NINE new starters are set to take their first steps in the legal world with an established Lancashire firm.

Bosses at Forbes, which three offices in Blackburn, say the 2019 intake is among their largest cohorts on their solicitor training programme.

And partners say it underlines their continued expansion aims, which has seen them now boast 230 specialists across their 10 northern sites.

The fledgling legal eagles takes their overall trainee contingent to 18, they say.

Pauline Rigby, a partner and Forbes' training principal, said: "We believe that, as a team, we succeed and grow together and that together, we are supported and inspired to be the difference.

"To have 18 people who want to thrive by working in a team where they live and breathe ideas and who are trusting us with their future career development in this way is fantastic.

"This is one of the largest cohorts we have ever had across the firm and shows our continued commitment to investing in the future of the firm."

The solicitor recruits include Andrea James and Charlene Hamilton, both from the housing and regeneration team, paralegal Sabine Rodwell, in the defendant insurance department, researcher Mohammed Ismail, and Katie Lee, in the commercial section.

Ammarah Shamim (corporate), Corey Fagan (family), Joanne Higham (commercial property) and Alice McKenna, of the social services and abuse claims team, have also been selected.

The firm also has offices in Accrington, Chorley, Manchester, Leeds ,Preston and Salford.