What, no lawyers on this year’s The Apprentice!?

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By Thomas Connelly on

Lawyer-loathing Lord Sugar snubs legal sector as new contestants are revealed

The Apprentice 2015

The 18 new contestants who make up series 11 of BBC hit TV show The Apprentice have been revealed — and there is no representation from the legal profession.

Amstrad-guru Lord Sugar — who made it clear on last year’s show that he wasn’t a huge fan of lawyers — will put the latest batch of aspiring entrepreneurs through their paces in the new series that starts next Wednesday.

Last year, two solicitors starred in the show that sees contestants battle it out over a series of business challenges to secure an investment of £250,000 and become Sugar’s business partner.

Indeed, St Albans family lawyer Lauren Riley and ex-magic circle associate Felipe Alviar-Baquero were arguably the two stars of the show, as they wooed viewers with their intelligence, organisational skills and charm.

Lancaster University graduate Riley eventually got the boot for failing to impress Sugar during a challenge that saw the contestants market a new soft drink in New York. Riley — who has gone on to create legal communication tool The Link App — actually cited Sugar’s dislike for lawyers as a reason for her exit.

Fellow contestant Alviar-Baquero, who the nation took particularly strongly to its hearts, ditched a successful City legal career to pursue his entrepreneurial-dreams.

The former Slaughter and May lawyer, who got a first in his law degree at Kent University before going on to get a distinction in the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) at Oxford, also spent time at US giant Latham & Watkins.

The ex-magic circle man’s exit from the show came just two weeks after Riley’s, when he clashed with Sugar in the boardroom over a challenge that saw the contestants asked to purchase an “anatomical skeleton”. Colombian-born Alviar-Baquero, who famously returned to Sugar’s office with a cheap flat-pack skeleton, was immediately dismissed by a clearly unimpressed Sugar. The businessman claimed the lawyer was “trying to be too smart”.

Alviar-Baquero — currently listed on LinkedIn as a consultant at insurance firm INDECS — appears to have also set up a Kent-based children’s play centre called ‘Tiny Town’ since leaving the show.

Despite the lack of lawyers, this years The Apprentice cohort does contain a number of interesting professions. From boutique owner to builder, from social media entrepreneur to hair extension specialist, the series has all the hallmarks of being a good one.