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A London law firm has advertised a trainee job paying a salary of £10,000 a year.

Ilford-based SS Basi & Co placed adverts for a trainee or paralegal with at least one year's legal experience to work full-time "typing, taking telephone calls, dealing with client enquiries, managing files and making applications". Assuming a 35 hour working week, the £10,000 pay breaks down to a pathetic £5.92 an hour. That is three pounds beneath the £9.75 London Living wage. And more than a pound beneath the £7.05 UK minimum wage for 21-to-24-year-olds.
 

    SS Basic.


SS Basi would not be the first firm to take the michael after the SRA scrapped minimum pay levels for trainees. But it appears to have gone the lowest. The Law Society recommends that "as a matter of good practice", providers of training contracts should pay trainees £18,547 outside of London and £20,913 within it. SS Basi's advertised pay is less than half that amount. If its successful candidate took a flatshare in Ilford for £500 a month, their wage would leave them with under £79 a week to splash out on luxury items, such as food. That's a motivating £6 a week more than they would receive on jobseeker's allowance.

 

 

  If they borrow £2 for postage and eat from bins, SS Basi trainees can afford one a month.


SS Basi pulled its adverts after being approached by RollOnFriday. A spokeswoman said that the inclusion of a £10,000 salary was "obviously a typo done by our admin assistant". She said that the correct amount "is the minimum wage and then it goes up from there according to the qualifications and everything". Offering desperate law graduates the minimum wage is still appalling. But what appear to be cached job adverts for SS Basi dating from 2016 and 2015 also cite the same £10,000 salary. The firm's spokeswoman said "that's not possible from our firm, we never advertise for staff normally".

 

 

 

 

  According to the firm, it actually pays trainees £11,844 a year. 


A woman purporting to be a reputation consultant for SS Basi subsequently telephoned RollOnFriday claiming that the old adverts were genuine, but that the salary was also wrong in them. In an odd conversation, she told RollOnFriday, "don't give up the day job", and hung up after promising to sue.

Bryan Scant, chairman of the Law Society's Junior Lawyers Division, told RollOnFriday, "I'm really surprised that a firm is offering such a low salary for a trainee solicitor role, it means that you can only realistically take a training contract offer if you have sufficient independent means to survive in London, which goes against the JLD's attempts to increase access to the profession for those from less affluent backgrounds. Alternatively, the trainees are going to have to work 2 jobs to be able to survive, which doesn't lead to a productive trainee".

 

 

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Comments

Anonymous 11 August 17 08:56

I do hope someone takes formal action over what appear to be blatant lies and intimidation.

Roll On Friday 11 August 17 11:33

They're a criminal defence firm, presumably doing legal aid work. Basically doing the sort of proper law that most commentators on here wouldn't deign to touch. To expect them to pay City-boy salaries is absurd.

Don't forget it wasn't that long ago that articled clerks had to be pay for their training, rather than scooping up £50k a year for photocopying services.

Anonymous 11 August 17 11:42

3-ducks, I don't think anyone is expecting that type of firm to pay "City-boy" salaries, the point is that it's below minimum wage? Meaning once they buy that helmet, they're buggered.

Roll On Friday 11 August 17 11:48

This obsession with "access" with no regard to the particular circumstances of the business in question is highly damaging to the profession. Firms which perform a useful social function will simply be unable to operate.

Anyway, they said it was an error, so there we go.

Anonymous 11 August 17 12:06

Personally, I believe them when they say it was an error. Just repeated on three separate occasions. Over a three year period.

Roll On Friday 11 August 17 12:24

Does it say full time? If it's not full time then £10k is not below minimum wage (even if trainees are employees which I think they are but did not used to be).

Anonymous 11 August 17 15:23

The SS Basi website is really quite lovely: http://www.ssbasi.co.uk/

Very nice use of a gradient in the background, and I like that it constantly reminds me that "Your site title" goes at the top, next to the title of the site. Bold font on the logo too. Not actually bold, but you know. Brave. Brave and almost unreadable.

Anonymous 11 August 17 16:33

There are many firms out there, especially in the West Midlands who pay a lot less than £10,000 pa for a TC. I was at one of those firms, luckily for me, I had financial backing from the Bank of Parents.

Anonymous 11 August 17 16:50

Well I'm going to apply for it, so there. I can live on water and eat fresh air.

Luckily I'll only have an 18 hour day and commuting through Waterloo is a breeze, and I only need a £7,000 a year season ticket.

Anonymous 11 August 17 18:29

This is clearly a clerical error as mentioned to your staff and completely blown out of all proportions! The person placing the advertisement was an admin assistant at our office. We have been established since 1998 and are disappointed in the slanderous and inaccurate comments written about our business. The previous advertisements referred to in your article are a complete fabrication. Partner at S S Basi & Co.

Anonymous 11 August 17 19:23

Reporting a statement of fact is not defamatory. If you could afford more than £10k a year on a trainee you might know that, you retard.

And someone representing your firm confirmed the existence of the ads to RoF.

If I were you I'd just shut up and go away now. But then I wasn't founded in 1998, so I guess that gives you the trump card.

Anonymous 12 August 17 15:29

Partner at S S Basi & Co - you do realise that your comment is defamatory, don't you? Or did you miss that bit of your law classes?

Anonymous 12 August 17 19:17

Yes, I think the SS Basi partner did indeed miss the defamation section of their law classes, otherwise how do you account for the fact they can't tell the difference between slander and libel? Lolzzzz

Anonymous 12 August 17 19:37

Perhaps Mr Basi (or his one partner; I assume it's him though) might like to ask his next trainee to research the Barbara Streisand effect. Not doing his reputation much good here (solicitors claiming facts supported by screenshots and his own PR person to be fabrications is rather unedifying).

Anonymous 12 August 17 20:56

anonymous user
11/08/2017 07:56
I do hope someone takes formal action over what appear to be blatant lies and intimidation.


Indeed. Jess's comments to Jamie were out of order

Anonymous 15 August 17 04:09

There also appears to be a (technical) breach of O(8.5):

"your letterhead, website and e-mails show the words "authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority" and either the firm's registered name and number if it is an LLP or company or, if the firm is a partnership or a recognised sole practice, the name under which it is licensed/authorised by the SRA and the number allocated to it by the SRA."

Anonymous 17 August 17 15:52

I agree with 3 Ducks below. Many of the commentators on this website are at commercial firms who will pay scandalous amount of money to trainees in their early twenties. The firm is offering a very low salary for a TC.

I speak to so many fresh face enthusiastic LPCs who are desperate for a TC who have been lied to by the LPC providers and now find themselves without a chance of a TC. I would advise each and every one of them to accept a TC for this low salary and then move to a decent paying firm on qualification. That is a significantly better option than paralegalling for a few years before jacking in all hope of a TC.

Anonymous 20 August 17 12:42

A "typo" would be a mistaken writing of £10,000 when you meant £20,000. The admin assistant either mistyped five consecutive digits, or accurately transcribed what was in front of him/her.

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