College of Law to open in Midlands

The College of Law has announced it is opening a school in Birmingham, after losing out on the lucrative City LPC contract.

The £7m project will take on 500 students a year from September next year to provide courses for the 794 law firms in the West Midlands – which between them employ more than 4,000 lawyers.

The move will boost the national coverage of the college, which has been snubbed by the top eight City firms, which have opted to use BPP Law School in London, Nottingham Law School and the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice to develop a new LPC. The College of Law tendered for the work but was rejected.

Nigel Savage, chief executive at the college, says: “Opening a Birmingham branch to fulfil our national objectives has been our plan for some time.

“Our strategic focus is very much on our international strengths – law is a global business so we ensure our recruitment and training programme meets that demand.”

National human resources director for Dibb Lupton Alsop Robert Halton says: “It's a welcome development which not only recognises the importance of the business legal community in the West Midlands, but is yet another sign of the college aligning more closely with the profession.”

Last month Slaughter and May, Freshfields, Linklaters & Alliance, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Lovells, Norton Rose and Herbert Smith resolved to send all their students to the other three colleges.

But Savage says opening in Birmingham shows the college is committed to serving the whole profession.