Law school wars: DAC Beachcroft swaps Uni of Law for BPP

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National firm’s ten-strong annual trainee intake will attend rival provider


Another firm has switched its allegiance from the University of Law to its bitter rival.

Future trainees at DAC Beachcroft will now study at BPP Law School with immediate effect. The move follows recent decisions by magic circle duo Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy to swap ULaw for BPP.

Those institutions offer, respectively, 100 and 85 training contracts each year, and recruit two years in advance, whereas Beachroft takes on just ten trainees annually and hires one year in advance.

This means that CC and A&O pay out way more than Beachroft in law school fees. Nevertheless, the move is still significant in that it represents a continuance of the recent good run enjoyed by BPP that has coincided with the departure of long-standing ULaw chief executive Nigel Savage following its takeover by London-headquartered Montagu Private Equity.

Not so long ago, BPP — which has its own private equity backer, Arizona-based Apollo Group — was going through a wobbly spell itself, losing a host of firms to ULaw under Savage’s stewardship.

Beachcroft told Legal Cheek that despite the switch to BPP its relationship with ULaw continues. A spokesperson indicated that the firm was keen to keep both providers — which between them dominate the corporate law training market — on their toes. He said:

“As with all our commercial and training requirements, the arrangement will be reviewed on an annual basis.”

A spokesperson for ULaw said:

“We continue to enjoy an excellent relationship with DAC Beachcroft and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Meanwhile, ULaw has announced a tie-up with Shanghai’s East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) that will allow students to spend time at each of the institutions.

The aim of the exchange is to give students the opportunity to develop international legal experience and Chinese language skills — something which ULaw’s client law firms, which include global trio Linklaters, Ashurst and Baker & McKenzie, are keen on.