First Apprentices join Kennedys

International law firm Kennedys has appointed its first group of ten legal apprentices, all of whom start work later this month at the firm’s offices across England. The programme, thought to be the largest recognised legal apprenticeship programme in the country, is being run in partnership with specialist legal apprenticeship provider Damar Training and ILEX Tutorial College (ITC).

Most of the apprentices completed their A levels earlier this summer and all have decided to follow a vocational route into the profession, avoiding the cost of university. The partnership between Kennedys, Damar and ITC is further evidence of how progressive law firms are broadening their approach to legal recruitment, recognising that some of the best potential lawyers of the future can be recruited on leaving school.

Emma Phipps, HR Advisor from Kennedys said: "Kennedys are committed to improving access to the profession and are delighted to be working with Damar Training and ITC to offer a Legal Apprenticeship pathway. We had an overwhelming response from applicants and have appointed ten top class A Level leavers into our ranks. We already employ many high achieving individuals who have chosen to enter the law using an alternative route and hope that the Legal Apprenticeship scheme will further reinforce Kennedys commitment to attracting a diverse range of talented lawyers."

18 year old Christopher Helme, from Glossop in Derbyshire, is an apprentice at Kennedys’ Sheffield office. He said:

“I was attracted to Kennedys because they are a top law firm offering a real alternative to the university route which, after the increase in tuition fees, could result in a debt of £50,000 or more. With an apprenticeship I have the opportunity to acquire practical skills and real work experience alongside qualifications. I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity.”

Jonathan Bourne from Damar commented: “Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for firms to attract high quality applicants right out of school and shape them to their firm's ethos. We are delighted to be supporting Kennedys with both the recruitment and training of their first group of apprentices. This programme is a great example of how legal apprenticeships can be used as part of an exciting new route to a career in law."

Jenny Pelling from ITC said “It’s yet more evidence of the appetite within the legal services’ market for apprenticeships and vocational learning.  Kennedys’ investment in apprentices is very timely, coming just after the Legal Education and Training Review’s recent discussion paper comments about blending vocational training with work-based learning.”

The apprentices are employed as legal administrators and will complete an intermediate apprenticeship in legal administration in their first year. The apprenticeship includes a blend of workplace-based training and assessment designed to develop knowledge and understanding of the legal environment as well as administrative skills. After year one there are expected to be opportunities to progress to the more specialist higher level legal apprenticeships currently in development.


Notes to Editors:


Kennedys is a leading international law firm that comprises 153 partners and a total complement in excess of 1000 staff worldwide, with 18 offices in Auckland, Belfast, Birmingham, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Maidstone, Manchester, Miami (for Latin America), Sheffield, Singapore, Sydney and Taunton. Kennedys also has an active network of associated offices around the world situated in Copenhagen, Delhi, Karachi, Mumbai, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Sao Paulo and Warsaw.

Kennedys’ client base includes general insurers/reinsurers, global composites, Lloyd's syndicates, underwriters, self-insured PLCs and self-insuring government bodies. Its lawyers provide a range of specialist legal services to industry sectors including construction, healthcare, insurance and reinsurance, international trade, local government, maritime and rail. The firm advises clients on banking and finance, company and commercial law, dispute resolution, employment, health & safety, liability and regulatory defence.

Kennedys is ranked in the UK as a top 30 law firm by revenue and at the 2010 Legal Business Awards was named ‘Insurance Team of the Year’ and overall ‘Law Firm of the Year’.


Damar Training is a specialist provider of apprenticeship recruitment and training with many years’ experience of working with employers in the legal sector. Damar is at the forefront of the development and delivery of legal apprenticeships and is part of a consortium awarded nearly £1m by the Government to develop the new higher apprenticeship in legal services, along with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Damar provides law firms with an end to end recruitment and training service, matching them with quality apprentice employees and then delivering a tailored package of training and assessment.

For many non-graduate apprentices, training is fully or partially funded by the Government and grants of £1,500 are available to many firms recruiting apprentices for the first time. Follow Damar on the web at and on Twitter @DamarTraining.

For more information contact Jonathan Bourne on 0161 480 8171 or at

ILEX Tutorial College

ILEX Tutorial College (ITC) is a leading distance learning law school, wholly owned by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).  ITC has been delivering legal education for nearly 30 years.

ITC has over 3,000 students studying by flexible learning at any one time. These include apprentices, paralegals, students aspiring to be solicitors and chartered legal executive lawyers, along with legal support staff, local authority and central government employees and in-house legal staff employed in commercial organisations.

ITC teaches the Level 2 apprentices about the Legal Environment, including the nature of law, EU Law, Statutory Interpretation, Judicial Precedent and the Civil and Criminal Courts.

For more information, contact Jenny Pelling on 01234 844 326 or at  @ITClawschool.

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