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Dundas cancels vacation scheme as trainee intake is deferred

Dundas & Wilson’s beleaguered City office has deferred its 2014 trainee intake by a year and cancelled its London summer vacation scheme just weeks before students were due to arrive.

Around 24 students who were due to spend two weeks at the Scottish firm’s London office next month have been told the scheme will no longer go ahead, which it blames on the ‘firm’s strategic business objectives.’

The move comes as the firm also recently notified eight out of thirteen trainees due to start their London training contract this September that their places have been deferred until 2014.

Last month Dundas’ 11 London trainees due to qualify in 2013 were told just three positions would be available, giving the firm a retention rate of 27 per cent.

Commenting on the cancellation of the vacation scheme, managing partner Allan Wernham said in a statement: ‘In line with the firm’s strategic business objectives, we are focusing on our strengths across our office network.

‘This has inevitably led to a number of changes, including the structure of our summer placement programme in London, because it is vital that we can provide our future trainees with a positive learning experience, appropriate access to work and proper supervision.’

Wernham pointed to the firm’s reappointment this year to Land Securities’ property panel and first-time appointment to the Government Procurement Service as evidence of the strength of the London office.

However, the announcements follow a string of recent London partner departures. In March corporate partners Julian Mathews and Simon Sale and finance partner Michael Wrigley left the Scots leader’s City office.

Last year, meanwhile, saw Dundas London partner Martin Thomas, one of its top litigators, leave for Wragge & Co, along with banking partner John Pike, who quit for Osborne Clarke.