Halliwells cancels 2011 training contracts

Halliwells has closed the books on its 2009 graduate recruitment programme after it decided to defer the start dates for its future trainee solicitors.

The North West firm, which has launched a fourth round of redundancy consultations, has pushed back the start dates for its 76-strong 2009 and 2010 trainee intakes. Half the future joiners have had their start dates deferred by six months in return for a cash payment of £2,000 while the other half have received £4,000 in return for a 12-month deferral.

The deferrals have resulted in Halliwells no longer recruiting for September 2011 and only accepting training contract applications commencing in March 2012. The number of vacancies for March 2012 is yet to be determined by the firm.

Halliwells’ graduate recruitment and training partner Paul Rose said: “We feel that the decision to defer training contracts is in both the firm’s and the future trainees’ interest in what are clearly exceptional times.”

“We have decided to take this opportunity to change the pattern of start dates going forward. In future, we will have two intakes of trainees each year. The splitting of the intake will have considerable benefits to the trainees on qualification and will enable us to maintain our strong retention record,” added Rose.

Halliwells is also scaling back its summer vacation scheme from three two-week long programmes in Liverpool, London and Manchester to just two in each City. However, in a more positive development the firm will also be running a vacation scheme from its Sheffield office for the first time.