Weightmans merger threatens Mace & Jones’ recruitment policy

Mace & Jones’ innovative trainee recruitment programme is under threat following the firm’s decision to merge with Weightmans.

Andrew Cox
Andrew Cox

The ’2-Way Street’ scheme, launched just six months ago, would have seen Mace & Jones hire graduates as paralegals as opposed to trainees. After a minimum of six months’ service the paralegals would be eligible to start training contracts.

In contrast, Weightmans operates a more traditional training contract model, with the firm typically recruiting 16 trainees a year, although around half of each intake is made up of internal promotions.

Weightmans partner Andrew Cox, who is responsible for trainees, said the merged entity was expected to incorporate elements of both firms’ graduate recruitment programmes.

Cox said: “There’s still an important role for a good-quality training programme at the firm, so we’re likely to end up with more than one entry point for trainees.”

The merger will become effective on 1 May, resulting in a firm with more than 1,000 staff and a turnover of around £75m, making it the country’s 41st-largest firm by turnover. This would place it one position ahead of Travers Smith, according to The Lawyer UK 200 2010.