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The South London Legal Partnership (SLLP), which opened earlier this week following the merger of London’s Merton, Kingston, Sutton and Richmond legal teams, is to launch its own trainee scheme.
Merton, which merged its legal capability with Richmond in 2011 (28 February 2011), is hosting the trainee programme and the 90-strong shared service, believed to be the first of its kind to incorporate four boroughs.
A spokesperson for Merton council said the newly-formed group plans to take on two trainees a year from next autumn. Merton council is not understood to have offered a trainee programme before, while Richmond council has previously trained one of its solicitors.
Paul Evans, assistant director of corporate governance for SLLP, said: “This is an exciting time for our new legal team and it is great that we will be able to offer trainee solicitors a placement with us. Practising law within the public sector can be both challenging and rewarding, and incredibly varied.”
The SLLP is set to save the authorities a combined £600,000 over the next four years, with costs expected to be reduced on areas such as office overheads.
In the short term there will be no impact on the councils’ use of existing external firms, although a spokesperson for the service said external counsel will be reviewed in due course. Firms that the legal team at Merton and Richmond have previously turned to include Bevan Brittan and Weightmans.