The great gearing debate: corporate groups brace themselves for upturn

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  • "Freshfields insists that the incident was unrelated to an excessive workload"
    What was it caused by then? Is Freshfields saying that 300 to 400 billable hours a month is not an excessive workload? Or is Freshfields saying that one partner causing this is different from there being too much work (because it would somehow be acceptable if it wasn't for the rogue partner)? Please - everyone in the city now knows who and what that partner is, but the firm must take responsibility for letting it happen (although I do applaud the firm for suspending him and investigating the incident- that sort of behaviour is criminal).

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  • Freshfields never learns. It has happened before, broken ribs aside maybe, and it will happen again. It's a cultural mindset, from the top. The suspension means nothing,

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  • Why does the partner get all the blame? It takes two to tango. If the associate had thought about his/her own welfare and quality of life for a moment, rather than some crazed fascination with his/her career or bonus they could have easily extracted themselves from the situation. If the associate had gone to another partner or group head to highlight the situation and request additional support they definitely would have received it, particularly in a firm with as much associate resource and concern for its reputation as Freshfields. Many associates seem to over estimate their own importance and under estimate the ease with which they can be replaced or supported by additional resources. And to put this comment in context, no, I am not a partner (at Freshfileds or anywhere else). I was formerly employed as an associate at a large City firm, now happily working in-house.

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