BPP to cover course fees of ex-KWM future trainees as it emerges that firm collapsed owing law school £236,000

Bristol and Oxford students law societies also left out of pocket as millionaire ex-KWM partners join new firms

A report collated by the administrators of now defunct King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) reveals the firm owes BPP Law School, the University of Bristol and the University of Oxford almost a quarter of a million pounds.

Of the three, BPP Law School has been the hardest hit by some distance. The once well-respected City firm owes the university’s student finance office £236,000.

This is because BPP used to provide Graduate Diplomas in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Courses (LPC) for future KWM trainees. In January this year, shortly before the firm went under, a spokesperson told Legal Cheek:

All of our KWM GDL and LPC students will still be able to complete their programmes with us.

This morning BPP reiterated its position as it moved to cover the unlucky ex-KWM future trainees’ legal education costs.

In addition to the BPP debts, the report reveals KWM owes the University of Bristol Students’ Union £1,700 and the Oxford Law Society £1,080. Bristol is yet to respond to our request for comment. A spokesperson for Oxford Law Society told us it “does not share information regarding payment and invoices with outside sources.”

There are a number of other universities mentioned in the 90-page administrator’s proposal. The University of York’s finance department is apparently owed £693, University of Leeds’ finance office £204 and King’s College London’s credit control department £1,068. University College London is listed as being owed £1,374, while The University of Law is entitled to £4,801.

Swathes of rich partners left KWM in the run up to its shutdown, joining top corporate law firms across the City of London. In 2015, profit per equity partner at KWM was £610,000.

Previously:

I’ve been paid! QC dismisses report claiming she is owed £200,000 following collapse of KWM [Legal Cheek]

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15 Comments

Anonymous

Well done to BPP if they have voluntarily covered fees, but …

If they had a contract with the firm to provide training, I don’t see that there are any fees owed by the students to be covered. I doubt there was a contractual provision for the students to pay the fees if the firm failed to do so.

(3)(1)
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Anonymous

Can you imagine the outrage if they now asked people to pay thousands of pounds in course fees on short notice? They’ve done it because they had no choice. Bpp has got enough problems and bad press as it is, including being investigated by the government, so I don’t think it was motivated by any sort of benevolence.

(7)(3)
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Anonymous

Investigated by the government? Do you mean the statutory review placed on all private providers when their ownership changes but not extended to other Univerisities no matter what their change in leadership? Then yes, it’s a review but I accept it’s BPP so we have to make it sound cloak and dagger

(9)(4)
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Anonymous

No choice? They could have kicked the students off the course. That would fit with their image around here surely?

What are the Government investigating them about?

(1)(2)
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Anonymous

BPP didn’t do this to be nice. It’s a shrewd PR move in light of the enormous criticism they take for being exploitative.

Other law firms also jumped on the moralistic bandwagon by employing current KWM trainees/future trainees.

Money makes the world go round friends.

(7)(2)
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Former kwm

BPP discretely emailed us to say they were waiving our fees, fairly soon after the news about the firm broke.

I don’t doubt this is a good PR opportunity for them but it would be disingenuous to suggest, on the basis of an LC article, that they’ve actively gone after it.

(11)(2)
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Anonymous

I did the BPTC at BPP. There’s plenty wrong with it (probably is with all of them TBF). But I don’t think this is the time to be cynical. Considering the behaviour of the firm that landed their LPC students in that position in the first place, this must be one of the few decent actions from the whole episode.

I often wonder why the providers get it so badly on here when so many of the critics were gagging for TCs from firms that are far more ruthless and unpleasant.

(1)(0)
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Anonymous

BPP didn’t do out this out of benevolence; they did this to avoid damaging their rock bottom reputation and this will probably used as future justification for yet another rise in course fees

(3)(4)
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Anonymous

A load of KWM people joined my firm… It’s amazing to see the partners strutting about the place even though they left a lot of people high and dry, or could have done, by their mismanagement and excess drawings. Yes, they lost their capital in KWM, but by all accounts that wasn’t that much at all.

(7)(1)
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Anonymous

They could have said “The firm paying for your course hasn’t paid us, clear off”. I imagine the comments if they had.

Of course it generates good PR but ULaw and BPP get pilloried whatever they do. We can pretend all of the other Universities are better than them if we want but that’s a nonsense too.

Let’s imagine if the BPTC/LPC entry criteria were lifted several fold. Southampton Solent, Teeside and West London would all have to take a long look at whether they could market their LLB programmes as leading to the professions.

(12)(0)
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Anonymous

Although normally a hater of everything and everyone….

Well done to BPP. They turned a ‘bad debt’ into a positive PR spin.

(11)(1)
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