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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.