Berwin Leighton Paisner launches Manchester training contracts

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is to recruit its first trainees in Manchester.

The London-headquartered firm will open the application process shortly, with the first trainees recruited from the Manchester office’s own pool of staff and starting their training contracts as early as this September.

BLP opened in Manchester in 2014 and the office now has a headcount of 80, with the firm stating that it envisions eventually building up an office of over 200 people.

The Manchester office has enough depth in its practice to offer a full training contract without having to send trainees to do a seat in London. In addition to its core real estate practice it has disputes, finance, employment, and risk and compliance teams.

The firm has not set a precise number on how many it recruits and will look at the quality of applications it receives before making a decision on how many to take.

BLP’s head of operations in Manchester, Mark Grayson, told Lawyer 2B that though the training contract is currently only open to BLP staff, it might be opened up to the wider market in 2018. “We have had a number of paralegals working with us for a period of time and it seemed the right thing to do to offer them the opportunity of a training contract,” he said. “Next year we will take a view on what to do next but we might well open it up.”

Grayson remained tight-lipped on how much trainees will be paid, except to say that the salary would be “competitive in Manchester.”

In addition to BLP, a number of London firms have launched low-cost centres in Manchester in recent years, including Latham & Watkins and FreshfieldsLast year Lawyer 2B revealed that Freshfields is also mulling a training contract in the city. 

The firm also has five Trailblazer apprentices working in Manchester and Grayson said this would be another area BLP would be increasing its focus on.