Shearman & Sterling retains all 13 of its qualifying trainees

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By Thomas Connelly on

Gold stars and pats on the back all round at big-paying US firm’s London office


Global heavyweight Shearman & Sterling has retained all of its London trainee solicitors, the firm announced this morning.

The New York-based ‘white shoe’ practice confirmed that all 13 of its September qualifiers have accepted full time associate positions at the firm’s UK office.

This is the second 100% retention score for Shearman on the bounce, with the firm also having kept all its trainees last year. Since then, Shearman — which offers around 17 City-based training contracts annually — has raised newly qualified (NQ) pay packets to a staggering £95,000. Up from an already very competitive £88,000, a rise of almost 8%, the international giant was keen to put some distance between itself and the rest of the magic circle on the pay league table.

With the salary increase appearing to do the trick, the 13 fresh-faced associates will join a broad range of practices at the firm including, finance, financial institutions advisory, project development & finance, M&A, and litigation.

Reflecting on the firm’s strong retention performance, Shearman & Sterling’s co-regional managing partner, Nick Buckworth, said:

It is great to see another bright group of trainees come through our ranks and accept offers with the firm. It really is a true testament to the strength of our trainee programme and to our exciting business in London.

Yesterday City law firm Fieldfisher kicked off the 2016 autumn retention season, revealing — like Shearman — a perfect 100% retention score. The international outfit confirmed all 12 trainees had committed their futures to the firm.

Meanwhile, CMS Cameron McKenna (CMS) has just got round to announcing its spring result.

Presumably unable to hold off on the disappointing news any longer, the firm quietly revealed a retention figure of just 62%. Making 17 offers to a sizeable spring cohort of 26, CMS confirmed that all but one had accepted.