The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reassured City firms that its controversial work-based learning pilot is on track, and will address their concerns about being forced to hire trainees as permanent employees.
At a recent meeting of the Legal Education & Training Group (LETG), which represents legal training professionals, members claimed the pilot ignored the needs of firms with large trainee intakes.
The issue of potentially not being able to force out underperforming trainees on qualification is of particular concern to the LETG.
LETG chair Peter Carrick said: “While we have some sympathy over what the SRA is trying to achieve, we’ve certainly got concerns about the structure and the SRA’s suggestions regarding fixed-term training contracts and the level of bureaucracy the new regime will introduce.”
The SRA claimed the pilot, launched a year ago, was not looking at the contractual and regulatory structure of training. SRA policy executive Tim Pearce said: “The pilot is only looking at the learning and development of trainees. Any changes to the way trainees are employed will be looked at separately.”
Linklaters has pulled out of the pilot, leaving Beachcroft, Freeth Cartwright and Jones Day as the only major participating firms.