Post-sale Uni of Law takes hit as Baker & McKenzie deserts to BPP

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Global firm is latest big name to pull training deal from University of Law, following in footsteps of Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance


The recently sold University of Law was clobbered today with a major commercial blow as global law firm Baker & McKenzie switched its training deal to rivals BPP Law School.

The London office of one of the biggest law firms in the world — which currently offers 30 trainee solicitor posts — confirmed that it was ditching the university for provision of the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice courses.

Moving the contract to arch competitor BPP will be a huge blow for the university’s new owner, 36-year-old Russian-Israeli wunderkind Aaron (sometimes known as Arkady) Etingen.

Etingen’s Netherlands-based Global University Systems announced within the last 10 days that it had paid an undisclosed sum to Montagu Private Equity for Europe’s biggest law school.

Since London-based Montagu took over the law school three years ago, ULaw has suffered some serious commercial setbacks with magic circle firms Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, among others, shifting deals to BPP.

A Baker & McKenzie spokesman explained the move, saying “The BPP programme best matches our needs at the current time and we are looking forward to working with them.”

While a ULaw spokesman attempted to put on a brave face:

“We pride ourselves on our first rate training and this is reflected in a number of exciting new business wins, including Trowers & Hamlins, announced last week. We work with over 90 of the top 100 UK law firms and over half of the top global firms, many of whom send their trainees exclusively to The University of Law for their training.”


The University of Law has been sold for the second time in three years [Legal Cheek]



And so it begins… The end is nigh, ULaw shysters.

All you recent grads without a TC aiming to self-fund the GDL/LPC, you’ve been warned!


Dick and Bernie

Everyone, including Baker & McKenzie, knows that the family-run-tinpot-outfit that is GUS/LSBF/St.Patricks will be sending ULaw down the same path of disrepute, poor academic standards, non-existent customer care and generally ripping off all its students. Anyone who studies with these jokers clearly has time and money to burn.


on the other hand...

quite clearly a large amount of money has been paid for ULaw (the hedge fund would not have sold out for a loss surely). The pot of gold is TDAP – why wreck the quality and have TDAP taken away? That would be a ridiculous strategy.

I am well aware of existing reputations here but there is something being missed. LSBF/GUS have acquired numerous businesses in the past few years. Many have been in bad shape at the point of acquisition. But they bought out an accountancy training business which had a decent reputation and academic standards there remain high.

As far as I can see, LSBF has struggled/failed to make a good reputation from things it has started itself, or from weak-rep organisations it has taken over. But ULaw has 2 things that LSBF has striven for – TDAP and a more than reasonable reputation – and I reckon they will leave the current law courses well alone.


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