Deutsche Bank refuses to pay for NQ and trainee work
24 March 2017
Deutche Bank is refusing to pay for work carried out by trainees and newly-qualified solicitors.
Firms discovered the savage new policy in the bank's tender document as they pitched to keep their places on its legal panel. It means the most junior lawyers working on Deutche's matters at Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, White & Case, Hogan Lovells, Freshfields, Allen & Overy, Slaughter and May, Simmons & Simmons, Ashurst and Clifford Chance will all be carried on the firm's dime instead of the bank's.
Deutsche's refusal to pay NQs, first reported in Legal Week, is controversial. They are qualified solicitors who would be expected to be making genuine contributions to matters, rather than using deals solely as training opportunities. And while trainee contributions are often the first casualty of an invoice, their time is traditionally written off at the discretion of a partner, not forbidden from being considered at the outset by the client.
||"What's great is working until 4am for clients who regard me as worthless."
Some lawyers defended the bank, saying on RollOnFriday's discussion board, "They are just saying they will only accept advice which is value adding. They won't pay for people to learn at their cost. I can't see a problem with that".
Another said, "Banks fighting stupid charges irony shocka
". Another lawyer predicted a different outcome, "Day 1: Advice - £200 Trainee - £100. Day 2: Advice - £300 Trainee - Free
None of the panel firms were prepared to comment, although a partner at one of them was reported to have said that Deutsche's approach had "annoyed a lot of people
In a statement the chair of the Junior Lawyers Division, Bryan Scant, told RollOnFriday the JLD would be "disappointed if any organisation
" stipulated that it would not pay for junior lawyers to undertake work on its behalf. He said it was "unfortunate if it is suggested that junior lawyers bring no value to the transaction. They do
". Juniors "have gone through a vigorous and comprehensive period of education and training and are qualified solicitors; to suggest that they are not qualified enough to undertake certain work is a disappointing approach that the JLD strongly disagrees with
". They "bring technical knowledge, a different generational perspective, and are keen to understand and learn about the broader sector or commercial context, so that they can add further value for the benefit of their clients as their careers develop
”. Translation: it takes a village, people.