Olswang has deferred all its new trainees for a year - apparently without giving them any compensation. It has also cancelled its London summer vacation scheme and its entire 2013 graduate recruitment round.

The moves, first revealed by RollOnFriday, appear to have been made in something of a last minute panic: the grad rec and vac schemes were pulled after the application process had already begun. So students who'd gone through the laborious application process were told that they'd wasted their time.

Last year the firm asked its future trainees to volunteer to defer and confirmed that it would be paying them £7,000 to do so. Now they've been given no choice, and Olswang refused to discuss whether it's giving them a penny. So we'll take that as a "no" then.

In fact the firm refused to comment at all, other than by way of a prepared statement which claimed that "along with our competitors, we have seen a change in client demands and this has resulted in a change in our resourcing requirements". In other words, it doesn't have enough work.

    Olswang yesterday 

But Olswang probably shouldn't speak for its competitors. RollOnFriday contacted three other mid-sized City firms - MacfarlanesSJ Berwin and Travers Smith - all of which confirmed that their grad rec and vac schemes were going ahead as normal.

RollOnFriday revealed last December that the firm was unable to keep hold of its litigators. Turnover has fallen, a third of the firm is made up of real estate (which in most firms is having a tough time) and other teams are rumoured to be unhappy. Watch this space.
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