City firms have begun to release retention rates for the autumn cohort of trainees, with many posting figures in excess of 80% – a significant indicator of health in the sector.
Slaughter and May leads the way in the magic circle so far. It has taken on 29 of 32 trainees (90%). Allen & Overy had 47 trainees and made offers to 41, of who 40 accepted (85%). Linklaters took on 47 of its 56-strong group (84%).
However, magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer offered contracts to only 29 of 41 trainees, with 27 (66%) accepting a role. It is in marked contrast to last September when the firm retained 95% of its 42 trainees.
As the Gazette went to press, Clifford Chance was the only magic circle firm yet to reveal retention figures.
Elsewhere, silver circle firm Ashurst took on 19 of 20 trainees (95%), while Bird & Bird retained 15 from 18 (83%). Hogan Lovells took on 24 out of 30 (80%).
International firm Pinsent Masons’ figures were not as high, though the firm had many more trainees than some of its rivals. Of 91 trainees, 84 applied and 67 were successful (73%).
Things were far less positive for Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The US-headquartered firm – famous for its high pay rates for newly qualified solicitors – offered contracts to all of its 10 trainees but only five accepted.
International firm Taylor Wessing also posted a fairly low score, retaining 62% of its 26-strong cohort, while litigation experts Stewarts Law took on just one out of four trainees.