SJ Berwin was ‘wrong’ to ask summer student to do an all-nighter

SJ Berwin has admitted that the firm “got it wrong” when a summer vacation scheme student was asked to work until the early hours of the morning.

Nicola Bridge

Nicola Bridge

A female student is understood to have worked until five in the morning after being asked to help another female colleague on a document for an international arbitration.

SJ Berwin’s graduate recruitment partner Nicola Bridge said in a statement: “Vacation students are sometimes invited to take part in work such as deal completions and trial preparation, which can run into the night, and we’re keen to offer them the opportunity to observe and help with some of the more exciting parts of the job.

“But as a matter of policy we shouldn’t go beyond invitation and directly request that vacation students work into the night, and on this occasion we got it wrong.

“Last week a student worked through the night on a document for a big international arbitration. She willingly stayed and worked with a female colleague and did a great job, but she was actually asked to do so and that shouldn’t have happened. In future we’ll stick to our policy so this doesn’t happen again.”

In line with its rival firms SJ Berwin’s placement programme lasts for two weeks. Summer vacation scheme students in City firms are typically paid around £300 a week.

The student was not available for comment.