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Taylor Wessing goes into lockdown to protect identity of partner who made out with first year trainee at welcome party

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Gossip raging across City about which “head of department” hooked up with rookie

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A senior partner at top City law firm Taylor Wessing may be feeling rather nervous this morning…

Yesterday, a blog reported that a “head of department” at the firm made out with a first year trainee during a recent party to welcome new recruits. But it opted not to name the individual.

Over to RollOnFriday:

“The partner is head of a department and copped off with the trainee at a party the firm held to welcome its new intake. There’s no suggestion of any coercion. As Mrs Merton might put it, the trainee was presumably immediately attracted to a man who was old enough to be her father but with several million in the bank.”

The partner has kept his job, although Taylor Wessing says that he has voluntarily removed himself from a “leadership position”. The firm’s formal statement on the matter is here:

“This is an isolated incident and one which the firm takes extremely seriously. The partner in question has reflected on his behaviour; he has decided to step down and is no longer in a leadership position”.

So, to clarify, the trainee and the partner still work in the same firm, and as RollOnFriday points out, “he will presumably still have some influence on her future career.” The blog goes on to speculate that:

“As is generally the case with these things, one of them will probably move on in a couple of years. And it’s not likely to be the partner…”

That may be jumping to conclusions somewhat, but there is a wider point here about gender dynamics in City law firms, which frequently have more female than male trainees yet are dominated by men at partner level.

Taylor Wessing is a case in point. According to the Legal Cheek Most List, 53% of the firm’s associates are female, yet women make up just 15% of its partnership. In such an environment, the inappropriateness of a male equity partner pulling a female trainee reaches a whole new level.

When contacted by Legal Cheek, Taylor Wessing declined to issue any further comment.