Beachcroft trainee deferrals cast shadow over recovery in grad rec market

Trainee solicitors due to join Beachcroft later this year have been dealt a sudden blow after the national firm’s surprise decision to defer their start dates.

Beachcroft has decided to slash the number of trainee places for both September 2010 and 2011, according to legal website RollonFriday. As a result ten of the 29 trainees who were due to join in September 2010 have agreed to push back their start dates by 12 months with four provisionally being offered paralegal positions including one in the firm’s Aukland office and another with a client.

The firm said in a statement: “This was a difficult decision, but we felt it was better to take action now than to risk finding ourselves unable to offer newly qualified positions to a large proportion of trainees qualifying in 2012. The firm has had a solid year and has continued to invest in its core areas. As part of this investment we have recruited significant numbers of qualified lawyers into certain teams. Furthermore, and more importantly, the way in which we deliver work in some areas of our business is changing.”

As a result of the deferrals Beachcroft has pulled the plug on its summer vacation schemes, which were due to run over the next couple of months and is no longer accepting applications for training contracts starting in 2012.

The Beachcroft trainee deferrals come at a time when conditions in the graduate recruitment market were finally starting to stabilise with a number of firms including Eversheds, Field Fisher Waterhouse and Shoosmiths all opening their doors to graduates once again (read more).