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Dentons reveals disappointing 68% autumn retention figure

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Global mega firm hangs on to 13 of its 19 London NQs

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Dentons has revealed a less than impressive 2016 autumn retention rate of 68%.

The global giant — which offers around 20 London-based training contracts annually — has kept hold of just 13 of its 19 newly qualifying (NQ) lawyers. With the firm making just 14 full-time offers, one newbie politely said thanks, but no thanks, equating to a final retention figure of 68%.

According to Dentons, 15 NQs completed their training contracts at the firm’s London office, while a further four were based at its Milton Keynes outpost. The firm — which pays its London NQs a salary of £65,000 thanks to a 7% pay rise last summer — also has an office in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Today’s retention news comes just days after the firm asked its European partners to have a €7 million (£5.8 million) whip-round. According to reports yesterday, Dentons issued a capital call to partners at 22 of its European outposts, asking them (presumably very nicely) to cough up as much as €100,000 (£84,000) to reinvest back into the firm.

Last autumn, the firm posted a more encouraging retention figure of 80%, keeping — on that occasion — 16 of its 20 fresh-faced associates. The newest figure, 68%, represents a big drop from 2015, and also marks a particularly low point in this year’s autumn retention rate season compared to other firms.

Last week, magic circle outfit Linklaters revealed an impressive retention score of 91%, with 51 out of 56 trainees committing their future to the firm. Meanwhile back in July, Allen & Overy unveiled a score of 86% — keeping 36 out of 42 NQs.

And finally, Freshfields (still top of the magic circle retention table) confirmed an autumn retention result of 95%, holding on to all but two of its 42 strong autumn cohort.