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Baker & McKenzie retains 14 out of 16 newly qualifying solicitors

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US-founded giant chalks up 88% autumn rate

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Baker & McKenzie has retained 14 out of 16 of its London-based newly qualifying (NQ) solicitors.

The firm — which recently posted global revenues of $2.62bn (£2bn) — revealed that from a trainee cohort of 16, 15 newbie lawyers applied for full-time associate roles. With just one unlucky NQ (who applied) failing to receive an offer, this gives the US-founded giant a respectable 2016 autumn retention figure of 88%.

Bakers’ disputes team will receive three fresh-faced associates, while corporate, IT/commercial, employment, tax and competition will gain two new lawyers each. The final NQ will be based within the firm’s IP/commercial team in Dubai. Bakers’ training principal Arron Slocombe said:

Once again we have an accomplished set of trainees coming through as junior lawyers and we are delighted to retain such a high proportion. Investing in excellent talent from a diverse pool of trainees is central to our strategy.

Earlier this year Baker & McKenzie — which offers around 30 London-based training contracts each year — posted a spring retention score of 88% or 94%, depending on your interpretation of the figures. Keeping hold of 15 — out of 16 — trainees earlier this year, the firm placed one new lawyer on a fixed-term contract due to unavailability in his desired practice area.

The relatively strong autumn retention figure comes despite the firm failing to chuck MoneyLaw-sized pay packets at their London-based lawyers. Back in June, the firm, joining a host of big American outfits, upped US NQ pay to an eye-watering $180,000 (£124,000). But unlike Akin Gump, Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins — who matched the sizeable pay increases across their London offices — Bakers chose not to. The latest NQs will earn a salary of £70,000 in their new posts.

34 Comments

Anonymous

But how many of them were not sexual, gender or racial minorities?

(6)(3)

Adam Deen

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

(3)(1)

Anonymous

That comment just shows your level of intellect (low).

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Adam Deen

Heh, cry more cuckstench.

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Yes, I’ve heard from quite a few people that firms such as Norton Rose, Freshfields and B&M go to great lengths in employing a diverse workforce, often at the expense of the quality of their intake.

It is just a sign of our times. Nothing you can do about it.

(5)(10)

Anonymous

Are you kidding? Freshfields is one of the least diverse firms in the City.

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Adam Deen

Jones Day are very diverse – they’ve either got the big dik city boiiis or the moist Essex harlots.

No other candidates are ever recruited.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Yes I suppose a straight/male/pale individual automatically equates to “quality” while women/ethnic/sexual minorities are not. Want some vinegar with that chip on your shoulder?

(2)(3)

Alternative perspective

Anecdotally – Someone I know did a recent vac scheme at Bakers where almost everyone was white, middle class and Russell Group (and 100% of them got offers).

(3)(1)

Alternative perspective

Incidentally, how common is it across the City for 100% of a vac scheme intake to get an offer?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Varies from 20% – 80%.

Some firms recruit very few from their vacation schemes.

Firms with a larger intake will have a larger conversion rate.

Anonymous

Just to clarify – 20 -80% figure refers to each vac scheme intake.

A firm may recruit 25 trainees, but take on 80-85 vac schemes/also take direct TC apps.

Anonymous

I can confirm thats true. #diversity

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Has Bakers not announced a salary increase this time round?

(1)(1)

Travers Smith NQ

Who in their right mind would work at Bakers ?!! A “US” firm that pays less than some mid uk city firms… What a joke. US culture re hours yet worse pay than a UK firm. Am I missing something here?!!

(6)(5)

Anonymous

Don’t think Bakers portray themselves as a strictly NY/US firm, but are more like Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright. At 70k their NQ is around 1k to 2k short of the likes of Macfarlanes, Travers Smith, HL and NFR. On par with Dentons and DLA Piper.

As TCs at city firms are increasingly hard to secure, I think that scarcity of the much coveted TC provides impetus for firms to keep rates with their competitor firms, but don’t feel the need to raise it to money law rates 124k+. Just think back, W&C/Dechert and Sidley Austin used to hover in the 70ks region within the last 2 years before going to 90k and 120k respectively quite recently due to moves from similar firm/wall street competitors.

(16)(0)

Travers Smith isn't any better

If a MC trainee said that, I’d say fair game. But coming from someone at a mediocre mid tier firm, I can only laugh.

Know lots of people working at Bakers and I don’t think it’s ever portrayed itself as a NY, let alone US firm. Hours are also definitely nowhere near Wall Street firms – still not saying they’re good

(4)(1)

Associate

Hours are utter shyte mate, I hardly ever get home before 8-9pm, some weekends get chucked in too.

Ready to jump ship for big Yankee gold dolla…

(1)(1)

Anonymous

A Travers Smith person saying Bakers is a mediocre firm is what makes me laugh…

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Anonymous

I’m curious – what kind of reputation does Bakers have in the City?

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Education, Education

Pretty decent reputation mate. Better than DLA Piper or there abouts.

Slaughter and Gay NQ

Quiet now…let the children tipple tattle over “reputation”

You can only dream of my job title honey…

Skadden 1 PQE

70k at a US firm. How have they persuaded NQs to turn up in the morning?!!

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Pitiful pay

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Dadam Eeen

Could be worse, could be Shoesmiths.

Mega lol

(2)(0)

Edam Deen

Could be MUCH worse, could be Irwin Mitchel.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I expect Bakers to raise NQ salary to £85k in due course

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Adam Deen

Lol, dream on baby.

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Anonymous

I think the most striking thing is that a corporate firm is only taking on 2 out of 14 trainees in its corporate department…

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Masaman

Is it? Couldn’t it be that only two of them applied for the corporate department?

I’m genuinely asking.

(0)(0)

True Story

Na mate word on the ol’ grapevine is that Addleshaw Goddard will be increasing NQ to £150,000 with first year trainee set to increase to £55,000 presently

(3)(0)

Addleshaws associate

Yeeeaaah boiiiii, makin it rainnnn

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Qualify as NQ at MC or jump ship to Kirkland, and why?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

First year trainee salaries bumped up to 45k

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Comments are closed.