CMS Cameron McKenna waves good-bye to 38% of spring NQs

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CMS Cameron McKenna has kept just 16 of its 26 spring newly-qualified cohort, posting a comparatively woeful retention rate of 62%


The English branch of mega-global franchised law firm CMS takes on 80 trainees each year. However only 16 of its 26 qualifying lawyers this spring will be staying with the firm. The NQs will be split between the firm’s London and Bristol offices, with 14 in the City of London and the remaining two based out west.


The 16 will be spread across several of the firm’s departments including commercial regulatory and disputes, banking and international finance, real estate and tax.

The announcement marks the third consecutive retention rate drop for the firm; it previously posted 78% in spring 2014 and 65% last Autumn. However CMS had an inflated number of trainees this time last year following its merger with Scotland’s Dundas & Wilson.

Senior partner Penelope Warne explained:

“Our wish is to offer positions to as many trainees as possible. Although offers were made in the region of 80%, on this occasion a number of trainees decided to take positions in-house or outside the practice of law which meant that take-up was uncharacteristically low.”

The development follows yesterday’s announcement that Pinsent Masons is to keep 79% of its spring NQs. Earlier this month, the London office of global giant Baker & McKenzie announced it was keeping 14 of 17 (82%) of its spring qualifiers, while London-based international firm Nabarro hit 100%.

Firm profile: CMS Cameron McKenna [Legal Cheek]