Freshfields ups financial support for SQE trainees to £20,000

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Maintenance grants reach record high

Magic circle firm Freshfields has announced it is increasing its maintenance grant for future trainees completing the new City Consortium Programme (CCP) from £17,000 to £20,000.

The CCP is an 11 month course designed to prepare the future trainees of six influential ‘Consortium’ law firms — Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, Linklaters and Slaughter and May — sit the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

The course, delivered by BPP University Law School, features a four month SQE1 prep programme, a special four month City Consortium ‘Plus Programme’ and a further two weeks of SQE2 test prep. Non-law students will also have to take the PGDL (8 months) before starting the CCP. We exclusively revealed details of the new programme earlier this year.

The fresh uplift sees Freshfields leapfrog Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Herbert Smith Freehills (£17,000), while Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright are yet to go public with their figures. The first crop of Consortium trainees will commence their studies this September.

The 2022 Legal Cheek SQE Providers List

Craig Montgomery, partner and training principal at Freshfields, told Legal Cheek:

“We provide a maintenance grant to our prospective trainees to allow them to focus on the demanding professional studies they undertake before joining us and to ensure we are able to provide equal opportunities to talented graduates, regardless of background.”

Elsewhere, there have been several rises for Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) grants. White & Case future rookies can now expect to receive £17,000, up from £10,500, a move that Legal Cheek revealed was motived by the “increased cost of living”. Hogan Lovells, Freshfields, Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance have also all upped their LPC maintenance grants to £12,500.

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Foxtrot Oscar

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Honestly good on Freshfields. Putting A&O and Links to shame in every way possible.



The bronze medallion firms like A&O, Linklaters and CMS probably won’t be raising soon due to challenging economic conditions. Well, CMS might as the leader of that group; it upped salaries I think just yesterday.





Mile End

Great headline figure but actually not that big of a deal

Currently – FF future trainees doing the accelerated LPC were getting 12.5k for 7 months – 1785 per month.

Now, for trainees doing the SQE they get 20k for 11 months – 1818pm.

So really the increase just provides some per month parity with the future trainees who were allocated to the March 2023 intake (LPC)



Higher than links and a&o as usual, that’s all that matters



I bet you own a briefcase



When are Hogans gonna announce their figures ffs?!


Need to Know

Anyone who needed to know their figures were informed.
It was announced as 17.5k for SQE about 3 months ago.



Was this in an email.. cus there was nothing in the contract/offer letter. Sound like you’re 🧢



No it wasn’t lol..


Future MC traineee

A&O actually now pay £12,500 for LPC grant. Check their website for proof.


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