Clifford Chance completes magic circle retention report by rejecting 9% of its NQs

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By Judge John Hack on

Allen & Overy remains on top with 93% rate while Freshfields lets the most newly-qualifieds go


Global law firm giant Clifford Chance rounded out the retention rate figures for newly-qualified solicitors at the magic circle for the beginning of this year, handing out jobs to 91% of its former trainees.

The figure put the firm level with Linklaters, which released its 91% figure a couple of days ago. Both firms fall below Allen & Overy, which announced a 93% rate, but well above rivals Slaughter and May on 88%) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer at 85%.

Nonetheless, while Links significantly improved its year-on-year retention rate, CC slipped. At the same point in 2014, the firm retained 94% of its NQ solicitors. However, Clifford Chance’s latest retention figure is well above its rate for last autumn, when it retained only 75% of qualifiers.

Clifford Chance revealed that in the latest round of retention, it has kept on 41 lawyers from a qualifying cohort of 45. All trainees offered a place with the mega firm grabbed it with both hands, according to the practice.


They emerge from a group currently riven by controversy in the wake of revelations that a first-seat trainee, Aysh Chaudhry, posted on YouTube a rant criticising fellow Muslims for their reaction to recent Islamic terror attacks in France.

The firm has not commented on any disciplinary measures taken against Chaudhry, but it is understood the trainee is still with the firm.