Big Four player embraces solicitor training shake-up
Accountancy giant KPMG is to launch a training contract programme specifically designed for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).
The Big Four player’s legal arm will offer a new 27-month route into the profession that sees rookies complete SQE1 and SQE2. The super-exam comes into force from 1 September 2021 after it (finally) received the green light to go ahead from the Legal Services Board last month. It will replace the Legal Practice Course.
KPMG says trainees will rotate through various seats, with those based in the North given the additional opportunity to relocate to London for up to 12 months to “ensure a breadth of experience and to build important networks”. It has teamed up with BPP Law School to build the new programme.
Nick Roome, partner and head of KPMG Law in the UK, said:
“People and their skills are our greatest asset, so our future success depends on our ability to attract, train, retain and invest in talented colleagues. This qualification programme will underpin our growth plans as we continue to build a formidable legal service offering that is thoroughly integrated within our wider tax, deal advisory and consulting practices.”
He continued: “The SQE scheme has been created to fit around our students’ lives and empower them to become fully rounded lawyers with a great spread of experience. In a fast changing and increasingly complex world, that diversity and breadth of thinking is what we are looking for so we can provide the best possible service to our clients.”
KPMG has previously set its sights on training lawyers, with Legal Cheek reporting in 2015 that it was offering an undisclosed number of TC spots. Intake under the new programme “will be flexed to reflect market demand and growth in the business” while remuneration “will be in-line with the market”.
KPMG isn’t the first Big Four bean counter to go public with its super-exam plans. Last year Deloitte launched its own three-year-long training contract that will see its first cohort of would-be lawyers qualify under the SQE regime in 2023.