Cleary Gottlieb has been unable to find jobs for at least four of its 13 qualifying trainees, RollOnFriday understands.

Thirteen final seat trainees are set to qualify in September at the US firm's London office. But four have been taken aside by the trainee partner and told "the firm just didn't have the NQ positions", according to a source. "Performance wasn't an issue", he said, "and you wouldn't expect it to be for trainees at a firm like Cleary."

Cleary has traditionally performed excellently on trainee retention. Until 2012 its cohort sizes were much smaller, ranging in size from three to six people, and the firm always retained all of them. Even after increasing the intake size, it lost no more than one trainee per qualification round.

However, within the last year the London office has seen considerable upheaval. First a quarter of the office left. Then it jettisoned its paralegals. RollOnFriday's comments section saw an outpouring of ill-feeling as a result. "Apparently it was all led by an 'efficiency expert' brought in from KPMG", said one poster about the paralegal clear-out, "who had all the emotional intelligence of a stone and even less proper understanding of what the paralegals actually did".


cleary shrunk

The reboot no-one expected.


Another person posting in ROF's comments section who purported to be a trainee indicated that they would be happy to move on. "When I was offered the TC I thought I won the jackpot. Big brand, good trainee pay, huge whack on qualification etc. Can't believe how naive I was. I'm typing this comment in a toilet stall as I've been told off for being on the phone at my desk". A source suggested the firm may now seek to reduce the size of its trainee intake.

A spokesman for Cleary said that the current trainee retention deliberation was "still a confidential process", but that the firm would update RollOnFriday in due course. Who knows, maybe the firm will find a few more NQ jobs down the back of the sofa between now and then.

Tip Off ROF

Comments

That person, now no longer retained 07 June 19 08:06

"Another person posting in ROF's comments section who purported to be a trainee indicated that they would be happy to move on. "When I was offered the TC I thought I won the jackpot. Big brand, good trainee pay, huge whack on qualification etc. Can't believe how naive I was. I'm typing this comment in a toilet stall as I've been told off for being on the phone at my desk". A source suggested the firm may now seek to reduce the size of its trainee intake." Yay, I'm ROF-famous! \/

Anonymous 07 June 19 08:32

Firing trainees and paralegals is like trying to cure the plague with two paracetamol and an early night. They will only solve their financial woes by sacking the partners in London that haven’t built a viable practice and generate a fraction of the income they take out. No doubt that analysis was excluded from KPMG’s scope of work!

Get back to work 07 June 19 09:10

It's fair enough to tell someone off for being on their phone at their desk. You're paid to actually do your work, like in any other job. Look at your phone on your lunch break. 

Time and Motion 07 June 19 09:46

@Get back to work 07 June 19 09:10 - obviously reading RoF from your desk at ten-past-nine is permissible though...

Anonymous 07 June 19 11:30

Get back to work 07 June 19 09:10 "It's fair enough to tell someone off for being on their phone at their desk. You're paid to actually do your work, like in any other job. Look at your phone on your lunch break. "   I bet you're fun at parties 

Also named anonymous 07 June 19 14:37

Get back to work 07 June 19 09:10 : Great people skills there, mate! You'll be well on your way to being made managing partner with that mindset.  Remember team: The floggings will continue unless morale improves!

a-nonny-mouse 07 June 19 15:51

Anon 07 June 19 13:51 Presumably Cleary’s efficiency would skyrocket if they sacked underperforming capital markets partners, rather than trainees and paralegals. But those CM partners strut around the office looking important... Isn't that why they're paid the big bucks?

Get back to work 07 June 19 18:24

Listen - it takes one to know one. I've wasted countless hours of my life dicking around on my phone and absent mindedly browsing the internet. I'm the first to admit I shouldn't be getting paid for that. 

Mighty Mouse 11 June 19 07:45

Partners should stand up and protect these young, freshed faced trainee's and consider releasing a propotion of there excessive salries to fund the new generation. Then, and only then, will they gain the respect of the staff in the failing London office. Mr Porter (online mens designer shop) is a favourite of one of the partners who 'wheels' and 'deals' products. He purchases from 'Mr Porter and then re-sells on Ebay making a small profit ! How about helping your trainees Mr P ?