Housing developer A2Dominion has launched a training contract after receiving authorisation from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The company obtained approval from the regulator in October 2018, after the proposal was unanimously approved by the executive management team.

Trainees are selected from an in-house pool of paralegals. Once they join, they have the opportunity to apply for a training contract upon successfully completing an application process that includes a panel interview and a presentation. The company encourages “time to count” applications – involving experience gained outside of the training contract – to reduce the duration of the contract by up to six months.

In addition, A2Dominion assists paralegals who qualify via the route available through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, with the possibility of taking an apprentice through to qualification by means of a legal apprenticeship. This is paired with an apprenticeship scheme already available within the company that targets residents coming from local areas.

Ausilia Matraxia, head of the legal services for the operations unit of A2Dominion, told The Lawyer: “We were keen to provide this opportunity, as it enabled us to invest in those who see a long term future with the group, and would eventually understand the business intimately. It is not just important for the maturity of the team, but also affords us a way of succession planning.”

A2Dominion would not share remuneration details, but it said the contract will start from the end of October and last two years depending on “time to count” results.

The first intake includes two trainees, Laura Lewis and Iram Aslam, who will take seats lasting from four to six months in the company’s housing litigation department, property and transactions department and treasury department. Opportunities around secondments are currently being explored, but A2Dominion is able to offer a secondment with law firm Winckworth Sherwood depending on need.

Last July, UK challenger bank OakNorth debuted a training contract after receiving authorisation from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). In the same period, litigation funder Harbour launched one as well, with one trainee beginning the two-year period in September.