Trowers & Hamlins has become the latest firm to offer an innovation seat to its trainees as a part of its training contract.

From the beginning of April,  trainees at Trowers will have the option to sit in the innovation team and develop their competency in legal tech.

Trowers’ training contract is divided into four seats, meaning its trainees could spend six months in innovation as part of their qualification as a solicitor.

The seat is an extension of Trowers’ innovation strategy, which saw the launch of TrowersEvole, a portfolio of legal tech and AI-based solutions, in December last year.

Anna Browne, head of Innovation and legal technology at Trowers, said: “Innovation is one of the firm’s core values. The introduction of a trainee seat builds on Trowers’ commitment to innovation through the investment of our lawyer’s time.

“This new seat will equip trainees with a deeper knowledge from the outset of their career of how innovation can benefit both Trowers and its clients.”

Trowers also introduced “innovation hours” last year, with a view to recognise its lawyer’s time spent on innovation at the firm.

Lucy James, training principal at Trowers, added: “This is an exciting new option for our trainee solicitors as they continue to develop and enhance their skills throughout their training contract. With the support of our award-winning innovation team, trainees will gain a greater understanding of how innovation is integral in driving the business forward and ensuring that we are providing the best service delivery to our clients and fee-earners.”

Trowers has joined the likes of Gowling WLG, DWF, Addleshaw Goddard and Reed Smith who have similar offerings.

Indeed, Gowling WLG created an innovation and legal tech seat for trainees across its UK offices towards the end of 2022. The optional programme sees trainees split their six-month seat between the firm’s innovation team and on secondment to Avail – an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up with a focus on transactional real estate teams, with which Gowling has a joint venture.

In other news, Trowers has been undergoing a bit of a shake-up over the last year or so. Regarding its financials, it increased borrowings from £6m to £11.3m in the 2022/23 financial year to finance necessary investments to ensure it can remain independent.

Elsewhere, it has undertaken two rounds of redundancies in the real estate team in the last six months, with around 50 roles being reviewed. At the time, a spokesperson from Trowers said:  “In order to best align our real estate team to changing client requirements, and in light of a continued slowdown in market conditions, it has become necessary for the firm to enter into a formal redundancy consultation with our real estate department in the UK.

To find out more about technology in training contracts, check out The Lawyer’s guide here.