Camerons asks trainees to defer

CMS Cameron Mckenna has become the latest law firm to delay the start dates of its future trainee solicitors.

CMS Cameron Mckenna has become the latest law firm to delay the start dates of its future trainee solicitors.

The top 20 firm has approached its August 2009 and February 2010 intakes and asked for around 15 volunteers out of 65 trainees who have firm offers of training contracts to defer for 12 months. Camerons will pay an unconditional £7,500 to those trainees who take up the offer, which is being made on a first come first served basis.

In an internal statement leaked to Lawyer2B.com the firm said: “A decision has been taken that in order to better meet the needs of our business, as well as to ensure that trainees joining the firm have a full and busy work experience, we would need to defer some of the UK training contracts by a year and so reduce the number of trainees joining the firm in 2009/10.”

“This is a decision that has not been made lightly but is in line with the majority of firms in the City…We remain completely committed to all of the individuals who have offers to join as trainees in the next 12 months and we believe that this offer is in the best interests of both the firm, and the individuals concerned.”

Just under 30 firms have so far confirmed that they are deferring their trainee start dates including Linklaters and Trowers & Hamlins, which are both paying £10,000 to trainees who agree to delay their training contracts by a year. Others, which have also introduced voluntary deferrals, include Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Mayer Brown, Norton Rose, Pinsent Masons, Shearman & Sterling and Travers Smith.

Shoosmiths, meanwhile, is the only firm that is not compensating deferring trainees or those who decide to withdraw their training contracts and will make the move compulsory if sufficient volunteers do not come forward.