Berwin Leighton Paisner hangs on to just 55% of its spring NQs

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By Thomas Connelly on

Less than two weeks after it unveiled Manchester training contract plans

International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has posted a disappointing spring 2017 retention result of just 55%.

The firm, which offers around 45 training contracts annually, has retained 11 of its 20 young lawyers who are due to qualify next month. According to Legal Cheek’s Most List, the fresh-faced associates who have opted to stick around will pocket £66,000 a year.

BLP confirmed that all 11 newly qualified (NQ) lawyers will be based within its London office, however one lucky newbie will spend their first six months of lawyer life at the firm’s Singapore office. The outfit’s real estate department will gain four new lawyers, litigation will receive three, and tax and corporate will acquire two new associates each.

This is the latest in a run of poor retention results for BLP.

The outfit — best known for its high end real estate work — posted a 70% spring result last year, keeping just 14 of its 20 NQs. Fast-forward to autumn 2016, and BLP saw its retention score dip to just 65%, holding on to just 13 trainees from a cohort of 20.

Anthony Lennox, BLP partner and training principal, said:

We’d like to have been announcing a higher proportion of qualifiers. However, our NQs will continue to be a huge asset to our firm, across the teams that they will shortly qualifying into. Our qualifiers have shown an exemplary ability and attitude during their training contract, embodying BLP’s culture of personal client service. We look forward to helping them develop their careers at our Firm in the coming years.

BLP is the sixth firm to reveal its 2017 spring result. Back in December Slaughter and May kicked off another exciting retention season by unveiling a perfect 100% score, with all 25 trainees opting to stick around post-qualification.

Results followed from Mayer Brown (100%), Trowers & Hamlins (93%) and the London office of US giant White & Case (88%). And just last week magic circle giant Clifford Chance — which thanks to BLP’s poor result today is lifted from the foot of the 2017 retention table — confirmed a spring score of just 67%.

Earlier this month BLP revealed its plans to introduce training contracts within its Manchester office. With applications due to “open shortly”, successful applicants — who must be “Manchester-based BLP employees” — will kick off their legal careers this September.

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