College of Law bags A&O, Links GDL contracts

Magic circle firms Allen & Overy and Linklaters have signed up College of Law (CoL) to run every aspect of training for their future trainee solicitors.

The college, which already provides a bespoke Legal Practice Course (LPC) for both firms, will now be the sole provider of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) for their trainees. A&O’s programme will be rolled out to students from September 2009 while Linklaters contract is set to begin 12 months later.

A&O training principal David Campbell said: “We have received good feedback from our future trainees about CoL’s LPC course, and value the open and constructive relationship we have built up with the College since 2006. Extending this relationship to include the GDL training makes sense for us and will benefit our future trainees.”

Trainee development partner at Linklaters Simon Firth said that using one provider at each stage of training ensured a “smooth transition” into the world of work for would-be lawyers.

The College of Law’s new ties with A&O and Linklaters follow its existing relationship with magic circle rival Clifford Chance, which in November struck a deal with the school which will see it deliver a range tailor-made vocational programmes for its trainees over a five-year period including the GDL and LPC (19 November).

In September, CoL arch-rival BPP Law School was named as the sole GDL provider for a consortium of five leading City firms made up of the remaining magic circle firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, plus Herbert Smith, Lovells, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May (15 September). The consortium had already signed up BPP as its preferred LPC provider.

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