Dundas’ future trainees in London hit by deferrals

Dundas & Wilson is deferring the London office’s next two trainee intakes, following news last month that it would only be taking on 3 of its 11 newly qualified solicitors (NQ) in London.

The London outpost of the Scottish firm has told all of its 2014 trainee intake and eight, of 13, of its 2013 cohort that it will be deferring their training contracts for one year.

Last month, Dundas & Wilson told its London trainees due to qualify in 2013 that there are just three NQ positions for 11 trainees, giving the firm a retention rate of just 27 per cent.

This followed news that the firm had failed to make up any partners in its London office, despite a bumper promotions round across its Scottish offices (1 May 2013).

In April, Dundas’ latest partner exit took the total number of partners leaving the firm during the last year to 15 with M&A and joint ventures lawyer Jai Bal and City corporate specialist Julian Mattthews joining full-service top 100 firm Wedlake Bell (12 April 2013).

Earlier in the year John Pike joined Osborne Clarke, accompanied by a team of former Dundas lawyers (1 February 2013).

Despite the string of exits, Dundas’ co-managing partner Caryn Penley insisted in February that its London office was still at the heart of its growth strategy (7 February 2013).

Penley said: “We’ve been open about our plans to manage our business. We’re focusing on our strengths in both Scotland and London.”

She added: “Our London office is a key platform for us going forward.”