RPC unveils 67% autumn retention score

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By Katie King on

While Watson Farley & Williams’ stands at 93%


International outfit RPC has revealed a 2016 autumn retention rate of 67%.

Of the 21 trainees due to qualify this month, 14 will be taking up newly qualified (NQ) positions at the London-headquartered firm.

According to the corporate and insurance specialist, two of the 20 autumn qualifiers decided to pursue “other opportunities”, meaning 78% who applied for an NQ role were successful.

Twelve of the 14 new lawyers at RPC — a firm which has a great Twitter account — will spend their days in its London office, while two will be based at the firm’s Bristol outpost.

While RPC’s first and second year trainee pay is set at £37,000 and £40,000 respectively, it’s not known exactly how much money will line the NQ lawyers’ pockets. Unusually for a City outfit, NQ pay at RPC is merit-based.

Simon Hart, trainee recruitment partner at RPC, says he is “really pleased” to welcome “such an exceptional group” of NQs to the team. He also noted:

Competition for many of our practice areas here was fierce as it always is, with several vacancies heavily over-subscribed. We would have loved to have been able to accommodate everyone’s first choice but that was commercially not possible so we fully understand those who have decided to pursue their ambitions elsewhere.

As far as the firm’s 70% score goes, this marks a slight drop on its 2015 autumn retention rate of 79%, and is also notably lower than the scores announced by other City outfits.

Over at London-headquartered Watson Farley & Williams, for example, the graduate recruitment team can now boast a 2016 autumn retention rate of 93%.

Of the 14 final seat trainees, 13 have committed their future to the firm — five heading over to the asset finance team, four to energy practice, two to corporate, one to litigation and one to the asset finance team in Hamburg. NQ pay at the firm currently stands at £68,000.

This article has been amended due to an oversight by RPC in its retention rate calculation, which originally stated that 20 trainees had qualified rather than 21. This occurred because one the trainees qualified six months ahead of schedule due to previous experience.