Newcastle firm Muckle has deferred the start date of its September 2008 trainee solicitors by a year.
Two out of the three trainees will defer their training contracts until September 2009. They will receive a payment of at least £4,000, but the firm would not confirm the precise amount offered.
Existing offers made for September 2009 would be?unaffected,?Muckle managing partner Steve McNicol told The Lawyer.
“It’s very simple – we have an extremely good reputation for providing one of the best training contract opportunities, not just in the North East, but also in the country,” he explained. “At the moment we feel we aren’t able meet those high standards. Therefore we don’t think it’s right that we take all three trainees
This is the first reported case of a UK firm deferring training contracts since the tail end of the dotcom bust.
In 2002 KPMG’s former legal arm KLegal gave trainees £2,500 to defer
for a year, and in 2003 Linklaters?exchanged trainees’ one-year deferral for £14,250 – equivalent to six months’ salary.