KLegal in crisis talks with trainees

In a volte face, KLegal has held negotiations with its trainees to improve on the compensation package offered to 2003 starters forced to defer for a year

The firm faced outrage from 2003 KLegal and McGrigor Donald trainees who were randomly selected for compulsory deferrals. It offered £2,500 – £7,500 less than the amount paid to the 2002 KLegal trainees who deferred voluntarily in July.

It is understood that at least one trainee considered legal action and many contacted the firm to complain. But KLegal management last week held meetings with McGrigor trainees in Scotland and put forward a better package. Further negotiations will take place with London-based trainees this Wednesday (18 December).

Managing partner Nick Holt said: “It is about deferrals; these people are our trainees and we want to take them on. We're trying to do the right thing.” Although he would not comment on specific details, he said the meetings were “constructive”.

It is understood that temporary positions in other parts of KPMG and paralegal appointments at KLegal may also be considered for trainees. However, KLegal's management is constrained by red tape and a low demand within the firm for temporary legal staff.