City firms developing SQE preparation course with BPP

updated on 04 December 2019

A group of six City law firms have partnered with BPP University Law School to develop a new course that will prepare future trainees for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

Five of the firms – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright and Slaughter and May previously had a partnership with BPP to provide the accelerated LPC to future trainees, with the LPC now set to be replaced by a new course when SQE is introduced in Autumn 2021. Linklaters has worked with The University of Law as its LPC provider. The LPC is now set to be replaced by the SQE.

The new course will also focus on the specific skills and knowledge required by lawyers at leading City firms, in addition to the SQE syllabus. As the Law Gazette reports, City firms have previously expressed concern that SQE will not prepare students for the types of commercial work in which these international firms specialise.

No information has been released on what fees students will have to pay for the course. Meanwhile, the SRA has said that fees to take the SQE stage one and stage two exams (which are separate from any preparation course) will be set at £3,000 - £4,500.

A spokesperson for the six firms said: “Investing in the development of our talent is key to enable our future lawyers to meet client needs in a rapidly changing business environment. We look forward to working in partnership with BPP as we embrace the opportunities presented by the revised regulatory regime to develop innovative training programmes.”