Irwin Mitchell delays trainee start dates by six months in response to pandemic

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By Thomas Connelly on

Exclusive: New starters will now join in February 2021

Irwin Mitchell has become the first UK law firm to delay the start dates of its future trainee solicitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Legal Cheek can reveal all trainees due to commence their training contracts with the firm in August 2020 will now join in February 2021 — six months later than originally planned.

A spokesperson for Irwin Mitchell, which takes on around 50 trainees each year, said the decision to delay TC start dates had been taken “in order to protect our colleagues, the business and allow us to invest in the right level of talent at the right time”.

Future trainee recruitment will “not currently be affected” and current second year rookies can apply for newly qualified roles “in due course”, the spokesperson added.

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News of the delay comes just 24 hours after it emerged that listed law firm Gateley had furloughed a number of its trainees and put plans in place to push back the qualification dates of its current second year cohort.

Firms across the UK have been tightening their belts in recent weeks as they look to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19, with many having already deferred partner profits, introduced pay freezes and placed staff into the government’s furlough scheme.

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