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Simmons & Simmons’ bespoke MBA scheme has proved popular with the firm’s future trainees, with more than 50% opting to defer their start date in favour of the one-year course.

Earlier this year the firm asked trainees due to join in September 2009 and March 2010 to delay their start date and instead carry out a firm-sponsored legal MBA with BPP College of Professional Studies. Out of a total of 55 trainees, 29 have chosen to take up the course.

This has reduced Simmons’ September trainee intake to 20, with the other six beginning their training at the firm in March next year. Originally, 43 were due to start in September and 12 in March.

Simmons graduate recruitment partner Nick Benwell said: “Obviously this is a positive uptake. It is good to see that we will have a good number of students on the course in its first year.”

As well as having their course fees paid by Simmons, the students will receive a £15,000 maintenance grant to cover living costs. The course will be run at BPP College of Professional Studies’ new City branch (pictured) in co-operation with Simmons, but trainees from other firms will able to take up the course from the second year onwards.

Simmons had been in the early stages of planning the course but decided, after talks with BPP, to bring the launch date forward to this year as a productive activity for deferred trainees who might otherwise have faced an uncertain deferral period.

Benwell said: “The reason we are doing this is to offer something very positive for the trainees’ CVs which will be with them in the future and give them a career advantage. It will help them understand clients in the business sector.”

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