As of 1 May, DJ Freeman will officially become Kendall Freeman, a niche insurance and litigation practice. The majority of the former firm's media and property teams, including some trainees, have been taken on by Olswang and DLA.
Managing partner Laurence Harris said that the new firm will be honouring the training contracts offered to approximately 18 students over the next two years. He said: "We see them as having a very strong future with us. We really want to recruit from our trainees and I hope that we'll continue to have a high percentage of our future partners training at the firm."
DJ Freeman used to offer between 12-15 training contracts each year, but Harris predicts that this figure will drop to around seven or eight in a few years' time. "Lately the number of trainees has been closer to 12 each year and, in fact, we only have nine trainees joining us in September," he revealed, explaining that the lower number was due to a lack of suitable candidates and a slowdown in some areas of the old firm.
Kendall Freeman will not be making any changes to the package offered by the former firm, which include a starting salary of £26,000 and a qualification salary of £48,000.
One issue being debated
is whether to change the number of seats on the training contract back to four, after it was reduced to three last September.
Despite the recent surge of changes to the firm, Harris feels positive about the future. "I see the firm of Kendall Freeman taking on more newly-qualifieds [than previously], because we'll be a stronger business. We'll be able to offer a very high quality of training."