Four new trainee solicitors have been taken on by Midlands law firm Wright Hassall, including the first through the brand-new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) scheme.

Wright Hassall signed a partnership with The College of Legal Practice last year to deliver the SQE scheme, which allows employees from all parts of the firm to train and qualify as solicitors.

Shannon Leering will be the first to join through the SQE as she works on a two-year programme to become a solicitor within the debt recovery unit, where she currently operates.

Gaitri Majitha, who works within contentious probate, Masuma Ahmed, who works with the corporate team, and Grace Beesley, who works in planning and development, have also been offered traditional training contracts.

All four are due to start their training contracts to become solicitors in April, increasing the number of trainees at Wright Hassall to 12.

Lindsay Barnett, HR Director at Leamington-based Wright Hassall, said: “We have always believed in developing our own talent and giving more opportunities to our staff.

“I am therefore delighted we have been able to offer these four talented individuals the opportunity to train as solicitors, and look forward to supporting them with their endeavours.

“It is particularly pleasing to see Shannon begin her journey on the new SQE scheme as it is something we have keen to get started since we signed the partnership with The College of Legal Practice last year.”

Partner Lucie Byron, who heads the trainee programme at Wright Hassall, added: “I’m thrilled to have this number of trainees starting their careers with us.

“All our trainees have a lot to look forward to, given the economic strength of the region.”

The new SQE programme is designed to be taken flexibly and to appeal to those already working in the legal profession through supported learning.

Shannon, who is originally from South Africa but now lives in Coventry, added: “I’m really looking forward to starting my training.

“It is something I have always been interested in doing as I studied to be a solicitor back in South Africa and was intending to start my training contract before I emigrated.

“Due to the cost, I simply wouldn’t be able to do it without Wright Hassall so I am really thankful for the opportunity.”