Freshfields first in magic circle to release trainee retention rate, with 85% staying on

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By Judge John Hack on

Figure is a 5% boost over last year as 44 newly-qualifying lawyers are set to pick up £67,500 starting salaries


Anglo-German giant Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is the first magic circle law firm to release its retention figures for qualifying solicitors this year — with a five-percentage point boost over its figure of a year ago.

Some 85% of trainees in the spring 2015 qualifying round are lucky winners. A year ago, the figure was 80% and Freshfield’s autumn 2014 retention rate was 82%.


Indeed, the firm’s latest offer rate — released earlier today — was even high, running at 91%. That equated to job offers to 44 of 48 newly-qualifying lawyers, but four trainees said thanks, but no thanks to Will Lawes and his senior partnership chums.

Lawes & Co cough up salaries of £67,500 to those signing on, placing Freshfields at joint 12th on the Legal Cheek law firm Most List.

The magic circle announcement comes only two days after the City office of New York old stagger White & Case claimed a 100% retention rate for this spring. Those newly-qualifying lawyers will be paid £4,500p/a more on their first day at work compared with those at Freshfields.

However, the US firms take on far fewer trainees than their magic circle counterparts. While White & Case only takes 30 annually, Freshfields recruits 80.

On the same day as the White & Case announcement, mid-tier English commercial player Osborne Clarke trumpeted an 89% retention rate, a significant increase over its autumn 2014 rate of 67%. Rookie lawyers at OC trouser starting salaries of £60,000.

Another mid-tier City player — Trowers & Hamlins — was the first to announce its 2015 rate, retaining 82% of its newly-qualified solicitors, or nine of 11. They will be on starting salaries of £58,000.


Two more corporate firms post strong trainee retention rates [Legal Cheek]