ULaw strikes Fieldfisher training deal as Kaplan exodus continues

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By Thomas Connelly on

It was the fancy City of London premises that apparently won it


The University of Law (ULaw) has revealed a three year training deal with Fieldfisher — seeing off arch rival BPP Law School for the signature of the international outfit.

With Kaplan Law School announcing plans to exit the mainstream student legal education market at the end of the year, ULaw and BPP have been vying for the affections of those Kaplan-affiliated law firms left in training limbo.

Following a competitive tender, trainees at Fieldfisher will now complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and — if required — the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at ULaw.

Offering around 12 training contracts annually, the first cohort of trainees will start at ULaw this August.

The decision by the City firm appears to have been swayed heavily by ULaw’s flashy City of London premises in glamorous Moorgate. Edward Miller, Fieldfisher’s training principal, said:

Following a thorough tender process we chose The University of Law because of the way it integrates the GDL and LPC students into one building. This was an important factor for us as it will help our future trainees to create new networks and relationships, which is of course key for all new lawyers starting their careers.

Fieldfisher will be joining New York-headquartered outfit Shearman & Sterling and national outfit Trowers & Hamlins. Both firms revealed they had switched to ULaw late last year, having got wind that all was not well at Kaplan.

National firm Pennington Manches, which hires 13 trainees annually, appears to have opted for ULaw too, giving its future lawyers the choice between remaining at Kaplan until it finally bows of the market or jumping ship to the law school giant. Despite this strong indication that ULaw will be its law school of choice, it is yet to reveal a final decision.

Meanwhile, BPP has been just as busy touting for business.

City outfit Holman Fenwick Willan and international firm Mayer Brown — which offer around 15 training contracts each — joined Nabarro — with a trainee intake of around 25 — in opting to send their future trainees to BPP.

Eminent private client firm Farrer & Co and shipping stalwart Ince & Co — both offering 10 trainee positions each year — have also pledged their allegiance to BPP.

With Mills & Reeve remaining on the fence, indicating no preference as to where their trainees go, it appears Davis Polk & Wardwell, Bates Wells Braithwaite and PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal are the only firms yet to reveal their post-Kaplan moves.


Kaplan exodus: Mayer Brown and Holman Fenwick leave for BPP as Penningtons chooses ULaw [Legal Cheek]