Clifford Chance has threatened to end the contract of one its trainees after a video appeared on YouTube of him behaving like a massive tool, and was promptly circulated around the City.

In "Shark Tales 2", a journalist takes to the streets "in search of drunken wisdom". Which essentially involves filming pissheads in Oxford in the small hours of the morning as they proclaim their views on homosexuality, feminism and the City. Cue the trainee at 4:14 in this clip.

    A Clifford Chance trainee f*cking someone over yesterday

For those who can't check this out at work, the brief exchange is as follows:

- I’m a City lad and I f*cking love the ladness. I love the City.
- The ladness?
- I love the ladness and I love the City, so I’m basically a perfect City lad.
- What is the ladness?
- The ladness is just basically f*cking people over for money.
- F*cking people over for money?
- Yeah.

That grinding sound that accompanies the clip is Lord Denning turning in his grave. However trashed the trainee may have been, it seems he was ultimately sober enough to realise that his comments might be career-limiting if heard by a wider audience. At the end of the clip, at 6:41, he grabs the mic and says "I refuse my consent for this to go on the internet, and I WILL sue you if it goes on".

However that last ditch ploy seems unlikely to save him the wrath of Clifford Chance. A spokeswoman said "The comments made are inappropriate and they are at odds with our principles and the professional standards we espouse as a firm. One of our trainee lawyers is the subject of our formal disciplinary procedures which may result in termination of the training contract with the firm".
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 13 September 13 05:29

Ridiculous this has necessitated a formal investigation. Guy is filmed drunk, says something relatively inoffensive. Comes across as a nice chap actually.

Anonymous 13 September 13 08:25

This is fairly consistent with the behaviour of a number of CC trainees on Friday nights around CW.

Anonymous 13 September 13 09:42

Moral of the story: don't speak to strange men, especially when you are pissed and they have a camera.

(Oh, and don't become a corporate lawyer where they have no sense of humour).

Anonymous 13 September 13 10:54

Im my experience this behaviour/attitude is fairly typical of many MC trainees - they think they've made it but they haven't got a clue

Anonymous 13 September 13 11:52

The journo is part of the Oxford review. Saw them at the Fringe this year... he's got a big future

Roll On Friday 13 September 13 12:40

He's so awful for being the personification of capitalism. Really all that corporate lawyers do is get paid to screw the other side over so CC are having a laugh if they think anyone actually gives a sh1t about what this guy says.

Presumably they think people actually believe the "oh we TOTALLY care about the community BS that all firms (and their clients) come out with.

Roll On Friday 13 September 13 12:55

Did anyone notice that this self-professed City lad, who f*cking loves the ladness. loves the City, and so is therefore basically a perfect City lad, DOESN'T WORK IN THE CITY?

Maybe after he gets fired he can get a job at a City firm.

Anonymous 13 September 13 14:40

Last week it was a BDSM photo of two gagged associates, this week a blindfolded one -- has ROF gone kinky?

Anonymous 13 September 13 14:41

For goodness sake - he made one comment when drunk. It would be really unfair to penalise him. People say things they should not sometimes.

Anonymous 13 September 13 15:09

this chap sounds like a complete moron and a monumental c0ck. given the plethora of grads on the market, I struggle to believe that this is seriously the best there is on offer

Anonymous 13 September 13 15:21

We were taught very early on in our training contract to always watch what we say especially to journalists at all times.

Anonymous 13 September 13 16:26

He was a fourth seat trainee. The idea that he was in a position to f**k anyone over is laughable. Add "deluded" to his list of attractive character traits.

Anonymous 13 September 13 17:06

What a ridiculous fuss about nothing - all perspective totally lost and someone's future neatly flushed down the drain.

Anonymous 13 September 13 17:49

The interviewer was a bit of a dick to trawl for mildly ill-advised comments at kicking out time; the trainee was a bit of a dick for obliging; CC would be dicks to ruin his career over it.

I'm saying it's a bit of a barrel of dicks scenario.

Roll On Friday 13 September 13 18:41

I know this guy. He is one of the loveliest, least stuck up people I know, and despite being one of the best of his cohort at Oxbridge, is incredibly down-to-earth and relaxed. People saying he's a "moron" - this is a real person's life, you don't know him off a jokey, drunk, off-the-cuff drunken statement. He hasn't got a pretentious bone in his body. I'm sure he meant it all sarcastically. It's odd - almost every lawyer I know is an ass - this trainee is a genuinely nice guy, everyone who meets him likes him, he comes from a humble background, he's never had a silver spoon in his mouth. I have seen things one hundred times worse at office parties than this, let's have a sense of perspective please!

Anonymous 13 September 13 20:31

Off the estates in Peckham? - chav , yob lout. Oxbridge sweetie and its high jinks. Well what's new in the Magic Circle. He obviously won't get the sack. Daddy a Footsie 100 Non Exec Chairman perchance. God bless the "city"

Anonymous 14 September 13 00:57

This is the most ridiculous story I have ever read anywhere. A few home thruth a for those f***tards amongst you who need them:

1. Any self respecting normal person (male or female) would take a light hearted approach and speak to the interviewer - what sort of a c**t who isn't a film star shuns that sort of limelight?

2. This was clearly a sarcastic response. Interviewer was looking for a reaction for his silly little YouTube series and this was a sarcastic response in good humour, knowing what the interviewer was looking for.

3. If you are somebody who thinks this is out of order you are most likely one if the following types of people:

i) a dweeby shy wimp who is jealous of people who possess any sort of personality;

ii) a bitter failed law student desperate for a training contract and desperate to disprove the theory that the reason you didn't get a training contract is because you are not good enough;

iii) a jobsworthy HR person (plenty of parking attendant positions going); or

iv) a sad act in every way (despite what your mum says you don't have anything going for you)

Anonymous 14 September 13 01:01

@ Poofire

It's all well and good for you to say that, but it doesn't really matter if you live the life of a saint if you come across as a gobby retard talking about what a 'lad' you are for sitting in windowless rooms doing DD. I sincerely doubt this does not represent his real views since his bit about threatening legal action rather makes one think he had something to hide. If he was being satirical, it would have been obvious (and he would have said 'you do understand I'm parodying city culture, right?').

Roll On Friday 14 September 13 05:48

It is just a bad attempt at being funny by a drunk dude. There is nothing offensive about it.

Publicly threatening to revoke his TC is inappropriate and reflects very badly on Clifford Chance.

KingMup 14 September 13 06:09

I willl be meeting a number of senior individuals at CC this week and will make clear my views that this guy should be given a second chance.

Anonymous 14 September 13 15:26

The usual comments. One from the guy himself pretending to be someone else endorsing him, and then the delusional one at the end saying he is "meeting senior individuals at CC" to give them his views. Bet they can't wait. Do you think we are all stupid or something?

Anonymous 15 September 13 03:38

This is crazy - leave the poor guy alone. He has worked to hard to have his career ruined by one silly statement. Everyone who is condemning him should get a life.

Anonymous 15 September 13 10:21

A cursory glance at the discussion board on this site will show you that this kind of arrogant posyuring and contempt for non-lawyers is common throughout the profession. If Clifford Chance are making a stand and rooting the tranees with these attitudes out then more power to them. More likely though they will make an example of this guy for saying in public what the partners themselves think in private.

Anonymous 15 September 13 15:21

"I will sue you if it goes on"
I know I'm a bit out of touch but if you allow yourself to be filmed under what law can you sue people for distributing the film?

Or is it possible that this trainee has a bit more knowledge than me

Anonymous 16 September 13 10:04

I have to say, I think it is bullying to publicise this story. I'm sure we all say things we regret when drunk. Shame on you for publicising it. Stick to picking on partners etc instead of trainees!

Anonymous 16 September 13 16:18

CC may have its share of prats, but this guy is not one of them. One of the most down to earth and nice chaps I have met during my time as a city lawyer. His only crime was to play along with the banter rather naievely.

Anonymous 17 September 13 13:25

Regardless of how nice this guy is or how much he was joking, he is a trainee solicitor. That means he should act like a lawyer. If you can't keep your controversial views to yourself, or if you can't pull of satirical humour, then you should keep quiet. The fact that he didn't shows that he lacks what is expected of a lawyer, regardless of how much personality, banter or charm he normally posseses.

Anonymous 17 September 13 17:53

last poster - your comment is very disturbing and casts our profession in a terrible light. Lawyers are (and should be) normal people and the notion that someone should be going about their private life "acting like a lawyer" is laughable.
Even if what you just posted wasn't rubbish, the gusto with which you have jumped onto this badwagon (witchhunt?) may in fact suggest that you are falling short of your own lofty standards

Anonymous 18 September 13 09:09

Interesting to see the bipolar views here. The fact of the matter is he was a bit silly. Clients of any law firm would be less than delighted to see such an attitude from their lawyers. Was it a joke? Yes. Did he pull it off well? No. Should there be repercussions? Yes. Should he lose his job? No. At the very least, he should be allowed to finish his training contract with his current firm.

Roll On Friday 18 September 13 11:08

"What is the ladness?"

Heh! The interviewer is good. This isn't really a big deal re CC trainee....its just one of those things that drunk people say (a) to be funny and hopefully don't mean; or (b) when they forget themselves when drunk (but actually secretly think it - in which case its just deluded and a bit sad). No big deal though but very amusing - CC should let it go.

Anonymous 18 September 13 12:25

Anonymous at 23:57 on 13/09 is exactly right in every respect.
Some of you seriously need to get lives and refamiliarise yourselves with the notion of a joke. There is nothing “offensive” about claiming in a jocular manner that the City is about fvcking people over for money. More to the point, nobody ACTUALLY finds it offensive. People just enjoy manufacturing fake offence – since we ceased to manufacture anything else in this country, it’s become the national pastime (that and f*cking people over for money).
Also, let me expose the delusion of some of the posters on this thread:
“We were taught very early on in our training contract to always watch what we say especially to journalists at all times”: no you weren’t. Media training for trainee solicitors? LOL. Be serious, pal. And even if you were, for some reason, given Max Clifford style PR advice on the firm’s ticket, all that proves is your employers were sanctimonious pillocks.
“Clients of any law firm would be less than delighted to see such an attitude from their lawyers”. Clients do not read Rollonfriday, or even the respectable legal press, and clients do not care what trainee solicitors say when drunk. At all. End of. Clients do not give a **** provided they get their documents on time at the lowest possible price. As you will all learn when you leave law school and start doing some work for a living.
“He is a trainee solicitor. That means he should act like a lawyer”: oh. My. God. OMG OMG. Did you ACTUALLY type that? If so – if the prig-o-matic virus hasn’t infected your PC without you knowing – may I suggest you have a long, serious word with yourself in a dark room, and avoid contact with society until the word’s been had?
The praise for the student “journalist” is pathetic. Firstly, ethically speaking he is bang out of order causing people embarrassment and professional distress like this by doorstepping them when they’re drunk, and to prove what? That trainee solicitors get drunk? GREAT STORY. The guy clearly thinks he’s Louis Theroux – well, he has the snideness and the trendy glasses, but none of the relevance. Also, the CC guy refused permission for the clip to be used. Most professional journalists would have very serious qualms about using interview material without an interviewee’s consent.
I shall also convene a meeting with CC top brass over this, and shall make clear to them in no uncertain terms that this guy is to be left unmolested. Which let’s face it is what’s going to happen anyway – there is no earthly way CC are going to pick a fight over this in this increasingly competitive graduate recruitment market.
They were bang out of order publicly threatening to sack him before his case had been heard – this is far more offensive than anything he said in the clip.

Anonymous 18 September 13 12:59

Golly, there's delusional, for you. I wouldn't flick him if I were CC, but they'll snuff him out if they need to without a thought for how this may affect the firm's chances on the "increasigly competitive graduate recruitment market". You must be very young.

Anonymous 18 September 13 13:40

How on earth would Clifford Chance find themselves "needing" to fire him? Do you live on Mars? Whatever, that you appear to think law firms act without regard to their standing in the ferociously competitive recruitment market indicates that you're in no position to lecture on the dangers of delusion.

Anonymous 18 September 13 17:31

"Clients do not read Rollonfriday, or even the respectable legal press"

Isn't ROF respectable? (although I doubt the Lawyer would have a blog focussing on cat's ar$e$ on its front page).

Anonymous 18 September 13 19:02

To anonymous user at 17/09/2013 16:53 (replying to my original post at 12:25).

I don't agree that my comment "casts our profession in a terrible light". I think it casts the profession in a good light. My comment might make some people think that all lawyers are boring and have no personality, but I wouldn't worry myself if someone was narrow-minded enough to believe that.

I think a lawyer should go about their private life acting as a lawyer. This doesn't mean they have to be talk about due diligence all day, refuse to do something even mildly illegal or get on their moral high horse whenever they can. It just means that they should know how to portray themselves in a respectable light, not because the SRA would jump for joy, but because lawyers have a good excuse to be men of integrity. Sure, you don't have to – and I'm not suggesting you should get fired if you don't – but I would want my lawyer to be classy enough to portray himself well socially, not least because that gives a good indication of how he will play his business life. Everyone does what they want in private, a lawyer should be streetwise enough to know you have to be careful when a camera is shoved in your face. These may be lofty standard and I may not always live up to them, but that doesn't make them any less respectable.

I also didn't jump onto any bandwagon/witch-hunt. I just suggested that this guy undermined himself, which he clearly did. I bet he regrets saying this, because it shows a lack of judgment on his part.

Anonymous 18 September 13 19:09

christ I hate people that refer to "our profession". the legal 'profession' as an abstract and eminently respectable noun is increasingly ceasing to exist, bursting at the seams and filled with (at least in the city) moderately intelligent people who grossly overestimate their power and position in the world

Anonymous 18 September 13 19:13

"I shall also convene a meeting with CC top brass over this, and shall make clear to them in no uncertain terms that this guy is to be left unmolested."

tbh, I sincerely doubt those higher up in CC know about this, let alone care about it (lol at the 'top brass' ... they aren't the general staff m8)

Anonymous 19 September 13 02:47

To all who have questioned how seriously CC will take this. They have taken it very seriously indeed. He has been terminated. It is obviously an inappropriate response to what was at worst, poor judgment and in reality was just nothing more than an attempt to be funny which when drunk often backfires.Clients could not care what this guy said and nor should CC, in this instance. Maybe dont keep him on when qualifying but termination is bang out of order and I hope SRA refuses to confirm the termination

Roll On Friday 19 September 13 10:52

Terminated, FFS. Poor guy. Seems completely disproportionate - at least let him finish his TC. Maybe CC don't have enough work for their trainees and were looking for an excuse. I hope the smug idiot of an interviewer is proud of himself.

Anonymous 19 September 13 11:48

WTF? As a former CC lawyer, this is disgusting. Massive overreaction. Even not keeping him on would have been an overreaction but this is ridiculous. As others have said, I've heard far worse at office parties. (BTW, talking to random partners at CC would have had no effect - as if they even know where trainee HR is. This is all down to the current grad rec partner, possibly with some pressure from management). Pity - I knew the previous grad rec partner quite well and he was a really lovely chap who has long since retired - he'd never have done this.

Anonymous 19 September 13 13:53

What can we do to lobby the SRA not to confirm this guy's termination? He should certainly enlist the help of the Law Society as his trade union.

Should we consider an open letter (In our real names of course)? As members of this guy's profession I think we have a duty to stand up and be counted and not let CC get away with treating him like this.

I am a former Clifford Chance trainee myself and the firm would never have acted like this in those days.

Anonymous 19 September 13 13:54

I think sacking him was entirely the right thing to do.

I first saw this story in the Telrgraph and it made the trainee, Clifford Chance and the profession in general look terrible.

How do you think clients feel when they receive their bills? Do you think they are eager to pay? How about ehen the see an item that is "thinking time" for a Senior Associate and they pay £10 a minute for that time.

Now condsider how they feel receiving a bill with an item lile that from a firm whose trainees appear to be inculcated with the ethos that their role is "to fuck people over for money". How can a client possibly have faith in a firm that supports trainers who make such statements? If they had kept him it would have suggested that what he said is true. He was an irresponsible idiot and far from ruining his life, once he gets over the shock he may well find that a career outside of law is better for him.

Anonymous 19 September 13 13:58

" How about ehen the see an item that is "thinking time" for a Senior Associate and they pay £10 a minute for that time"

What planet are you on? Lawyers are paid to think. Clients know that. Don't like it? Don't instruct a lawyer.

Anonymous 19 September 13 13:59

Anonymous @ 12:54, I think a certain degree of solidarity with one's fellow members of the profession should be considered essential to be a Solicitor, and I frankly think you should be struck off for posting that kind of deluded nonsense.

Anonymous 19 September 13 15:02

I posted at 12:54.

It seems to me that most of you have little idea of the current market for legal services.

If you think clients are indifferent when they read articles which show employees of their service providers say "I f**k people over for money" then you are at best deluded and at worst plain wrong.

You may see it as a silly joke. I can assure you that many others did not. Noone wants to be "f**ked over", nor do they wish to be perceived as using lawyers to f**k someone else over on their behalf.

Reputation is the major tool in legal marketing. This muppet dragged CC's through the mud. Laddish? F**k people over? These are the phrases people asdociate with the worst recent excesses of the City. CC rightly in my view wishes to distance itself from that as far as possible.

Here's a suggestion. If you want to be a part of a masiive international law firm and earn more as a trainee than most people in the country earn after 20 years of work, don't spout arrogant embarassing garbage to people with cameras when you're drunk. If you do embarass your employer in the national press, don't expect to stay.

Anonymous 19 September 13 15:25

"Toby Mather, the presenter and director of Shark Tales, commented “What the news of this disciplinary procedure illustrates is the evolution of modern working life in an age of social media: changing one’s name on Facebook to help get a job is all good and well, but if you then fling drunken opinions at a camera lens once in the job, it does to some extent undermine all the hard work... Blaming the influence of alcohol to explain away such bigotry is pretty flimsy; I’m no Freudian, but that guy has a really big ‘id’”

Bigotry? Jesus. What a smug tit.

Anonymous 19 September 13 18:56

anonymous user
18/09/2013 11:25

Also, let me expose the delusion of some of the posters on this thread:
“We were taught very early on in our training contract to always watch what we say especially to journalists at all times”: no you weren’t. Media training for trainee solicitors? LOL. Be serious, pal. And even if you were, for some reason, given Max Clifford style PR advice on the firm’s ticket, all that proves is your employers were sanctimonious pillocks.

Laz, let me expose your delusions. You don't know what trainees are taught in every firm in the City, and this certainly happens at mine. Whether it means the trainee's bosses are sanctimonious pillocks or not is hardly a delusion on the part of the trainee citing the practice. Do try to grow a brain.

Anonymous 19 September 13 20:49

Re : Anonymous at 12.54 and 14.02

I am both a former CC trainee and client. Although by no means indicative, I have enough common sense to understand that these comments do not represent the firm's views and were just a poor attempt at being funny when a camera was stuck in his face. If he has already been terminated, as suggested by someone above, this is a huge over reaction. I cant see the SRA upholding this, if it wants to take itself seriously. Not sure which " professional offence " has been committed other than being a bit of a knobhead

Anonymous 19 September 13 21:08

Re: anonymous user at 12.54 and 14.2

You seem to be rather a judgmental type, telling people that they have little idea of this and that when those who say he should not be terminated are just mostly expressing an opinion as had you.Given this, I would think you have a future in management in a big firm as being judgmental by nature, with a perhaps a sprinkling of hypocrisy ( dont worry you can pick that up along the way if lacking it now ) would make one perfectly qualified for the job

Anonymous 20 September 13 16:53

To poster at 20:08

Your sarcasm is an embarassment. Are you suggesting that there is something wrong with being discriminating in whom one employs? Do you honestly think that it is possible to have a career in law without making judgements? Which open is better for the client, which carries more risk, which creates opportunities and which denies them? Calling someone judgemental as an insult is something best left back at the student union. When you're out with the grown ups you'll need to make judgements every day of your life. The silly boy from this article who is now contemplating his UB40 form didn't use any judgement at all. Look where that got him.

Anonymous 20 September 13 20:08

Some brilliant life lessons on offer here, I'm sure.

The UK's young lawyers would be far better off in terms of the deal they get from their employers if they DID have someone of the ferocity of Len McCluskey or some other traditional unionist representing them.

Anonymous 21 September 13 14:01

Yes. A lawyers' union. I can see it now. Consensus and harmony all the way.

And when CC said they wete going to sack him regardless do you think all the other trainees would go on strike?

Anonymous 25 September 13 23:57

Anonymous @ 13:01: yes, if properly organised, I do think his fellow trainees would come out on strike.

Anonymous 26 September 13 21:54

The presenter is a complete and utter bellwhif who has deliberately set out to cause people personal and / or professional embarrassment.

Anonymous 31 December 13 22:38

What an utter weapon! He probably isn't joking. Even if he was, its the lamest attempt of humour i've ever come across. Total knob!