Slaughter and May keeps 38 out of 40 qualifying trainees in first retention announcement of 2016

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By Alex Aldridge on

Magic circler hangs on to 95% of its rookies


Slaughter and May has shrugged off two rounds of sub-90% trainee retention to record its highest rate since 2014.

38 out of 40 of the magic circle firm’s newly qualifying (NQ) solicitors will stay on after they complete their training contracts in March having accepted permanent job offers.

The 95% retention rate exceeds the rather disappointing 88% and 89% figures that Slaughters recorded in spring and autumn 2015.

A spokesperson for the firm said that the result “underlines our focus on recruiting for the long term future of the firm”.

The news will ease fears about an exodus of NQs from the leading English firms to the big-paying London offices of US firms. A host of recent pay rises by the likes of Shearman & Sterling, Weil Gotshal and White & Case — where NQs now pull in around the £90,000 mark — has made these outfits increasingly attractive.

While still very generous relative to most jobs, NQ pay at Slaughter and May lags behind the American firms, standing at £70,000. Even the £78,500 NQ wage handed out by the highest paying English firm, Allen & Overy, is dwarfed by the US firm cash — which reaches a high of £101,500 at Sullivan & Cromwell‘s London office.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List has all the latest pay comparisons.