Smaller firms threaten to axe training schemes

A medium-sized firm has said it is considering dropping its training scheme after losing too many of its newly qualified solicitors to the richer City firms.

Thomas Eggar Church Adams, a top-five South East firm, is understood to be debating the matter at a partners' meeting this week.

For the past few years the firm has taken on eight articled clerks each year. But now managers are concerned that the scheme is proving to be a drain on resources because many of the trainees move onto London firms as soon as their two years of articles are finished.

A source at the firm says that the more senior lawyers are happy to stay in the provinces because they are settled and have families, but that newly qualified solicitors without commitments are more mobile and see their future elsewhere.

The pay differentials between provincial practices and City firms for newly qualified solicitors can be as much as 100 per cent, with top-five firms paying around the u30,000 mark.

QD Legal consultant Adrian Fox says there is a constant flood of newly qualified solicitors to the capital.

“London is always a big draw for those who have qualified elsewhere,” he says.