

West End firm Davenport Lyons is looking to trim its trainee intake, following a “peak” of recruiting eight trainees annually.

The firm has recruited six trainees for its 2014 intake and four trainees for the 2015 intake, with the possibility of increasing that number over the next couple of months to six trainees.

Davenport Lyons CEO Richard Williams said: “As things stand we have eight trainees in year one and two. We have historically fluctuated: we have in the past taken less than eight.

“We are now at a peak point now and that was based around the type of business we were doing and the growth plans that we had in place. While those growth plans remain in place, the market and industry have changed.”

He added: “We are setting out initially with four, the market has started to pick up so over the next two or three months, if the business does really start flowing, that will go back up to six.”

Williams indicated he believed the firm’s ratio of fee earners to trainees, which has previously been 100:16 was too high.

He stated that the firm was committed to providing trainees with a valuable training contract. “What we desperately don’t want to do is to take on people who end up being skivvies or dogs-bodies,” he said, “that’s no good for them or us.

“Our current trainees are people that I want to nurture and bring through as associates, assistants and future partners.”

The firm wrapped up its film and TV group earlier this month, resulting in four redundancies (13 November 2013).