Only 66% of qualifying lawyers to remain at King & Wood Mallesons

By on

Massive global law firm will wave good-bye to six of its 18 qualifying former trainees as it continues poor retention rate run


Sino-Australian-English law firm giant King & Wood Mallesons — which offers 30 training contracts a year — will keep just 12 out of 18, or 66% of its qualifying lawyers this spring. Fifteen applied for newly-qualified (NQ) roles at the firm with 12 getting the nod.

The 12 will join several of the firm’s key practice areas, including corporate, finance, financial markets, employment, investment funds, intellectual property, real estate and litigation.


The international powerhouse — formed through the merger of Chinese market leader King & Wood, Australian giant Mallesons and the City of London’s SJ Berwin — has failed to break the 80% NQ retention mark since 2012, when it posted an uncharacteristic 100% rate.

Since then the firm has languished around the 70% mark posting 73% last autumn and 70% last spring.

This follows the announcement last week that CMS Cameron McKenna would be waving good-bye to 38% of its spring NQs with only 16 out of 26 staying at the firm.

Firm profile: King & Wood Mallesons [Legal Cheek]