A nosy Herbert Smith trainee’s prying eyes got the better of her after she was sacked for reading confidential emails, which were filed in the wrong place by her supervising partner.
The meddlesome trainee discovered several emails filed by the partner which revealed the newly qualified solicitors who would be retained by the firm in September.
Deciding the news was better out than in the trainee solicitor decided to pass the information on to the qualifying trainees who had been mentioned in the email – weeks before the official announcement.
When the office gossip got back to HR an investigation was launched and the source of the leak was discovered and then subsequently fired.
A spokesman for Herbert Smith said in a statement: “Unfortunately the trainee in question managed to access some confidential internal correspondence relating to trainee performance that had been filed in partners’ personal folders but without the usual privacy settings. All staff are being reminded how to protect documents appropriately on our systems. We do not expect members of staff to be reading documents that are clearly private and confidential. We take issues of confidentiality extremely seriously and so took appropriate action.”
As a result of the blunder, the firm’s fee earners have been reminded by the firm of the importance of filing confidential documents securely.