Shoosmiths chief exec steps down in wake of trainee deferral row

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  • At last, common sense prevails. The way that the trainees at Shoosmiths have been treated is nothing short of appalling and is something I've not seen in many years in law.
    The company’s strapline of ‘creative thinking’ and the ‘right answers at the right time’ is painfully ironic. “I don’t regret not offering any compensation to our trainees because we spent lots of time making the decision.” If making the wrong decision takes plenty of time at Shoosmiths, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the company’s senior commercial decision making. If it was the right decision, then I’d guess you’d still be in the role, wouldn’t you Paul?
    “The only way I would have regretted it was if we had been careless in our decision-making.” You mean like inciting the general legal profession, bringing Shoosmiths name into disrepute, humiliating two future trainees before they even start working for the firm, whilst potentially harming the relationship with all the rest of the trainees. No carelessness there then.
    Claire Rowe needs to show some strong leadership and make a statement that will try to un-tarnish Shoosmith’s reputation as far as possible - by doing at least 1 of 3 things.
    1 – Revisit the policy not to offer trainees any form of compensation. (Rowe was a former trainee herself back in 1984)
    2 – Cancel the deferrals and instead take the trainees on with their original start dates.
    3 – Do nothing – the easy option, sending out a message that the company made a mistake and has done nothing to rectify this error showing weak leadership and out of touch policies.

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  • PS isnt even a being made a scapegoat - he stands by the firm's crass decision not to compensate the trainees...and notice the "we" in the decision-making process...Shoosmiths Shoddysmiths more like, shame on you. I, along with many others now,wouldn't touch you with a barge pole. A firm that makes such bad judgements from a personal, professional and public relations standpoint cannot be counted on to offer any kind of advice to anyone. Or perhaps only to ask them what they would do, and do the opposite.

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  • This si laughable, STRAIGHT FROM SHOOSMITHS WEBSITE:

    XXXX
    Our culture
    Nothing is more important to us than our Values. They guide how we work together, and how we provide our clients with the very best service. They are at the heart of our working culture and at the root of our success.

    We are nothing without our people. The way we think about our work, our colleagues and our clients defines what makes us different and better.

    What makes our culture so successful? The lack of barriers between departments, a real lack of hierarchy, zero tolerance for arrogance and pomposity, clear thinking and mutual support.

    All our people are supported by a senior management team who really do live and enforce these values, and who ensure that our special energy is applied in the right areas.
    XXX

    LIP SERVICE, actions speak so much louder than words.

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  • This is all nonsense. It's lazy journalism to link PS's departure with the recent story about deferrals. Just because one follows the other doesn't imply a causal link. I hope it's not lawyers making these points, because it really is dim. CEOs move on all the time, especially after a long period of success. Good luck to PS, who is a thoroughly decent man who has brought great things to Shoosmiths. Stop smearing a decent bloke with these oh-so-easy oh-so-thoughtless comments.

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  • The standard of grammar and punctuation in this, and other threads, is absolutely shocking. As a former lawyer in private practice, now in industry, and a sometime buyer of legal services from the profession, it is hard not to conclude that standards of literacy in the profession are slipping, and slipping fast.

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  • What a thoroughly relevant comment above; thank you for that erudite addition. Would you care to make another statement, possibly in relation to the "dumbing" down of A Levels/ degrees nowadays?

    Good luck to the CEO, I think she has her work cut out for her. Scapegoat or not, having a new CEO should allow the firm to rebrand itself; paramount to this is offering trainees compensation. Indeed this might look like the firm is cowering to external pressure, but putting up their hands and admitting an error will win alot more support than sticking to their guns.

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  • "The standard of grammar and punctuation in this, and other threads, is absolutely shocking" - this isnt a English exam!! keep your grammar spotting to yourself!

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  • Anonymous at 4.56pm: surely the quality of grammar in a conversational thread of comments on this site is no indication as to the general standards in the legal profession? I agree that grammar is important but let's not get anal over nothing.

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  • Or should that be slipping quickly? ... Just a thought.

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  • I agree that this has been a PR disaster but I can't help thinking that the Lawyer has blown this all out of proportion in a very tabloid way.
    Let's not forget that these students had all their fees and maintenance paid and still have jobs. There are much worse things happening in the economy and yet true to form, greedy lawyers/law students feel hard done by because they haven't been given a couple of grand to take a long vacation.
    Spare a thought for the families who have to survive on redundancy pay outs to keep a roof over their heads!
    If people outside the law read these articles, what must they think of us all...

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