Magic circle firm Clifford Chance has set-up an alternative training contract for would-be solicitors with a specialised focus on technology. The firm claims the IGNITE contract will offer applicants with an ’aptitude for tech’ a route to qualify as solicitors. It is designed for people that have an interest in areas including fintech, coding and artificial intelligence, and an interest in how law tech and digitisation are changing the legal working environment. It will run separately to the firm’s usual trainee programme, which takes place twice a year.
Trainees will be given time away from fee-earning to gain the necessary training, support and expertise the firm said. They will be paid £46,600 in their first year, £52,500 in their second and up to £91,000 as a newly-qualified solicitor, including bonus.
Michael Bates, regional managing partner, said: ‘Law tech is changing the face of our industry and we want to be at the forefront of that change. We’re committed to driving a culture that embraces digital thinking across each of our practice areas and we hope that these trainees will go to make significant change in their practice areas upon qualifying.’
The firm said it hopes to hire five individuals to join the firm in 2021.
Meanwhile international firm Withersworldwide said today it had acquired tech law firm JAG Shaw Baker to create Withers tech, a dedicated team advising on tech.
JAG Shaw Baker was established in 2013 to advise UK and US entrepreneurs, companies and investors across high-growth technology sectors including life sciences and digital technology. Withersworldwide said the new legal offering would fully meet the needs of entrepreneurs, investors and technology companies.