Exclusive: New legal market entrant to take on first ever trainees after being granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license.
In an encouraging move for wannabe lawyers, one of the best known new legal businesses, Riverview Law, is to offer 10 training contracts and 10 legal apprenticeships this year.
The news comes after Riverview’s application for ABS status was granted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) earlier this week, meaning it is now an authorised provider of training contracts.
The positions will be based in Riverview’s main offices in the Wirral, Merseyside, and will be open to both existing paralegal employees and external applicants. Unlike at City law firms, there will be no two-year time lag between application and commencement of employment, with the training contracts beginning immediately. Formal applications will not open until later this year, although a backdoor route into the programme as a paralegal has been quietly advertised since Tuesday.
Pay has yet to be finalised, but Riverview chief executive Karl Chapman said that it would be “competitive in order to attract the right people”.
Chapman added that the decision to hire a mixture of trainees and legal apprentices (who will qualify as chartered legal executives) is deliberate, with the ABS seeking new blood with a “range of experience”.
Riverview’s Wirral office currently handles high volume legal work from a range of large companies, including a number of FTSE 100 organisations. Chapman argues that much of it “is in reality of a similar level to work conducted by well-known mid market law firms”. He predicts that increasingly complex instructions will come Riverview’s way in the years ahead as its model — in which overhead costs are reduced, largely by operating out of the much cheaper North West — wins popular acceptance.
Riverview Law was founded in 2011 with minority investment from global law firm DLA Piper. To date it has functioned separately as Riverview Solicitors and Riverview Chambers, but its new ABS license has begun the process of consolidating the business into a single entity.