18 October 2018

Mishcon de Reya has given a training contract to the daughter of its Chief Operating Officer. She was rated ahead of thousands of candidates to take the coveted position.

Bambos Georgiou has been COO of the high profile firm since 1996. He is also a partner, though not a solicitor. Now his daughter has joined the business as one of around 15 first seat trainees.

Mishcon recruits all its trainees through its annual vacation schemes. Candidates must apply for a place on a scheme via a rigorous multi-stage process comprising an application form, two online assessments, a video interview, a face-to-face case study test and a face-to-face interview. Mischon has confirmed that the COO's daughter had to jump through all the same hoops as every other candidate, and there is no suggestion that she did not win the role on merit.

brady
One big happy family, yesterday.

 

Still, it's not a great look for Mishcon. Most firms interpret the call for greater diversity and inclusion as relating to the poorer and less well connected candidates, not their own partners' kids. Many now impose a blanket ban on partners' children joining as trainees. Doing so avoids charges of nepotism, and awkward questions of influence which might otherwise follow partners' children as they receive their appraisals, seat choices or qualification jobs. A growing number of firms now go further, and run a 'blind CV' policy in an attempt to minimise the impact of bias, whether conscious or unconscious, in their recruitment processes.

Mishcon isn't alone in embracing its leaders' offspring: for example, Linklaters gave a training contract to its senior partner's son, who is now an associate there. But Mishcon does have considerable form for keeping it in the family, having also given vacation scheme places to a head of department's son and his best mate. And it certainly puts a new slant on Mischon's logo: "It's business. But it's personal."

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Comments

Tired 19 Oct 18

Lovely scoop RoF but pretty unfair for the future trainee in question.  Regardless of how much you write re "no question about getting it on merit", the fact that an article of this nature has even been written suggests that questions do actually exist in RoF's head.  Best left alone for the benefit of the individual concerned. 

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

Nepotism or entirely justified? I don’t think it’s fair to run a story like this.  From a human perspective it feels wrong.

Anon 19 Oct 18

It happens in parliament all the time.  Personally, I would not employ a relative. If they are good enough they will make it elsewhere.    

bork 19 Oct 18

Isn't it fair enough for questions to be in people's heads? bork is sure she is really good (wouldn't have got in otherwise), and It's not her fault - it's just the natural perception that will arise when, of the huge number of candidates who applied, the COO's daughter was in the top 15.

Anonymouse 19 Oct 18

So some people follow their parents into the same line of work... the idea that she got in, or that she'll get on, on the basis of nepotism is rubbish.

ShootyMcShootyface 19 Oct 18

I'm with Tired. While I respect your tireless efforts as a Social Justice campaigner, and would never doubt your wokeness, this pretty much amounts to doxxing the young lady. 

She might be unbearable and useless.

But she might not.

Either way, she should be given a chance to shine. And I hope she is/ does. 

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

It does smell a bit questionable but it would have been nice if you had researched her experience and qualifications to see whether she has merit to get this TC. For instance if she obtained a first or 2i from a red brick then I would find it less suspicious than a 3rd from Greenwich without any vacation schemes. 

Lydia 19 Oct 18

I suppose he's just the staff, isn't he, from the other side of the green  baize door if he's not a solicitor and just does operations, so may be it's social mobility - like giving the man in the postroom's daughter a chance to move class.

Warren 19 Oct 18

Frankly, I think less of Mishcons for this - not because of any nepotism (we obviously have no basis to judge) but because they are either too stupid or too arrogant to apply to themselves the well-known and undoubtedly wise maxim that 'justice does not only need to be done, but needs to be seen to be done'.  This young lawyers' experience, and the experience of every other trainee in her intake, will inevitably be affected by the obvious suspicions raised, justified or not.  Let's hope the damage is relatively insignificant.  

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

Exceptionally bad form, ROF. You have singled this girl out even though you have no idea what her academic and work experience background is. I am sure an article like this will be a great start to her TC... Now that the inappropriate behaviour of senior male management at a number of firms is starting to be unveiled, surely there must be something better to focus on? I suggest you delete this article ASAP.                                 

Dilly Barlow 19 Oct 18

You were right to call this out. Due respect to the young lady, but if she is as good as she most probably is, this is a situation she should have avoided by going elsewhere.

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

To @Exceptionally bad form: you're exactly missing the point, which is that it doesn't matter how good her record is, because she is related to the boss. Someone should have taken her dad aside and said 'er, you do know how this will look?' The fact you think it looks awful for her suggests more about your view of the situation than ROF's, which is that only the firm miss-stepped.

Fuxache 19 Oct 18

Lydia, wtf?  Is that you trying to be funny?  The daughter may be brilliant but in that case, she’d have been better off somewhere else to avoid the perception of nepotism. Bad judgement on someone’s part that this situation has arisen.    

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

While it is unjustly harsh for her to be singled out there a difference between having to jump through all the same hoops and those hoops being at the same level. The question is whether she was judged to the same standard as everyone else. 

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

Mishcon should know better.  Most progressive, enlightened firms refuse to give training contracts to any first degree relations of partners.   Regardless of merit, she may forever be viewed a benefiting from nepotism. 

Takkyrand 19 Oct 18

There is no question at all that this is nepotism, regardless of how good she is. There are hundreds of other (some, better) law firms for her to have trained at. This is a stupid decision for all concerned, and I would not be offering her an NQ job at my firm on the basis of this alone, not that she is going to be applying elsewhere anyway.

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

The insurance company my dad worked for had a rule that the sons (it was an old rule) of management weren't allowed to work there. No exceptions. It was apparently born as a result of a son back in the mists of time who was useless but who had been very difficult to get rid of. The issue is this: put yourself in the shoes of someone who's going to take the decision not to offer her a TC, not to take her on in her chosen seat or to let her go. Will that person hesitate because of who her father is? Of course they will. And everyone knows it, which means that there will always be doubt about the person's abilities from those who don't know how she works. It's not fair on anyone- the other trainees, the people who have to supervise her or the lady herself. Better to have a blanket ban like my dad's place had so it never comes up.

Anon etc 19 Oct 18

My dad is a solicitor and a partner at a top 15 UK law firm, been at that firm for c. 40 years, 35 of them as partner. When I was starting to look at training contracts, he kindly set me up with his firm's grad recruitment person. First thing she said to me was "don't bother applying, we don't accept sons partners for training contracts". Bloody good thing too.

Just to note that.... 19 Oct 18

If they had a blanket ban like your dad's place, it would not have made a difference, as she would not fall under the "sons of management" definition!

3-ducks 19 Oct 18

I'm loath to defend Messrs Mishcon de Reya, but really...so what?

It provides continuity and fosters corporate loyalty.

Surely there must be hundreds of better ways to slag off law firms?

ThePriest 19 Oct 18

Why should anyone be persona non grata when it comes to a job, just because their parent works there? What utter nonsense. If you are good enough to get in on your own merit, you should be allowed to choose where you would like to go. Until someone provides any proof that this is a case of bleeding nepotism, there is nothing to see here except RoF making life miserable for this lady. Have you thought this through, guys?

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

it is a failing of the firm. it is bad for the poor trainee, who will always be subject to this question (regardless of the ROF publicity). better to have sensible policies as per above comments. sons & daughters of partners have plenty of opportunities (and advantages) with other firms.

Anonymous 19 Oct 18

@Bad Form, you forgot to mention that bad behaviour by females is also being unveiled. Its a human characteristic, not just a male one.

diceman 19 Oct 18

I think it's a bit odd wanting to work in the same firm as your Dad. If she's so wonderful, she could have easily got a TC at one of the gazillion other firms in London. 

Magenta 20 Oct 18

Even if the kids of partners get through the selection process on merit (which we can't know for sure unless there are blind CVs and surname-free interviews), I'm yet to see the child of a partner who doesn't benefit from the connection after qualification at our shop. Cheyne's kid certainly wasn't the first at Links to get a job there.  More recently, the son of a group leader was very obviously earmarked for special treatment straight away. 

Anonymous 20 Oct 18

Stupid, unfair and bitter article. She went through the same process as everyone else- there is no evidence she did not. This is such a non-story.  Good luck to her!  Shame on you ROF!

Anonymous 21 Oct 18

The COO at Mischcon, as noted in the article, is treated and paid the same as a full equity partner. For the avoidance of doubt, it is nepotism. She got a TC because her daddy was effectively an equity partner. How do I know that and how do you not know that?  If she had a TC at literally any other London firm, her father, HR, and she herself would have gone for it. Why would you go for Mischcons over Withers or Farrers...when your father is at Mischcons? No one in the right minds would. She did because she didn't have anywhere else. But she had Mischcons.  Everyone knows how this looks and it looks this way because that's how it is. There are plenty of unremarkable or average candidates trying to get into law firms who don't make it. There's no way of saying "poor girl...she was just given a TC....trying to make the best of it...poor girl...we can't possibly know for sure...the internal emails haven't been leaked have they? well until they are, you cannot possibly know...if she was given one because of her background..." I don't particularly care, but please.

Sorrydidyousaysomething? 22 Oct 18

Never a borrower nor a lender be. Never do live TV with children or animals. Never do business with friends or family.  

Je suis Monty Don l’autobus 23 Oct 18

Absolutely execrable story, tarring this young woman at the very start of her career with tacit (but clear) allegations of nepotism that you can’t possibly have any evidence to support. What an awful piece of trash journalism. Can’t believe you didn’t think better of this.

Anonymous 24 Oct 18

In the likely event that the trainee reads and is (rightly) upset by this story being published, I hope she will take some comfort in the ROF comments mob largely supporting her save for a few likely jealous underachievers. The story is pathetic and ROF should be ashamed. You could literally ruin her career with this, whether by reputation or by negatively affecting her own mental health.

A Reasonable Man 25 Oct 18

Anon @ 21 Oct - are you suffering from a serious cranial injury or other cognitive defect?

Anonymous 25 Oct 18

Its her own fault this got called out and she will forever have questions hanging over her. If you are good enough to get a TC at a good firm, get a TC at a different firm and avoid these allegations. The fact she didn't & couldn't speaks volumes.  Plenty of firms do this and it is nepotism and looks awful to the outside world. Don't preach diversity and inclusion and then do this. Just don't, you end up looking like hypocritical morons. The poster who said 'justice does not only need to be done, but needs to be seen to be done' had it right.

Anonymous 25 Oct 18

This is standard stuff for the ladyparts at Mishcon If she is upset and shocked by this then she is very dim not to have seen it comming, so she will be a good fit.   

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