Future trainees at what will soon be the world’s sixth-largest law firm by headcount are being offered £10,000 to defer the start of their training contracts until 2018.

City firms CMS, Nabarro and Olswang announced today that they have developed a voluntary and incentivised deferral programme ‘to ensure a smooth transition’. The firms’ three-way merger is due to complete on 1 May.

The deferral programme will apply to the August/September 2017 intake. Trainees have been offered £10,000 to defer the start of their contract for six months until February 2018.

The announcement states that all training contract offers will be honoured. There is also an opportunity to participate in a strategic CMS corporate social responsibility project or study for a postgraduate qualification, to which CMS will pay £5,000 towards course fees.

CMS senior partner Penelope Warne said: ‘Attracting and recruiting the best people is extremely important. A key consideration of our new firm is the close match in culture, values and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

'We have built a collaborative environment where careers can thrive and look forward to welcoming our next intake of trainees in 2017.’

Last week the firms announced they had signed a lease to occupy the sixth and seventh floors of Cannon Place in London ahead of the merger, which will create a new ‘City powerhouse’ with a £1bn turnover.