Hogan Lovells' Cheffings to replace A&O’s Morley leading Prime social mobility effort

Hogan Lovells’ chairman Nicholas Cheffings is to succeed Allen & Overy (A&O) senior partner David Morley as chair of legal social mobility initiative Prime next year.

The appointment will take effect from 1 May 2016, following Morley’s retirement from A&O on 30 April when his second term as senior partner ends.

Both A&O and Hogan Lovells were part of the initial group of 23 law firms that founded Prime in September 2011 to provide work experience in the legal profession to schoolchildren from less privileged backgrounds.

Eighty nine law firms have now signed up and nearly 4,000 school-age children have gained work experience through the scheme – significantly exceeding the target of 2,500 by 2015.

Member firms provide work experience places that meet a series of minimum standards, including offering at least half as many work experience placements as the number of training contracts offered each year.

Each placement must include at least 30-35 hours of work experience per student and a commitment to developing key business and personal skills in areas such as oral and written presentation, networking and negotiation.

Morley said that Prime had already “instigated real change in the legal sector’s approach to opening up access to this world” but that there was still work to be done.

He added: “The next stage of the process is an evaluation of how far we’ve come, and how we can convert this strong foundation into the reality of a more diverse workforce. This will be the theme of the Prime conference on 25 November.”

Cheffings (pictured) added: “David was a driving force behind Prime and I hope I can continue his legacy and encourage many more firms, and indeed in-house colleagues, to join us in this shared goal.”