The Big Four firm has grown its UK legal services team to over 30 staff and hopes to double it over the next year
EY is set to offer legal training contracts to budding solicitors, as it expands its UK law practice.
Having been granted a licence to provide legal services in December 2014 – alongside PwC, KPMG, Kingston Smith, Price Bailey and Hope Shaw – the Big Four firm has grown its UK legal services team to over 30 staff and hopes to double it over the next year.
To support its ambitions, EY plans to initially recruit for eight trainee solicitors in the UK, with four places available for September 2016, and an additional four places in 2017.
Successful applicants will complete a two year training programme, encompassing legal and other key business skills across areas including corporate, commercial, and employment law.
At the end of the two years, it is expected that EY’s trainees will qualify as associates within the UK legal team and won’t be required to re-apply for a permanent role.
Successful applicants will receive funding for their Graduate Diploma of Law and Legal Practice Course fees, and will be furnished with a maintenance grant to help cover living expenses while studying.
Philip Goodstone, head of EY’s UK&I legal services team, said: “This is a really exciting development for us and reflects the level of client demand we are already receiving for our services, despite only opening our doors less than 12 months ago. We have big ambitions for the growth of the team and a training contract programme will allow us to develop and nurture top talent in house.
“Our trainees will gain experience in the full spectrum of EY’s legal services, but will also benefit from working side-by-side with colleagues from across EY in our tax, assurance, corporate finance and advisory practice. We will offer our trainees a fantastic opportunity to gain a rounded view of the business world, in addition to honing their legal skills.”
Top 20 firm Kingston Smith recently announced the expansion of its legal services offering having been granted an alternative business licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
As part of its expansion plans the firm appointed Andrew Bloom as head of legal services. Bloom previously served at Steptoe & Johnson, and will be looking to help the firm provide more legal services to clients.
It currently offers probate services through an ICAEW-granted licence.
Parliament approved the ICAEW as a probate and ABS regulator in summer 2014.