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Allen & Overy trainee ‘sacked’ by student news website over allegations he plagiarised Financial Times article

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Magic circle giant remains tight-lipped

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A news website has announced on Facebook that it has “sacked” one of its writers, Sachin Parathalingam, over an article he wrote for the site. According to the former writer’s LinkedIn, he is a King’s College, Cambridge, law graduate and an Allen & Overy trainee.

In a statement posted on its Facebook (screenshotted below), The Tab Cambridge told its followers an article about “the Judge Business school” has been taken down. Its writer, Parathalingam (pictured top), “has since been contacted and sacked”.

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Speaking to Legal Cheek this morning, Hannah Dawson and Rory Sachs, The Tab co-editors, said of their former colleague’s sacking:

We made the decision on this matter swiftly and internally to deal with the matter at hand.

Parathalingam has not responded to Legal Cheek’s request for comment. Allen & Overy has declined to comment.

So what was it that led writer and former editor Parathalingam to be fired?

Well, according to Facebook page Memebridge, 96% of the 551 words in the article in question matched a Financial Times piece published on 30 January on the same topic. The page credits Cambridge student Arshad Balwa for “catching this”.

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Though the offending article has been removed, the Legal Cheek team wanted to see it for ourselves. We did some digging in the Google Cache and retrieved it, and include a screenshot below.

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The article seems to be almost identical to the FT’s piece. Take a look at this side-by-side comparison, for example. You can compare the articles here and here.

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In Easter 2016, Parathalingam ran, unsuccessfully, for president of the Cambridge Union. Speaking to The Tab at the time, he said he had lied to his Director of Studies about not doing well in his exams because he was ill. “The real reason”, he said “was too many distractions in Cambridge, and interesting things to do outside of my degree.” Parathalingam went on to obtain a first class law masters from the elite university in 2016.

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