College of Law (CoL) has fired a direct shot at the University of West of England’s (UWE) professional studies arm, Bristol Institute of Legal Practice (BILP), by poaching its Legal Practice Course (LPC) director Kerry James.
James, who joined UWE as a tutor from Bristol-based Burges Salmon in 1999, is to head up CoL’s £1.2m Bristol centre, which is due to welcome its first cohort of students in September 2010.
CoL chief executive Nigel Savage said: “Kerry’s appointment is a real coup for the college. She’s built a reputation as both a dynamic senior academic leader and a dedicated and effective tutor and is also an established member of the South West legal community. She brings with her a wealth of regional knowledge, contacts and know-how and will be a real asset to us.”
“The fact that we’ve been able to attract such a locally well-respected candidate to head up our Bristol centre reflects the large impact that the college is already having on the legal education market in the region,” added Savage.
Philip Millington, who is currently a full-time tutor at UWE as well as deputy LPC director, has replaced James with immediate effect although James will remain at the institute until the end of May. Prior to joining UWE, Millington was a partner at a leading Bristol firm.
Steve Dinning, head of BILP, said: “While it’s sad to lose a valued colleague, we all wish Kerry well and hope she will enjoy starting up the new venture from scratch. We know that one of the few downsides of having high quality staff is that others less fortunate than us will always be keen to employ them.”
He added: “However, such is the strength of our team, we know that Kerry’s departure doesn’t change our plans to remain the dominant provider of the LPC in the Bristol and South West region.”
BILP insists that CoL and BPP Law School’s plans to launch in Bristol later this year will not have a major impact on its student number. It is understood that the institute already has almost 200 full-time LPC students signed up for September. BILP, the cheapest LPC provider in Bristol, has also recently completed a major refurbishment programme.