Three City firms reveal solid if not spectacular retention rates as one trainee quits law to work with lions

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By Thomas Connelly on

Norton Rose Fulbright, Bird & Bird and Eversheds announce how many of their young are staying


The London office of Norton Rose Fulbright has announced today an autumn retention rate of 77%, keeping 24 of its 31 newly qualifying (NQ) lawyers.

The firm, which offers 50 training contracts annually, made 26 offers with all but two accepting. The retention figure is a slight drop on the international giant’s spring performance when it kept 21 of its 26 young lawyers, resulting in 79% retention

Those staying at the firm will benefit from a recently improved NQ pay package of £70,000, up from £65,000. The transatlantic player also chucked extra cash at its junior talent this summer, with first year trainees taking home £41,000 up from £39,500.

Meanwhile, City outfit Bird & Bird has revealed that 15 of its 18 trainees due to qualify this September will remain at the firm, resulting in an autumn retention figure of 83%.

The firm, which offers around 18 training contracts annually and is best known for its IT specialism, confirmed that 16 newly qualifying lawyers were made offers, with only one turning it down. That individual, a free spirit named Sophie, is opting instead to work with lions in an animal sanctuary in South Africa, Bird & Bird confirmed to Legal Cheek.

The news marks a slight drop in the retention standings for the telecommunications, media and technology focused-firm. Last autumn, Bird & Bird kept 14 out of 15 of its NQ cohort, equating to a retention figure of 93%.

Finally, corporate firm Eversheds has posted an autumn retention figure of 82%.

The sprawling global behemoth — which has 55 offices in 28 different countries — has retained 37 out of 45 of its qualifying NQ talent.

Eversheds revealed that 15 new associates will be based at its London HQ near St Paul’s, while the remaining 22 young lawyers will be spread across the firm’s regional offices in locations including Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Cambridge, Nottingham and Manchester.

Those opting to remain at Eversheds will take advantage of a recent pay boost. NQs in London will now take home £62,000, a rise of 5%. Meanwhile, their regional counterparts have had pay upped by 8% to £40,000.