Cobbetts trainees still face uncertainty as DWF remains tight-lipped on contracts

The fate of Cobbetts’ trainees is still unknown as no word emerges from either Cobbetts or pre-pack deal rescuer DWF on whether training contracts and training contract offers will be honoured.

DWF has declined to comment on whether it will be keeping on Cobbetts trainees or trainees-to-be.

As recently as the last week of January, Cobbetts was hosting afternoon tea and breakfast graduate recruitment drop-ins in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

Attendees were encouraged to find out more about application processes and have one-to-one sessions about embarking on a legal career.

One attendee said: “It was a chance to meet the recruiter and was for both the VS [vacation scheme] and the TC [training contract]. Advice on application, interview and what the TC entailed.

“I sent my application a couple of days ago, and they were still accepting them for the vac scheme. There appeared to be no upset then.”

Fellow Manchester firm DWF is poised to snap up Cobbetts (31 January 2013). Managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said last week: “DWF’s plans to grow in a strategic, targeted way have been clearly set out and this move supports that goal.

“I’m confident that the merging of the two firms would bring genuine benefits to both and, importantly, the joint client base. There are many synergies between the two firms in terms of the sectors in which we operate and this collaboration will further strengthen our existing business.”

Cobbetts’ legal practice course provider, the College of Law (CoL), spoke of the firm’s supportive attitude towards its trainees last week (30 January 2012).

Reacting to the news last week, Sarah Hutchinson, board member for business development at the CoL: “This is very early days but it appears to us that Cobbetts has clearly thought this through with regard to their trainees. Trainees have been considered very seriously and the firm has addressed their minds to the situation – we’re encouraged by that. Over the years we’ve seen that Cobbetts has very decent partners and although it’s early days we’re sure they’ll continue to treat their trainees with every consideration.”