Halliwells: future Manchester and London trainees left jobless

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  • As a Manchester Future Trainee who has had their training contract withdrawn I am bitterly disappointed. I take little comfort from the fact my future colleagues have been taken on by HD, whilst me and great number of others are effectively out of the door with little more than an email.
    I am disgruntled that there has been no offer of support or advice from the Law Society and I question what exactly the £80 covers.
    This is a prime example of the failings in the current training system. I have invested a lot of time and money in getting to this stage and in Halliwells itself.
    On the whole, congratulations to those who have been successfully transferred, but it doesn’t make it any less of a bitter pill to swallow.

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  • What a surprise, the SRA makes anybody with the slightest character blemish jump through an endless list of hoops to get student enrolment and charges a small fortune for the privilege of it then leaves them abandoned when they might actually need some help.

    They're also quite content to stick their unwelcome nose into the affairs of anybody fortunate enough to have more than one training contract on offer but do nothing if the contracts are not honoured.

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  • As a current trainee it comes as a suprise to me that BLG are retaining seven of us who are due to qualify in September.

    This HAS NOT been communicated to us at all.

    Oh and we are due to qualify in August, not September.

    There has been a complete vacuum of information throughout this whole process with many individuals only looking to serve their own interests.

    The administrators haven't even bothered to contact us and tell us what is going on.

    Completely RIDICULOUS.

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  • I am happy to look at CVs

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  • To all disappointed Halliwells trainees, I am very sorry for you that this has happened. One very small lifeline which may help. MMU has funding for summer placements for unemployed graduates, one of the sectors covered is Law. If you can find a firm that will take you on for a four week placement at minimum wage then we will pay them £1k. This may give you an opportunity to shine and take on a paralegal role and a future training contract. Funding ends at the end of August although placement can be after that. Please direct any interested employer to http://www.mmu.ac.uk/careers/employers/internships
    or speak to me at MMU School of Law.

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  • I am one of the current trainees who has been affected.

    If Andrew Campbell (or anyone else who is in a position to help) can provide contact details, it would be grately appreciated.

    Many thanks.

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  • I am sorry to hear about the training contracts being withdrawn but I also wanted to say that I am sorry for all the other staff (fee earners and non-fee earners) who were caught up in the administration. One of my best friends is one of those people and she will not receive payment in lieu of notice or any compensation.

    If anyone should be complaining to anyone, you should be complaining to the SRA.

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  • Think of this as a lucky escape.

    The trainees have avoided years of worry about job security and wage deflation due to excess supply and falling demand. There is no future in law unless you want to work in China or India.

    Now these trainees can turn their minds to finding a career that genuinely serves the interests of the post modern society we live in.

    We badly need high quality engineers, tradesmen, mechanics, teachers etc etc.

    As we have past peak oil production (2004/2005) we will increasingly need farmers not office workers as globalisation is reversed due to energy shortages.

    Think it through.

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  • Is HBJ keeping on the current Manchester trainees?

    @Anonymous 22 Jul 2010 3.52pm - what planet are you on? I just looked up the definition of 'moron' in the dictionary and it said 'Anonymous 22 Jul 2010 3.52pm'.

    You have done no more than illegitimately draw extreme conclusions from some very general principles. Your comments are neither helpful, inspired nor any sort of received wisdom. I suspect you think you come across as wise and understanding of how the world really works. To those who have even half an iota of knowledge, you only betray your extreme ignorance.

    See my comments below, inserted in your text in square brackets and come back with a sensible second draft or just keep quiet.

    "Think of this as a lucky escape [One can escape at any time during a training contract, or later in one's career, by simply resigning. Training as a lawyer provides valuable skills which are highly transferrable and valued in many other professions. If the Halliwells trainees were to be kept on, their job prospects would be significantly better than they will be now. Furthermore, and put simply, a job is better than no job.]

    The trainees have avoided years of worry about job security [On what basis? They would have had a minimum of two years guaranteed employment, after which time the economy is likely to be in a much better position than it is now, and until recently, job prospects for lawyers were always exceptional. It was almost guaranteed that a trainee would be kept on. I suggest you refer to previous years' retention rates. Arguably, there is always room for good lawyers, even now (agai, look at increased reterntion rates).] and wage deflation [A deflated solicitor's salary is still tremendous in comparison with that of other professions. I suggest you look at recent articles on the highest starting salaries - law is top.] due to excess supply and falling demand [In what areas? The need for litigators has been increasing exponentially]. There is no future in law unless you want to work in China or India [There will always be good deal of property, criminal, commercial work etc. in the UK. It is not legal to move to India to and practice law there unless one is indian qualified. The Chinese legal market is actually already swollen with vast numbers of UK and US lawyers. The Chinese courts are not trusted and English law still prevails for international commercial and corporate work.]

    Now these trainees can turn their minds to finding a career that genuinely serves the interests of the post modern society we live in [Is that why they went for a commercial training contract? Research the term 'post-modern society'. It is now historic.].

    We badly need high quality engineers [Good point. There has been a lack of emphasis on innovation which is supplied by engineers. You may keep this in your second draft], tradesmen, mechanics [Seriously doubt these last two. Any evidence for this?] teachers [This was true a year or two ago but not any lomger. We have more teachers than jobs now, by a long way. This is mostly because the government has been pumping money into PGCEs etc but also the recession led to many moving into teaching.] etc etc.

    As we have past peak oil production (2004/2005) [OPEC controls oil production rates, to a greater or lesser degree, and could easily have the world producing significantly more oil overnight. It is for economic reasons only that it does not (i.e. high supply equals a lower rate per barrel for its members). Furthermore, countries such as Kazakhstan have huge supplies coming online over the next few years, more oil is being found daily (recent exapmles include the North Sea and Cornwall).] we will increasingly need farmers [We do not need farmers, that's why they don't get any money (supply and demand issue again) and they are upset that we keep buying the same stuff from European farmers much cheaper. Currently farmers get paid less per pint of milk than it cost to produce. See recent documentaries on the plight of British farming] not office workers as globalisation is reversed due to energy shortages [What energy shortages? We don't have any right now, or anticipate any in such a short period of time that it would affect someone's prospects as a trainee. Is oil going to run out, yes but there will be a replacement. The world moves on, we innovate. Consider the solar powered plane recently receiving press coverage. Wind, water, hydro, waste energy etc. Who are the lawyers who are getting into this - those who already know about energy - i.e. oil and gas lawyers, regulatory lawyers. These are huge new areas of law growing by the minute, which creates more demand for lawyers.].

    Think it through [Is this advice? Is this instruction? Is this meant to come across patronising?]."

    Hush now little one.

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  • I am a top-tier Manchester trainee who is going to be out of a job in 3 weeks time due to the lack of NQ jobs in the market. I have a first class degree and great experience yet I cannot find anything, and now feel trapped in law. Please, if you are a rejected future trainee, consider another career if there is even a hint of doubt in your mind. There is much more job satisfaction and security out there. And obviously, my sympathies go out to you all.

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  • As one of the trainees who was due to start in August with Halliwells in Manchester, I am obviously extremely disappointed to say the least to have been told that my training contract has been withdrawn.

    Given the small amount of future trainees that are affected, the fact that Hill Dickinson have taken on the trainees in the Liverpool and Sheffield offices, the fact that the trainees due to start in August have already been deferred for a year, and the fact that the business they were due to start in is still there, just under a new name, it is extremely disappointing that the two firms taking over the Manchester business have not been prepared to divide the future trainees between them.

    To add to the disappointment, the trainees due to start in August were actually part of the same intake who started in March and are keeping their training contracts. The ones who started in March were deferred for five months, and those due to start in August were deferred by ten months. The decision as to how long the deferral was to be for was by random ballot!

    We are now placed in an extremely difficult position, already a year after we were due to commence our training contracts. It would be nice to think that other law firms in Manchester would take the opportunity to step in and agree to take one or two trainees each, trainees who have already been through the Halliwells selection process and who have already obtained their LPC+. It would be great for the reputation of the firms who were prepared to do so, and also very much appreciated by the future trainees who otherwise risk having their legal careers ended before they have even begun, or at the least probably having to wait another two or three years to commence a training contract.

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  • Poetic justice!

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  • Maybe the time has finally come to offer some other route to qualifying as a solicitor than by training contract. Trainees have to have a law degree/diploma and the LPC to prepare them academically and practically. There could be an option to have a training contract as now (and salary) or a one year further training course (with payment of a fee). The Caribbean jurisdictions have no training contracts but they do have a 2 year practical course. People can then at least qualify and look for a job (n whatever field) as a qualified professional.

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  • Pat,

    Seriously do some research. You are very much out of date.

    I could dismantle your arguments easily.

    Lawyers do not earn good money. When you divide the average salary by the amount of hours they work then on an hourly basis they earn very little indeed. The work is increasingly being done by paralegals anyway.

    You are wrong on your energy arguments. You don't understand the issues which is very clear. Don't comment on things you do not know anything about. It's too complicated to explain but just research the issues.

    Wake up.

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  • Good for Hill Dickinson taking on trainees - there is some honour left in the profession then. SRA - it is NOT just a contractual issue - it is an issue of solicitors bringing the profession into disrepute and someone should surely look into the Spinningfields deal as £10M seems to have disappeared into a black hole!

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  • This is a prime example of why regulation should be taken away from the SRA and passed to the FSA.

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  • @Pat, best comment I have ever read on here!

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  • Advice to would be trainees

    1. Think laterally
    2. Get a group action started
    3. Think about a career in banking the bonuses are bigger and better and people respect bankers more now than they do lawyers
    4. Apply to be on The Apprentice
    5 Apply to be on Dragons Den
    6 Apply to be on A Simon Cowell show
    7 Apply to be on Jeremy Kyle show
    8 Write to your MP and your MEP
    9 Write to the Minister for Justice
    10 Think about a career in telesales
    11. Learn from this that nothing is certain and keep it in mind as a useful experience as you go through life
    12 Take up religion

    Good luck
    4. T

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  • The issue that these trainees and many law student can't seem to understand is that law is a saturated market.

    There are few opportunities.

    Students would have a better quality of life if they focused their energy on a career where demand is healthy

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  • What I find laughable is the fact that Halliwells told the trainees that they are not considered as assigned to geographical locations but rather as one intake.

    Nice to see that was merely guff.

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