Berwin Leighton Paisner reveals spring retention rate of 70%

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By Thomas Connelly on

City outfit doesn’t match strong retention trend seen in other firms


Corporate outfit Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has revealed a disappointing spring retention rate of 70%.

From a trainee cohort of 20, the large City firm — best known for high-end real estate work — made just 16 offers, with 14 accepting.

According to BLP, four newly qualified (NQ) lawyers are heading to the firm’s finance practice, four into real estate, four into corporate, one into litigation, and the final fresh-faced associate will be based within BLP’s corporate risk department.

BLP have 12 offices in eight different countries, and will pay its newest spring intake £66,000 each. Decent though the retention is, the firm, which takes around 45 trainees annually, has failed to match the very high spring retention rates enjoyed by a number of firms across the City. Despite this, Anthony Lennox, a partner at BLP, remained upbeat, saying:

For this intake, it is particularly pleasing for us to see four of our main practice groups represented with new trainees. Our aim is to offer as many training contracts as possible highlighting our commitment to recruiting the best talent in the market. Our 14 newly qualified lawyers will all help contribute to the Firm’s growth over the coming years.

Today’s result marks a slight drop on BLP’s autumn 2015 performance, when 17 out of 24 (71%) committed their future to the firm.

Over the past two months a number of law firms have revealed excellent retention performances. Single office-outfit Macfarlanes posted a perfect retention score of 100%, meanwhile Nabarro and Trowers & Hamlins unveiled strong results of 89% and 88% respectively.

Corporate powerhouse Weil Gotshal & Manges posted 100% back in January, and New York giants White & Case — who were languishing at the bottom of the retention table until today — revealed an 87% result.

Elite magic circle player Slaughter and May kept 38 out of 40 of its spring qualifiers, equating to a 95% result and Herbert Smith Freehills continued its solid retention run, revealing that 94% of its trainees had committed their future to the firm.