Legal Business Blogs

ULaw’s chief exec departs as university woos students with job guarantee

The University of Law’s (ULaw) chief executive John Latham has left the institution by ‘mutual consent’ after having lost several key clients to rival BPP and as the university seeks to win more business from students without training contracts by offering a money-back guarantee.

Latham, who helped oversee the university’s sale to Global University Systems (GUS) with Montagu Private Equity exiting its investment after less than three years, will continue to lead a review of ‘strategic options’ for the new group which includes looking at how ULaw will fit into GUS’s existing educational portfolio.

Chief operating officer David Johnston replaced Latham in the role from 1 August, with current provost professor Andrea Nollent taking up a chief academic officer position.

Highlighting a shift in the university’s student base after Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Baker & McKenzie all switched allegiance to rival Legal Practice Course (LPC) provider BPP, ULaw has today (4 August) also promised to refund 50% of tuition fees if students fail to get a full-time job or training contract after nine months. Currently tuition fees for the LPC vary between £10,950 and £14,765 and is offered from centres in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, Manchester and Leeds.

New chief executive Johnston commented: ‘More than just a degree, today’s students want a clear return on their investment. For law graduates, this means one thing: securing a training contract or a full time job upon graduation. Our position as the preferred training provider to over 30 major law firms and our experience in training highly skilled law practitioners give us the confidence and the assurance that our graduates will be in employment within nine months.’

The university has maintained relationships with some major law firms, with Linklaters renewing its partnership with the law school for five years in February while Mayer Brown teamed up with ULaw to offer a ‘direct to solicitor’ apprenticeship this June. It also counts Ashurst and Shearman & Sterling among its clients.