Berwin Leighton Paisner to offer City trainees secondments at its Manchester hub

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By Thomas Connelly on

As international outfit confirms first northern rookie lawyers

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is offering its City-based trainees a secondment option in Manchester.

The firm — which posted a disappointing spring 2017 retention result of just 55% last month — has revealed that two final year London trainees will be heading to the firm’s Manchester outpost. The BLP rookies will be based within the outfit’s real estate team until the end of September.

Damien Fleming — a BLP real estate partner who relocated from London to Manchester earlier this month — told Legal Cheek:

[BLP] and our clients are delighted with how things are progressing in Manchester. The secondment is to ensure our trainees obtain the benefits of working within the largest legal market outside London.

Pushed on whether the secondment would be a permanent feature of BLP’s London training contract, Fleming said:

We haven’t had any specific discussions, but we continually review the way we set up our training contracts.

BLP is one of a number of City firms with a hub in the North West.

The international outfit, which launched its Manchester centre back in August 2014, is joined by the likes of Freshfields Bruckaus Deringer, Nabarro and Latham & Watkins. Legal Cheek understands the movement — dubbed “northshoring” by the legal press — is leading to strong competition to recruit from the smaller pool of paralegals and junior lawyers in the North West region.

The secondment news comes just weeks after Legal Cheek reported that BLP is to start offering training contracts in Manchester.

Speaking at the time, Mark Grayson — who is head of BLP’s Manchester operation — said the move was part of the outfit’s “commitment to offering long-term career progression for our employees and developing their talent.”

BLP — which according to Legal Cheek’s Most List offers around 45 training contracts annually — has now confirmed that it will take on two Manchester trainees this September. Both have been selected from its existing pool of paralegals.

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