FSCS: providing a different route into the legal profession

Two Burges Salmon legal apprentices went on secondment to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). James Darbyshire, General Counsel at FSCS explains why it has been a great success.

29 December 2017
Commitment

FSCS protects consumers when financial services firms go bust. It’s the compensation scheme for customers of UK authorised financial services firms. Since 2001, it has helped millions of people and paid out billions of pounds.

FSCS can compensate customers if a firm has stopped trading or does not have enough assets to pay claims made against it.

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“Burges Salmon is committed to diversity and open access to the legal profession. Our legal apprentice programme, which has been running since 2016, reflects this commitment,” says Kari McCormick.

“We have been very grateful that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has allowed us the opportunity to show the value of the programme.” Kari is head of Financial Services at Burges Salmon and client partner to FSCS. She is referring to the firm’s legal apprenticeship programme and the fact that FSCS has had two of our legal apprentices on secondment in its team over the last year.

“It’s been a great success,” says James Darbyshire, General Counsel at FSCS.

“Chris Davies, a Burges Salmon associate lawyer who has been on secondment with us, suggested the legal apprentices might be a good fit and be able to help FSCS. I’m a big supporter of legal apprenticeships as they make a career in the legal profession more accessible. We have since had Tom Chamberlain and India Jenkins on secondment with us and they’ve really impressed. We now have more lined up – I think that says it all!”

“I wasn’t sure if university was right for me,” says Tom. “When I found out that through the legal apprentice route you could actually become a solicitor it really appealed to me.” Of her time on secondment with FSCS, India says: “It was such a great opportunity to have had the chance to work at FSCS. All of the team there were really nice and helpful, and it was really easy to fit in because they work in a similar way to Burges Salmon.”

“I can honestly say that I’ve loved every single moment of being a legal apprentice,” explains Tom, “and I’ve not had one regret and haven’t given one thought about going to university at all.”

James of FSCS says: “It’s a very exciting programme because the apprentices really get an insight into the business of law and how law is actually delivered to clients. The Burges Salmon apprentices that we have had are enthusiastic, professional and have all the makings of top quality solicitors. I’m really looking forward to working with the others soon.”

The two-year apprenticeship programme includes a combination of through-the-job and classroom learning, with the apprentices spending one day a week studying at the BPP law school and four days a week working at Burges Salmon. The legal apprentices achieve a paralegal qualification and the equivalent of a first year at university and, with further study, have the opportunity to become a fully qualified solicitor, by completing a solicitor apprenticeship.

Rachel Roberts, assisted by Jonathan Williams, heads up the legal apprentice team at Burges Salmon: “We take very bright individuals and help them develop as lawyers. It’s been a great success.”

FSCS: providing a different route into the legal profession

I can honestly say that I’ve loved every single moment of being a legal apprentice.
Tom Chamberlain, Legal Apprentice, Burges Salmon

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