Teen plunders thousands from Freshfields

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Readers' comments (49)

  • Sad sad sad!

    This incident illustrates exactly why firms choose to recruit the types of people with whom they are comfortable.

    As previously mentioned, some basic office procedures are lacking; nonetheless, 'non-traditional' recruitment will come under greater scrutiny.

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  • Human nature (re. 'Sticky Fingers', 15.18)

    It might be human nature to be tempted to steal, but its called 'having a conscience' to resist your crappy impulses.

    And yes, you can blame Freshfields, if not the scheme: they shouldn't allow a work experience kid near the chequebook, even if they might reasonably also expect her to know better.

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  • Clever

    Do you reckon they would offer her a training contract?

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  • Silly non traditional girl

    I guess being black and a lawyer is now non traditional.

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  • Background irrelevant

    Some of the comments hear have implied that the "non-traditional" background of the person in question has some bearing on things, but I couldn't disagree more.

    have (in my professional capacity, I hasten to add) had plenty of dealings with people who have stolen from their employers, and majority of them have been white, male, middle class, middle managers.

    Some people will give in to temptation when they should know better, but that particular character flaw has nothing to do with background.

    I do think it's shocking, however, that Freshfields didn't have suitable safeguards in place - it's one thing for a manager to fiddle the books, but an intern should not have been able to do something like this.

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  • Not just picking up loose change

    I agree that she shouldn't have had the opportunity - but we're not talking about pinching a fiver from petty cash (not that that's acceptable either) - we're talking £60k.

    Seems clear that she sought out an opportunity to steal, and steal huge sums, rather than just being tempted by a cash box left unlocked.

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  • 'Non traditional' backgrounds

    Ethnicity does not affect someone's likleihood to do something, but their culture and their upbringing obviously do.

    Olaifa to me sounds like a Nigerian name, and while OF COURSE not all Nigerian are scammers, most people would recognise that, at least online, Nigerians are world-beaters when it comes to attempts to commit fraud. And that must be something cultural - which is why you can't say the same about people from Ghana, Japan, Brazil or France.

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  • Non Traditional Girl

    Strange how so many commentators seem to infer that this immature girl's behaviour was a reflection of her culture/background. She was clearly unsupervised or not managed at all by Freshfields so they MUST bear some responsibility.

    But, credit is also due to to Freshfields, for they acknowledge that this young lady DOES NOT reflect the overwhelmingly decent under privileged kids who are doing their best to distance themselves from the prevailing negativity- so often associated with them - by continuing to support such important work experience initiatives.

    Clearly, now is NOT the time to give up on these kids.

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  • Any chance

    She could lend me a tenner ?

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  • Leave Freshfields alone

    Seems needless to start having a pop at Freshfields. All of us - whether we're vacation students or partners - have the opportunity to steal from our offices every day, if we're so minded. But most of us don't. Get on our high horses about Freshfields needing tighter procedures and (a) firms will scale down their commitment to this type of scheme; and (b) all of our working lives will become more bureaucratic as new controls are put in place. Does anyone want either of those things?

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