City University and the Inns of Court School of Law are to merge to form an institute that will offer courses for students and legal practitioners.
The school, whose alumni include Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and Gandhi, is the largest provider of the Bar vocational course in the United Kingdom and runs professional development programmes for lawyers.
With the university's law department, it will form an Institute of Law, headed by City pro vice-chancellor Martin Dockray.
Adrian Seville, City's academic registrar, explained that the two institutions had a long-standing relationship and City had accredited some of the school's courses for several years. He said: "The school has fewer than 1,000 students, while City has nearly 9,000. The strategic aspects of higher education these days require a somewhat larger organisation if it is to be fully developed."
He said there would be economies of scale, but there would be no redundancies although the roles of some administrative staff might change.
The School of Law will retain its buildings in the Gray's Inn area. "The close association geographically with the Inns of Court is very useful for marketing and general image," Dr Seville said.
Mr Justice Elias, the school's chairman, said: "The wider range of skills and resources available to the school following its merger will enable it to maintain its position as a centre of excellence in the education of budding practitioners."
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