The firm now has a total of 18 trainee seats across London, Watford and Bristol, which demonstrates its growth and presence, particularly in the London and Watford markets.

In addition, from March 2018, VWV's Birmingham office will also welcome its first trainee, who is currently working in the Charity Law team. The Birmingham office has experienced rapid growth since its opening in 2013 with six staff, to its current numbers of 22.

VWV also reports an increase in the number of existing paralegals who have been offered a training contract, compared to external candidates. Six of the 2017 starters have worked at the firm as paralegals.

Sarah Hollow, who joined the Commercial team as a Paralegal last year and whose first seat will be with the Construction team, said:

"Being a Paralegal at VWV has been hugely beneficial, both in relation to securing and preparing for my training contract at the firm.

As a Paralegal, I have had the opportunity to develop my practical legal skills by working on a range of matters with different clients under the supervision of experienced lawyers. I have already learned the firm's systems and procedures as well as getting to know the people across the offices. I will now begin life as a Trainee prepared and ready to build on the relationships and skills I have gained as a Paralegal.

I would highly recommend that anyone looking to secure a training contract consider paralegal opportunities first, not just for experience to list on your training contract application, but also to make the most out of your training contract when it begins."

In addition, VWV has offered newly qualified roles in September 2017 to all of its second year trainees.

Sarah Cook, Director of HR, commented: "This 100% retention rate is great news for the firm. It is a credit both to the quality of our trainees and to the training and development they receive across the different seats. Our ambition is to maintain this retention figure over the upcoming years and for our trainees to pursue their careers within the firm. After all, our Managing Partner, Simon Heald, started his journey with the firm as a Trainee Solicitor 30 years ago!"

The firm also launched its first apprenticeship programme in June, within the Business Services teams in the Bristol office, and is planning to introduce Paralegal Apprentices within the next two years.