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RPC unveils autumn retention figure of 79%

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City of London firm will keep 15 of 19 UK trainees

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RPC has announced today that 15 of its 19-strong trainee cohort will remain at the firm after they qualify this autumn, equating to a 79% retention rate.

That represents a drop on last year’s figure, when the Tower Bridge-based practice recorded a perfect 100% result.

The firm — which offers around 20 training contracts annually — confirmed to Legal Cheek that 13 of its junior lawyers will remain at its London office. The remaining two will begin life as associates at RPC’s Bristol outpost.

The firm also revealed today that two trainees — who are scheduled to qualify this September at RPC’s Hong Kong office — will also be remaining.

RPC managing partner Jonathan Watmough said:

It is great to see that, even though we maintain rigidly high standards when it comes to both recruiting for our trainee programme and the criteria we set for qualification, we continue to retain such a high percentage of newly qualified lawyers across our offices.

Today’s retention news follows what has been been a period of mixed results for City law firms.

Yesterday, shipping specialist Ince & Co dropped to bottom of the retention table, revealing rather sheepishly, that 40% of its trainees were heading for the exit. While over the past month, Taylor Wessing, Mills & Reeve and what is arguably the most elite firm in the City, Slaughter and May, all posted encouraging results.

However, the Square Mile offices of several prominent US firms — including Sullivan & Cromwell — are leading the way, posting prefect 100% retention results. However, the US practices traditionally have much smaller graduate intakes.