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DLA Piper offers future trainees £10,000 to delay TC start dates by a year

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Exclusive: Or £5,000 for six months

DLA Piper is offering future trainees up to £10,000 to voluntarily push back the start dates of their training contracts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The international giant has given its new recruits a choice to either start as planned this August, delay until February 2021 and receive a £5,000 grant, or start in August 2021 (a year later than planned) and pocket £10,000. This is regardless of where the trainees are located in the UK.

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows DLA takes on around 70 trainees each year across its offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Edinburgh. The outfit’s London-based rookies receive £45,000 in year one, rising to £50,000 in year two. Newly qualified pay, again in London, sits at £78,000.

Liam Cowell, DLA’s UK managing partner, told Legal Cheek:

“In line with many other law firms, we are preparing for a gradual and voluntary return to offices over the next few months, and as such, are offering all our new trainees a similar gradual approach by phasing our dates to start their careers at DLA Piper. Fostering an environment that is supportive and collaborative is central to our values as a firm, and with this staggered approach we will be able to offer our intake the very best in-person training experience, even during these challenging times.”

DLA also confirmed its summer vacation scheme will be running virtually this year.

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News of the cash incentives come just weeks after we revealed that Irwin Mitchell (IM) had delayed the start dates of its future trainee solicitors in light of the pandemic. IM’s 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.

Meanwhile, Squire Patton Boggs warned it may have to push back the start dates for its TC holders “if trainee workload reduces over the coming months”.

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