London trainees at Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) are being offered secondments in Manchester, as details of the firm’s first trainee scheme in the city emerge.
BLP revealed in February that it would launch a training contract in Manchester, with the application process starting shortly after.
It has revealed it is taking on two trainees from this September, with the pair recruited from BLP’s own pool of staff.
Unlike the usual training contract process, the firm has not recruited its intake two years in advance.
As well as the two new recruits, BLP is also giving final year London trainees secondments to the firm’s Manchester real estate practice.
A total of two final year trainees will relocate to BLP’s Northern office until the end of September. It is not known if further final year trainees from London will relocate after that.
Sources in the market claim the move has been made as a result of a high turnover of staff in the Manchester office.
“They [BLP management in Manchester] haven’t been able to recruit anyone despite having tried to hire since January, with numerous people turning down offers due to the bad reputation BLP Manchester holds in the market,” a source said.
BLP moved London real estate partner Damian Fleming to the firm’s legal delivery team in Manchester this month, making him the first partner in the office.
“Since relocating I’ve spent time on recruitment in our Manchester office and the response has been excellent, with candidates seeing that we will be providing a differentiated service that is client focussed and of the highest quality,” said Fleming.
“The variety and quality of work will continue to attract the best talent in the largest legal market outside London.”
The office has a headcount of 80 and consists of associate lawyers, paralegals, legal apprentices and business services personnel.