BLM has been accused of abandoning its trainees in an attempt to cope with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, and has infuriated marketing and business development staff with its latest redundancy plans.
Sources at BLM said the firm had not told final seat trainees whether or not there would be NQ jobs available in the autumn. "I wanted to make public how appallingly we are being treated", a trainee told RollOnFriday. "We are still completely in the dark about what will be happening in September". Even talks about the possibility of final seat trainees being retained on fixed term contracts have been shelved, they said.
BLM told RollOnFriday that it had found NQ roles for three of its trainees so far and had a fourth role vacant. It later said that two further NQ vacancies had opened up, in Scotland.
In a statement which won't fill the trainees with hope, a spokesperson said, "We are in the process of reviewing our requirements in relation to NQ roles including full time and temporary roles. This is an ongoing process as we continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic on work levels across the Firm".
"There are an awful lot of other people, I didn't realise this was such a big deal."
Meanwhile, BLM's marketing and business development teams are also up in arms after they learned that some of them are for the chop.
Sources said the firm had invited marketing staff to apply for only five new roles, and that the partner in charge told them the strategy behind the approach would not be announced until after the group was streamlined.
The plan had "outraged" BLM's PR gurus, said a source, with insiders claiming that it was "led by a partner with NO marketing background" and a "mass walk out" and a pact not to apply for the new jobs was in the works.
"They are short sighted with their plans for the future and making cuts within the business to save money", said a source. "They are not being intelligent about it, but working out the quickest way to save costs and to ensure they don’t pay people the extra money as furlough continues".
A spokesperson said the marketing and BD teams were being reduced to 15 roles. “It is with regret that we have commenced a redundancy consultation with a number of colleagues in our Business Development & Marketing teams", she said.
"The pandemic has accelerated our need to re-evaluate the structure of discrete teams across our business and ensure that it is what is needed to support our firm through the pandemic and in the future. We are working with those colleagues to support them through this difficult process, providing them with the necessary guidance as they review the proposed new structures and where appropriate, consider alternative roles within the business”.