Dewey attempts to rehouse trainees in face of uncertain future

Dewey & LeBoeuf is attempting to find new jobs for its trainee solicitors as the London office faces collapse.

It is not clear whether the firm is in direct talks with other firms about taking its trainees on or whether the Law Society is involved.

The firm has confirmed that six trainees from corporate, corporate finance, litigation and banking have already left the firm alongside some of the partners that have already exited.

Meanwhile, the remaining 14 trainees, who are split between first and second year seats, continue to face an uncertain future as the firm looks to reposition the two cohorts to allow them to complete their professional training.

Elsewhere, a spokesperson has confirmed that the firm’s summer 2012 vacation scheme has been cancelled due to the firm’s circumstances, and that the HR team is communicating with the September 2012 and March 2013 intakes.

When UK firm Halliwells went into administration in 2010 Bristol’s Burges Salmon launched a scheme to prompt other firms to offer a lifeline to prospective trainees (2 August 2010). A total of 35 firms signed up to the scheme with the bulk of the trainees finding new homes (15 November 2010).

The Dewey trainee news comes as The Lawyer reveals that the troubled firm is set to lose members of its top management team for the first time since the new group was introduced, with litigation head Jeffrey Kessler quitting for Winston & Strawn as part of a 22-partner defection and Richard Shutran joining O’Melveny & Myers (10 May 2012).

Last week The Lawyer revealed that the US firm has told its remaining London associates that it cannot ensure it will pay their salaries beyond the end of May (8 May 2012).