Linklaters asks trainees to wait

Linklaters has emerged as the latest magic circle firm to ask its future trainee solicitors to push back their start dates.

Linklaters has emerged as the latest magic circle firm to ask its future trainee solicitors to push back their start dates.

The firm has asked for around 15 volunteers to defer from both its September 2009 and March 2010 intakes in a bid to “fine tune” its trainee intakes.

It will be offering both cohorts the option to defer for 12 months for a flat fee of £10,000 and will also give its March 2010 intake the option of deferring for 6 months for a payment of £5,000.

Simon Firth, trainee development partner, said: “We’ve done quite well on numbers so far because we dropped our recruitment numbers slightly last year. We will select volunteers who come forward with a good plan of what they intend to do during their deferral period.”

Magic circle rival Clifford Chance, meanwhile, confirmed last month (26 March) that it too has contacted trainees who were due to start in August 2009 and February 2010 to ask them to defer for 12 months.

Clifford Chance is offering £8,000 cash, with an additional payment of up to £3,000 for trainees who decide to pursue specific pro bono projects or, alternatively, undertake further legal or language studies.