BLP to offer training contracts in Manchester base

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Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is to begin offering training contracts in its Manchester office for the first time.

The application process for the contracts will launch shortly and will initially be open to the firm’s Manchester-based employees. The number of contracts on offer will be dependent on a number of factors, including quality of applications, with successful applicants starting their training in September.

BLP already has five legal apprentices working in its Manchester office as part of the government’s ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship scheme, which offers a work-based learning route to qualification as a solicitor and takes between six and seven years to complete.

BLP Manchester operations head Mark Grayson said: “The new trainee scheme is part of BLP’s commitment to offering long-term career progression for our employees and developing their talent. Working in the largest legal market outside of London here in Manchester, our trainees will be a huge asset to the wider firm.”

The firm’s Manchester office opened in August 2014 with four qualified lawyers, as part of a push to offer more cost-efficient services to clients. It now has 80 members of staff, including associates, paralegals, legal apprentices and business services staff.

The 2014 launch was part of the firm’s new four-strand approach to servicing clients, which also included the use of third parties to cut costs and an expansion of the firm’s internal legal process improvement team to analyse and improve processes and workflows for clients.

Last year, magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer launched an apprenticeship scheme for paralegals in its new legal services centre in Manchester. The two-year apprenticeship took on its first intake in October 2016, after the opening of the Manchester base in July 2015.