KWM to cancel training contracts tomorrow

King & Wood Mallesons trainees will have their training contracts cancelled tomorrow (Friday 13) as the firm makes arrangements for them to transition to other organisations.

Trainees were informed of the developments by email yesterday.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “In order for trainees to transfer to a new firm, the training contracts need to be terminated, so this is that is the necessary and responsible thing for us to do.”

The process may take up to 30 days, and Lawyer 2B understands that a number of KWM trainees are already working at other firms for the duration of this period.

As partners have departed to other firms, so too have trainees. However, so far only Goodwin Proctor has confirmed that it has taken five after Lawyer 2B revealed the news last week. Lawyer 2B understands that several other firms have agreed to take or interview trainees.

The firm stopped paying wages to staff last week.

Meanwhile, a leading insolvency practitioner has said King & Wood Mallesons’ financial situation in Europe has been “more mismanaged than BHS” after even its administrators walked away over concerns they would not be paid.

AlixPartners rejected being named KWM administrators on Tuesday (10 January) due to “concerns over funding”, according to an internal memo sent by managing partner Tim Bednall to all staff.

As the administrators rank highly in the pecking order of creditors to be paid in an administration, AlixPartners’ move could mean “there’s no money at all at KWM”, said the source.