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CMS offers future trainees cash to defer training contracts for 12 months

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Exclusive: Firm to fund gap years as fallout from three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang hits

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CMS Cameron McKenna is asking its future trainees to voluntarily push back the start dates of their training contracts, Legal Cheek has discovered.

According to sources close to the firm, the new recruits are being handed around £8,000 by way of compensation if they agree to defer their TCs for a year.

The news comes just weeks after CMS Cameron McKenna revealed it was to merge with City duo Nabarro and Olswang. Creating a new global megafirm known simply as CMS, the combination is due to be finalised on 1 May 2017 but is already so far advanced that Nabarro and Olswang are both operating under the CMS banner during this autumn’s graduate recruitment campaign.

Training contracts are usually offered at least two years in advance, so now CMS has the tricky job of trying to juggle the trainee intakes from an extra two firms.

It is understood that around 90 trainee solicitors — split across two intakes — are due to start at the firm next year, with 60 recruited by CMS, 20 by Nabarro and nine by Olswang. Unfortunately, according to our spies, there is only space to accommodate around 60. It is not known which firms’ future trainees are set to lose out — or enjoy a funded gap year, depending how you look at it. Feel free to enlighten us in the comments.

When Legal Cheek contacted CMS the firm declined to either confirm or deny the deferrals. Nor did it clarify how many future trainees have accepted the deal, or provide specifics about exactly when they will be able to start their training contracts.