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Thirteen Denton Wilde Sapte trainees have taken up the option to defer their training contract start dates, after the firm offered them £10,000 to do so.

The trainees, who were due to start in September 2009 and March 2010, have now postponed their start dates for one year, receiving compensation of £7,000 plus an additional £3,000 if they choose to pursue pro bono or charitable projects during their deferral period.

Dentons trainees set to start at the firm in 2011 have not been asked to defer as originally planned; instead, recruitment for this intake has been frozen.

The firm plans to continue running summer vacation schemes.

The news comes a month after Dentons originally contacted future trainees to ask for volunteers to defer.

The firm takes on an average of 25 trainees in September and ten in March.

Dentons trainee partner Jeremy Cape said: “We got an acceptable number of trainees voluntarily offering to defer and we are very happy that we did not have to consider compulsory deferrals. The way we approached it is consistent with the way we approach all matters with existing and future employees – in an open and honest way.”

The news comes a few weeks after Dentons revealed its partner promotions for 2009, with the firm making up six new partners, representing a 50% drop on last year when it promoted 12 to the partnership.

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