Linklaters hangs on to 91% of qualifying solicitors

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By Thomas Connelly on

51 trainees commit future to magic circle firm


Linklaters has published a strong autumn retention figure of 91%, with just five newly qualified (NQ) lawyers heading for the exit this September.

The firm — which is largest training contract provider in the City, with 110 positions annually — revealed that from an autumn intake of 56, it had made 51 offers, with all accepted.

While Linklaters’ London headquarters will receive the lion’s share of the new lawyers, the Singapore office will get two, and Hong Kong and Tokyo one each.

The fresh-faced associates will start on a very respectable £81,000 a year thanks to a generous pay boost back in March. However this figure could rise to as much as £91,000 when factoring in performance-related bonuses.

Reflecting on today’s result — which is an notable improvement on its 83% spring performance — Nick Rumsby, training principal at Linklaters, said:

We are very pleased to announce such an impressive retention rate for our September qualification round. We are again fortunate to have a large group of talented junior lawyers qualifying with us — retaining 91% of the cohort is excellent news for Linklaters.

The news means that Linklaters is now the third magic circle firm to unveil its autumn retention performance.

Back in July, Allen & Overy unveiled a retention figure of 86%, hanging on to 36 trainees from a cohort of 42. Meanwhile, Freshfields — which still tops the magic circle retention table — published an impressive rate of 95%, keeping 40 of its 42 lawyers due to qualify this September.

Earlier today Herbert Smith Freehills revealed an equally impressive 94% retention figure, hanging on to all but two of its autumn qualifiers.

The strong figures allay fears that the MoneyLaw trend sweeping US firms’ London offices — which is seeing some newly qualified solicitors earn £140,000 — could spark an exodus of magic circle trainees to American rivals.