Dentons suspends and disciplines trainees caught accessing firm’s confidential retention plans

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By Thomas Connelly on

Four rookies on naughty step

Dentons has disciplined four trainees over allegations “concerning unauthorised access to confidential information” about the firm’s retention plans. The global giant said it was “deeply disappointed and saddened by this development”.

The rookies — who are understood to be in their final seats at the firm and in the process of applying for newly qualified (NQ) roles — were reportedly caught “snooping” on confidential HR documents, according to a firm insider. The source said the foursome “got called up to HR last Tuesday lunchtime and haven’t been allowed to come into work since”, according to weekly legal blog RollOnFriday.

A spokesperson for Dentons said: “While considering applications from trainees for positions as newly qualified solicitors, a number of conduct issues came to our attention concerning unauthorised access to confidential information relevant to that process.”

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The outfit, which takes on around 30 trainees annually, confirmed all four trainees had been suspended while an investigation took place. The spokesperson continued:

“That investigation has now concluded and all individuals have been subject to disciplinary action. We expect our trainees to act with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism and are of course deeply disappointed and saddened by this development.”

Second-year trainees at Dentons are paid £44,000, rising to £70,000 on qualification, our Firms Most List shows. The City firm’s last trainee retention rate was 68%.

Retention and NQ postions aside, it has not been a great couple of weeks for the City’s young lawyers.

Last month, we reported that a trainee at Ince & Co had been shown the exit after failing to meet the firm’s “professional standards”. The shipping specialist stressed the decision “followed careful consideration”. This was quickly followed by a double training contact termination courtesy of Slaughter and May. Why? The aspiring lawyer twosome had failed to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the first time of asking.

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