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Trainee forced to tear up contract after working unsupervised for 2 years
08 April 2016
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A trainee was forced to tear up her training contract after 20 months because her supervisor went on maternity leave without a replacement, leaving the trainee unsupervised.

The trainee, named Ms R in the SRA proceedings brought against her supervisor, experienced her lost years at a business RollOnFriday has identified as Dandi Living. According to its website, Dandi is an "award-winning architecture, design and development management company", named after the 18th century term 'dandy' because, "Creating refined and sophisticated living spaces is the focus of the brand, hence the highly novel and memorable name". Unfortunately it also has an unusual philosophy for a SRA-authorised training institution:

    Namaste
 
Nevertheless, the SRA authorised it as a training establishment in July 2011. Dandi's only solicitor, Louise Thomson, was approved as a supervisor and Ms R began her training contract that month. However, Thompson was also seven months pregnant and in October she left for maternity leave. The lawyer, who had previously worked for UBS, Citigroup and BNP Paribas did not return to supervise Ms R and, unfortunately, neither did anybody else.

    "I'm sure there was something...naah"

When the SRA checked in on Ms R a year and half later, eight weeks before she was due to qualify, it discovered that she had been left to her own devices for 15 months, presumably doing the best she could with old copies of PLC and episodes of This Life. Which apparently don't meet SRA training standards, and so her entire period of 'training' at Dandi Living was deemed null and void. She subsequently left the business and, two years later, is about to complete a proper training contract at a law firm.

Thomson, who is now a consultant at Credit Suisse and has excised her Dandi stint from her LinkedIn profile, admitted failing to perform her obligations as Ms R's training principal. In mitigation, she said that she had fully co-operated with the SRA investigation and it accepted that she had not acted dishonestly. Thomson was given a rebuke, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,685.

Dandi Living did not respond to requests for comment, because it has its own aims and laws and knows none other.

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3-ducks
08/04/2016 08:52
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Surely it should be "knows no other"?
anonymous user
08/04/2016 09:04
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According to the normal laws of English yes, 3-ducks. However, they do not know that law.
anonymous user
08/04/2016 09:34
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What happened to poor Ms R?
Also couldn't the one on maternity leave have done a lot of training and supervision by phone and email from a sense of moral duty? It seems very bad of her not to. She could have seconded the trainee to a few clients' legal departments to cover the period too.
anonymous user
08/04/2016 15:15
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Very sorry for Mrs R but what on earth were SRA thinking about when approving this looney toons company as a training provider. Their name is only " memorable " because they are such dicks.
anonymous user
13/04/2016 09:39
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well...
anonymous user
13/04/2016 15:51
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1. SRA - WTF? Risk rating your supervisor reviews would have meant this one would be high on your list. Although, judging by previous ROF articles, 18 months to check in is lightning speed!

2. Dandi Living - complicit? morally bankrupt? Taking on junior staff, promising them they will have oversight employ mat cover. Sounds like they just wanted cheaper legal resource.

3. Ms Thomson - Please do ROF the courtesy of offering a comment. Maybe not dishonest, but WTF? and a path to qualification ... when they know the supervisor is 7 mths pregnant and they are not intending to Morally dubious, to say the least? Did she have to apologise to the trainee?

4. Ms R - WTF? Why did you not leave pretty quickly when your questions about who will supervise you and help you to qualify were met with "Mm-hmm" , "Sure, ok" , "yeah, yeah whatevs" etc

There are no winners here.