Linklaters has broken ranks and pulled out of a programme aimed at helping cash-strapped university law departments in order to turn its attention to more sophisticated initiatives.
The firm has given notice to the City Solicitors Educational Trust (CSET) that it intends to stop its annual donations of around 75,000. This is a huge blow for the CSET, as Linklaters is one of the founding law firms that established the trust in 1989. Other members include the rest of the magic circle and other City notables such as Ashurst, Herbert Smith and Slaughter and May. Firms must give CSET four years notice, so Linklaters involvement will not end until 2008.
Linklaterscommunity investment partner Christopher Coombe said that the money would be pumped into other programmes.
What weve seen is the way in which university and graduate funding is working is that people are becoming sophisticated about it. Were looking forward to enhancing what we are doing with other programmes, he said.