Lovells has asked its future trainee solicitors to voluntarily defer their training contracts in a bid to smooth out a bulge in its current intake.
The firm has contacted trainees due to join the firm in autumn 2009 as well as those set to begin in spring and autumn 2010 to ask if they would consider deferring their training contracts.
The firm has not confirmed if volunteers will be financially compensated for deferring but conceded the move is linked to a continuing deterioration in market conditions.
A spokesperson at the firm said: We need to manage the numbers of trainees joining the firm at each intake in the most effective way both for them and for the business. Consequently were seeking to smooth out our trainee intakes.
If not enough volunteers come forward the firm has said it will undertake a selection process in order to pick which trainees should defer.
Lovells has insisted that the decision to deter trainee start dates will currently not have an impact on trainee solicitor vacancies for 2011/12 and still has posititions available.
The firm will be hosting Easter and summer vacation schemes in 2009 as usual. The graduate recruitment campaign is an important part of our resourcing programme for the future and there are always opportunities for good quality candidates regardless of market conditions, said a spokesman for the firm.
The news comes just after Field Fisher Waterhouse announced its plans to scrap both its easter and summer vacation schemes.
DLA Piper has also asked a number of its potential trainees due to start in 2009 to defer their start dates until 2010.