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As legal news stories go there is no getting away from Dewey & LeBoeuf at the moment, and as more partners leave and the London office faces collapse what is happening with the trainees?
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 exited, while 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 (10 May 2012).
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.
For all of those soon-to-be lawyers, a training contract at a place like Dewey was the first step to the golden ring of partnership and, with it, a lifetime of prestige and affluence. And with the seemingly inevitable collapse those hopes have been dashed. For the moment at least.
However, Dewey’s situation underscores the new harsh reality in legal business, that no one is too big to fail - and commenters on The Lawyer and Lawyer2B have thrown many names into the ring as to who could be next.
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).
Earlier this week, The Lawyer also 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).
Salary stories were the order of the rest of the legal news day, with Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer confirming salary bands for its new merit-based pay system (8 May 2012), Linklaters associates receiving a pay rise following a two-year salary freeze (4 May 2012), and Jones Day hiking trainee pay to £41,000 (4 May 2012).