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White & Case defects from University of Law to BPP

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New Yorkers’ London office cuts GDL and LPC deal with ULaw’s arch-rival

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White & Case’s London office is to switch its training contract deal from the University of Law to BPP in a move that will do little to settle nerves at Europe’s biggest law school after it was sold in June for the second time in three years.

The New Yorkers generally take on about 30 trainee solicitors a year in the UK capital. Moving the deal for providing those trainees with the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course will be a blow to ULaw, which has weathered a series of law firm defections to its arch-rival over the last year. Among those to have switched their business are Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance; Linklaters has, however, remained loyal to ULaw.

Neither of the universities nor White & Case would comment after a report of the news appeared on Myspace-style law firm partners’ chat room Roll on Friday. But a source close to the deal confirmed yesterday afternoon to Legal Cheek that the firm had indeed switched its affections to BPP.

Details of the move leaked out on the heels of an even bigger shake-up to the legal education market as Kaplan Law School confirmed that it was throwing in the towel after eight years in London.

The demise of its GDL and LPC offerings will leave the two big players scrambling for the law firm refugees. Kaplan had deals that covered trainees from nine City law firms and organisations: Bates Wells Braithwaite, Fieldfisher, Holman Fenwick Willan, Ince & Co, Penningtons Manches, the London office of Mayer Brown, Mills & Reeve, Nabarro and PwC Legal.

Earlier this summer ULaw pinched arguably the jewel in Kaplan’s training deal crown, its agreement with top US firm Shearman & Sterling. Will it beat BPP to the rest of the stricken law school’s bounty? Watch this space…