Gateley furloughs trainee solicitors

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Some rookies may also have qualification dates pushed back in response to pandemic

Listed law firm Gateley has placed a number of its trainee solicitors into the government’s furlough scheme, it has emerged.

The firm, which dishes out around 25 training contracts annually, has also put plans in place to push back the qualification dates of its second year rookies as it looks protect itself from the impending financial fallout of COVID-19.

“We haven’t taken any blanket decisions to furlough teams, every decision has been based on workloads available and what is right for the business, our people and our clients”, Gateley said in statement. “As we all know, the situation resulting from this pandemic changes regularly and the flexibility to be able to look at team workloads as demand either increases or decreases in certain areas is vitally important.”

Gateley did not disclose how many trainees were currently on furlough, but did confirm all will receive full pay for April 2020.

The firm also revealed second year trainees due to complete their TCs this August will now likely qualify on December 31 — regardless of whether they have been furloughed or not.

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“We don’t believe it is in our trainees’ best interests to qualify at a time when there may not be any NQ roles across the legal profession”, the statement continued. “Our intention is to retain as many trainees as possible and if the legal sector generally pushes forward with NQ roles in September, then we will follow suit where possible.”

It added:

“This is not about delaying qualification or preventing people from applying for NQ roles outside of Gateley. This is about doing what we can to ensure that they do not qualify at a time when there may not be the NQ roles available in the profession generally.”

News of the furloughs and possible delays to qualification follow the firm’s announcement last month that had cancelled an interim payment to shareholders.

A host of big City law firms have implemented cost-cutting measures in recent weeks, including postponement of partner profits, staff furloughs and pay freezes.

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Ridiculous. They should be qualifying soon as so they can apply for whatever NQ roles there are – be they roles starting in September or roles starting later.

If the firm wants to ensure that the trainees aren’t hurt by a lack of opportunities in September then it could guarantee them some sort of role until December, even if not a full associate role. The relevant individuals could then keep their options under constant review.


Harry Thotter

Second half of the comment nails it. Let them qualify, those who secure roles move to associate, remainder become temporary paralegals on trainee pay.

Being thrust into a grotty NQ market with no role is rough though. Not everyone can sit it out on universal credit until a role comes up at a top 50 firm, and will have to bite at the first tacky offer that comes through.



Worst thing is that there’ll be potentially hundreds of unretained NQs entering the September 2020 legal market as their firms will be offloading deadweight qualifiers left right and centre.

They’ll be all hungry for a top dollar role in the midst of the savagest economic crisis in decades. Good luck to them all, they’ll need it.



Exactly what happened in 2008.

Welcome to the working class.


Soapy Job

And I thought it was rough last year 😶 count your blessings and all that…



There but for the grace of god go us all…

Peter ashcroft

And have the equity partners forgone their drawings ?



This suggests that the firm:

(1) thinks their trainees will seek to leave as soon as they qualify and want to limit their opportunity to do that when the market is (usually) at its busiest;

(2) doesn’t know whether it needs these trainees so wants to defer taking a decision (while damaging the trainees prospects);

(3) knows it doesn’t need them, but doesn’t want to announce that now given that it will look like it’s the partners shitting over their trainees at the very start of their careers and when the market is likely to be very subdued; or

(4) is dumb enough to believe its own rubbish that is anything other than a shit idea.



Could those trainees apply to the SRA to be admitted on the basis that they’ve fulfilled the criteria for qualification, regardless of when Gateley want that to happen? (assuming the trainees have taken the PSC)



Nah m8



They need to be signed off by the firm’s training principal.



On what basis can a firm refuse to do this, assuming adequate performance by the trainee?



very poor from Gateley


Gateleys toiler

Shet obscure shop



Much like their trainees will be soon


Soon to be homeless

As a trainee, it pained me to like this comment but it made me laugh so whatever… laugh through the tears my guys, laugh through the tears.



More firms are going to do this in the coming months, even larger City shops.



No they won’t…. only firms who were already struggling have this issue or who don’t have an international focus will struggle. There is still work in the city, if not more because of changes to deals in light of Covid



yeh yeh f*ck off, jobs are going down the traps whether you like it or not



“Changes to deals because of Covid”?

I’m sorry, but what on Earth does that mean?



My comment about was meant to say that this statement:

“There is still work in the city, if not more because of changes to deals in light of Covid”

is absolute bollocks.


Actual solicitor, not a fresher

“There is still work in the city, if not more because of changes to deals in light of Covid”

What are you on about? Unless by ‘changes’ you mean the majority of big corporate/ commercial deals being put on hold, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Certain SECTORS of the law will be busier, i.e. employment, public sector, insolvency – but ‘deals’ (implying corporate) are absolutely not increasing in volume.

A good number of Corporate/ Commercial teams probably had a brief influx of panicked clients wanting to know what the shutdown means for their existing agreements, but no (sane) clients are going to be looking at entering into new agreements now.



Agree with actual solicitor above. I’m also in practice in the City.

The people who think that Anon123’s post is correct are deluded.



Anyone know what steps CMS are taking to mitigate effects of coronavirus?


Not a a CMS partner

Paralegals are being encouraged to wash their hands.


Shh, its a secret

London trainees to be furloughed and fee earner pay cut by 20% on Friday, effective 1 May.


Gregg Steak

Is that confirmed? I guess with a million lawyers a 20% pay cut really adds up.



Its a shet firm, what did you expect


CMS Trainee

Fake news.



Is this true?


CMS toiler

Yeah bruv, welcome to reality.


Kirkland NQ

Their NQs have been asked to leaflet the ‘land for low level service positions. I’ve got one mowing the lawn at the Chelsea townhouse right now.


Stealth Lay-off

Haven’t you got a LLB virtual lecture on Torts to watch


Kirkland NQ

Typical underclass jealousy. Get back under your rock and let the real men talk.



Heh yeah sure. Hope the online exams go ok fresher.

Kirkland NQ

Haha if that helps you to think that, be my guest. Just know that your jealousy only makes me stronger. Anyway off to get a massage from my model girlfriend after a great lifting sesh in the home gym.


“Kirkland NQ” = aka “Kirkland Not Qualified” because you’re already out the door before you even set foot in that place. No wonder you have all this free time on your hands, heard it’s soooooo busy there right now.

Wonder about ma TC

According to LinkedIn Irvin Mitchell has postponed all Aug 2020 start dates. Wonder if any other firms will follow..

Bricking it that my firm SC firm will do the same 🙁



Any prior burger flipping experience? Because competition for those McD jobs is going to be fierce.



Not to say its not going to happen across the board, but using that biscuit factory as the “City” barometer is not advisable.



Any idea what HFW are planning?



What’s a HFW and where can I buy one?

Would love to finally buy me one of those Chinese electric bicycles.





Not surprising, after all it’s a House Full of Wankers


Read, please… Bakers NA cut pay they have not furloughed staff. The salary cuts in NA were to avoid furlough.

Do not spread misinformation.



Any idea whether Bracewell have taken steps in London?



Lmao who gives a crack about some kaka obscure firm



I had that very question on my list of things I do not give a fuck about.


Embrace me

I can tell you one thing. you should definitely brace yourself well for what’s coming.


Sir Thomas More

Let us hope they remain open, so as to support the vital global task of oil exploration and production.



You mean the wildly lucrative task which now requires explorers and producers to pay buyers to take their oil off their hands? Must be a great gig


Sir Thomas More

Renewables bore the life out of me.



At the ‘Land no one is being furloughed and everyone is getting a pay rise.



Would trainees who accept the extension therefore qualify for redundancy given they will have been employed for over 2 years by the time they qualify? i.e. if Gateley decides not to offer them an NQ position, can they simply be booted out given the time spent working with the firm?



You can always get rid of employees whenever you want. You may, however, have to pay them something – stat redundancy or whatever above that their contract may provide for (in lieu of notice). Stat redundancy is low.


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