28 November 2019

NEW COLLEGE OF LEGAL PRACTICE TO CHALLENGE LEGAL SERVICES EDUCATION MARKET

Published on 28 November 2019
London - The College of Legal Practice (“The College”) is today announcing its establishment as a practice based training provider in the UK.

The College is a wholly owned and funded subsidiary of The College Of Law Australia and New Zealand, a not-for-profit group, which has a long and distinguished history of providing relevant and practical postgraduate professional legal education in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. 

The College has been established as a response to three independent but important developments in the legal services sector: 
  1. the introduction of the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE); 

  2. the introduction of the new rule book created by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which offers huge flexibility in terms of work placement (sweeping away many of the old training contract restrictions); and  

  3. the wide-ranging factors impacting and disrupting the legal services market including: technology; disaggregation; expectations of new entrants to the profession; client expectations; and new alternative legal providers.
The College aims to deliver practice-led highly flexible learning for today’s legal profession. The College will mirror the key strengths of its parent by delivering professional education based on practical application to help produce the adaptive lawyers for the future. The College will be fully digitalised, delivering its services directly to students in their homes and workplaces. Not only is this model sustainable, it also democratises access to the profession by being location agnostic and is likely to be significantly more affordable than the established providers. The College is fundamentally committed to supporting social mobility in order to provide opportunities to students that otherwise have been disadvantaged by the current regime underpinned by the training contract.

The College will be partnering with BARBRI which will be supporting aspiring solicitors and their employers through the challenges of the SQE. For over 50 years, BARBRI has been the market leader in training lawyers to prepare for the US bar examinations which mirror the SQE. BARBRI and The College’s innovative testing and learning technologies provides future solicitors with the best opportunity to succeed. In recent years, BARBRI has built a significant global template which adds considerable value to the partnership. 

Professor Nigel Savage has been advising the parent company for several years and assumed the role of Interim CEO of The College in early 2019 to steer it through to the initial launch. The College has now appointed a  permanent CEO, Dr Giles Proctor. Giles has extensive experience in professional legal education at Manchester Metropolitan University, Nottingham Law School, Kaplan and University of Law. He is currently Head of the Law School at the University of Roehampton and will take up his new role on 1st February 2020.

Professor Nigel Savage commented: “I believe we are uniquely positioned to create a new and genuinely 21st Century approach to education in this sector. The new SQE will create a sea change in legal training, and has provided the impetus for this change, but significantly The College doesn’t have the baggage of the old LPC. We’ve started afresh, and in so doing are creating a flexible relevant proposition that removes barriers to entry for students and candidates and will fulfill our aim of significantly broadening access to this profession. Our proposition will enable legal service providers to shape career development to deliver to their strategic priorities.”

Neville Carter, CEO of The College of Law (Australia and New Zealand), commented: “The hallmark of the Australian model is delivery of learning directly into the workplace within a very flexible framework of work placement. The model drives access to the legal services market and fuels the growth of employment opportunities. We believe that the reforms in England and Wales provide an opportunity for us to share what we have learnt in Australia and across Asia and assist in shaping new models and pathways in England and Wales.”

Dr Giles Proctor commented: “The College of Legal Practice has been created to offer a new and highly-relevant, flexible approach to practice-driven learning. I am genuinely excited to be leading the College at what is a turning point for not just the legal education sector, but for the entire legal profession.”

Sarah Hutchinson, BARBRI’S Managing Director, commented: “Together, we will offer pathways that not only prepare aspiring solicitors to successfully complete SQE1 and SQE2, but also prepares them with the skills and competencies necessary to make an immediate contribution to a profitable practice. With our combined network we feel there is a real opportunity to make the English solicitor qualification much more accessible in global markets.” 

In addition to the management team which will be led by Dr Giles Proctor from February 2020, the College has also appointed Richard Clark (former Executive Managing Partner of Slaughter and May) and Isabel Parker (Chief Legal Innovation Officer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) as Non-Executive Directors who provide governance oversight as well as strategic input from their wealth of experience in the legal sector.
 

Media Contacts

Nick Bell
nick.bell@p3comms.co.uk
07809 203945

Nigel Savage

nsavage@collegalpractice.com
07770 866535

Website: www.collegalpractice.com

 

 

Notes to Editors

About The College of Legal Practice

The College of Legal Practice is a new, practice-based training provider that works with legal services organisations and individuals who are willing to make the bold choice to change the way they learn.

Fully committed to increasing access to the profession, The College will offer programmes to support the increasingly diverse career pathways that are now available to those wishing to become a solicitor. From intensive, purpose-built virtual training programmes that enhance core qualification training, to those designed to develop experienced practitioners for the modern demands of the legal services sector.

Established in April 2019, The College of Legal Practice was set up by The College of Law in Australasia as a wholly owned UK subsidiary. The College of Law in Australasia is a mature and unique not-for-profit provider of professional legal education and market leader for lawyer qualification training in Australasia. Their intention in forming The College of Legal Practice was to diversify and extend their expertise in delivering modular, practice-based legal training into new jurisdictions around the world, building on 45 years’ experience of working with leading law firms and training over 5,000 lawyers each year.

 

Richard Clark (Chair)
Former Executive Managing Partner, Slaughter and May


Richard Clark was Executive Managing Partner of Slaughter and May until his retirement in 2017. Richard became a Partner in Slaughter and May in 1991 and was a leading litigation lawyer and Head of Dispute of Resolution, with an international practice covering financial institutions, international trade, insurance, fraud and asset tracing, entertainment and Art Law.

He now advises organisations and businesses (particularly professional services firms) as a Consultant on strategic, organisational and management issues. He also sits as a Mediator.

Richard is a Senior Advisor with Sanctuary Counsel (advising businesses on a range of strategic, communication and reputational issues), Chairman of MGC (the theatre, film and TV production company), a Commissioner of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea and an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

Richard has also served as a former Governor and Board Member of Falmouth University and on the Council of Tate St Ives.

 

Professor Nigel Savage
Interim Chief Executive Officer


Nigel Savage was CEO and President of the University of Law (formerly The College of Law) 1996-2014 where he steered the business through radical change including the acquisition of degree awarding powers,  university status and transfer of ownership. He also served two terms as a main Board Non-Executive Director of the Higher Education Funding Council and chaired their Audit and Risk Committee at a time of radical changes in the funding and governance of universities.

In the period 2011-17 he was a member of the Quality Assurance Agency’s Scrutiny Committee on Degree Awarding Powers and University Title. He was recently engaged by the Irish Legal Services Regulatory Authority as part of a team reviewing legal education in Ireland. He is a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Fletchers Solicitors Ltd, the leading serious injury and medical negligence practice.

He has been advising The College of Law in Australia since 2014 and became Interim CEO of the newly formed College of Legal Practice in March 2019.

 

Dr Giles Proctor
Chief Executive Officer (from 1st February 2020)


Giles qualified as a solicitor with Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester and practiced in corporate and commercial law before entering teaching and completing his PhD.

Giles designed and delivered commercial diploma courses for lawyers from Eversheds and other national and international firms while working for Nottingham Law School’s Professional Division. He also delivered corporate training for ‘magic circle’ law firms while at the University of Law, before being appointed to manage the successful opening of a new law school for Kaplan, delivering postgraduate legal education, in partnership with Nottingham Law School, to over 16 City firms. He continues as a Visiting Lecturer for Hong Kong University, teaching Business Organisations, and is developing overseas partnerships for the University of Roehampton.

Giles helped found Roehampton Law School (the Law School), which opened in September 2015, the teaching at the Law School being guided by the philosophy of ‘law in practice’, teaching law to students in the context of legal practice, using tutors who are overwhelmingly ex-practitioners.

 

 

Neville Carter (Board member)
Chief Executive Officer of The College of Law


Neville Carter has extensive experience designing and managing large professional education programmes along with a strong background in business and management training for the legal profession. He was appointed to the Board of The College of Law Limited in 2009 and is a member of the Executive Committee and the Nominations Advisory Committee and is a Director of The College of Law New Zealand Limited.

Prior to his current role he has held positions as the Managing Director of The College of Law Limited; National Director, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, New Zealand; Associate Professor and Head of School of Legal Practice, UTS and Chair of the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council.

In the 2018 Australia Day Awards, Neville was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to legal education through executive roles, to the law as a legal practitioner, and to professional standards.

 

Isabel Parker (Non-Executive Board member)
Chief Legal Innovation Officer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


Isabel is an experienced and dynamic leader of innovation and transformation in legal services. She trained as a finance lawyer at Freshfields, then moved from fee earning to set up Freshfields’ Legal Solutions Hub in Manchester. She is currently Freshfields’ Chief Legal Innovation Officer, leading the development of client facing digital products, and has recently also assumed responsibility for the firm’s Knowledge function.

Isabel was listed as one of the top 10 innovative lawyers in the FT Innovative Lawyers Report for 2018, and has a strong track record of successfully implementing large scale global change programmes within the sector.