Linklaters hangs on to 91% of qualifying solicitors

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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.


Charlotte Proudman

It’s never these sorts of lawyers who “approach” me on LinkedIn.

Magic circle, please contact me and compliment me on my wonderful appearance.



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



What the fuck is “moneylaw”?

Do you guys literally get emailed a list of bullshit words you have to fit into the article somehow? Is it a game?



They made it up and are now trying to make it stick, similar to how The Lawyer coined the term magic circle way back when.

It’s not working.


US Associate, from the UK

No, it’s actually a term coined by AboveTheLaw, ‘US’s Legal Cheek’ except far more authoritative and respected.

It’s meant to describe US firms in the recent Cravath-triggered wave of salary raises up to $180k, since after all, a raise of $20k for rookie lawyers is substantial.

LC are just acting like muppets who clearly conflate City firms like HSF with far superior NYC shops like the aforementioned CSW and call them all ‘MoneyLaw’.


Charlotte Proudman

Please recite this off the first floor stairwell overlooking the work cafeteria in a Rome and Juliet fashion.

You may be the one.


Charlie Proudwoman

Oh baby you know what I like.


Awful phrase I agree. Really only the very best UK firms ie MC are comparable in terms of work. Certainly not Herbs


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