Further top law firms confirm spring vacation scheme suspensions

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By Aishah Hussain on

Clyde & Co, Gowling WLG, Burges Salmon, Stephenson Harwood and TLT

A further five law firms have confirmed the suspension of their spring vacation schemes.

Clyde & Co, Gowling WLG, Burges Salmon, Stephenson Harwood and TLT were all due to run student work experience programmes this spring but have put them on hold in view of the virus pandemic.

Clyde confirmed to Legal Cheek the suspension of its two-week London spring vac scheme (30 March – 9 April 2020) “as a necessary precaution in light of the developing COVID-19 outbreak and the latest government advice”.

The spokesperson said, however, “we are committed to honouring vacation scheme offers and have reached out to students to invite them to join one of our summer schemes, which we hope to run across June and July. We are very keen to ensure students have the best possible experience on our schemes and we will monitor the situation as it develops and act in accordance with the latest government guidance”.

Gowling’s week-long spring vac schemes were due to start in Birmingham (30 March – 3 April 2020) and London (20 – 24 April 2020). Both schemes have been postponed “due to the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic”, a spokesperson for the firm said.

They continued: “This decision has been taken with the safety of the participants and our colleagues in mind. Everyone due to attend has been informed. Given the current situation, it is too early to confirm new dates for the schemes, but we have committed to provide a further update to participants at a later date.”

Meanwhile, Bristol-headquartered Burges has put its two-week spring vac scheme (14 – 24 April 2020) on hold. Robert Halton, chief people officer at Burges Salmon, said:

“People are the life blood of the firm and it is only right that we defer the placement programme to protect everyone concerned — it’s what any responsible business would do.”

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Fellow Bristol-based outfit TLT said it postponed its Easter vac scheme due to take place in London, Bristol and Manchester, following government guidance to limit travel and social contact. A spokesperson said the firm will look to plan for a summer date when “we are clearer on how the situation might develop in the months ahead”.

Stephenson Harwood’s spring placement scheme (30 March – 9 April 2020) has also been suspended. The firm confirmed to Legal Cheek it has offered individuals affected a deferred place for a scheme later this year. The City firm said it is also looking at alternative methods to help and engage with students, and this is ongoing.

This comes as Shoosmiths became the first firm on Friday to cancel its summer vacation scheme. The national outfit said it will be “arranging alternative ways to engage with [its] people” and stressed to students who submitted a vacation placement application in this year’s round that they will still be considered for training contracts.

View a list of law firm schemes postponed due to COVID-19 so far. This page will be updated as we receive new information.

Has your scheme been affected by the coronavirus? Let us know at tips@legalcheek.com

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