Hebert Smith has become the second major law firm to confirm that it has launched a further round of trainee solicitor deferrals.
The top 10 City law firm has written to future joiners who were due to start their training contracts in September 2010 and March 2011 asking for volunteers to defer for six months in return for a £10,000 cash incentive.
Herbert Smith claimed the fresh deferral programme is primarily aimed at smoothing out numbers between the September and March intakes, which currently have 70 and 30 trainees respectively.
The firm announced a similar move last February when it wrote to 79 trainees who were due to start in September 2008 to ask them if they would consider delaying their start dates to March 2010, when only 27 graduates were due to start (read article).
The only other firm to launch a second round of deferrals is Hammonds, which has asked 17 of its future joiners due to start in September 2010 to voluntarily defer for 12 months.