News

Macfarlanes reveals perfect 100% spring retention score

By on
29

‘Silver circle’ firm keeps all six NQs due to qualify next month

Single-office City outfit Macfarlanes has revealed a stellar spring retention performance of 100%.

From a relatively small qualifying cohort of just six, the firm — which is part of a band of top firms known as the ‘silver circle’ — confirmed that all of its trainees received and accepted full-time associate positions.

Best known for its strong corporate practice and well-regarded private client team, Macfarlanes offers around 30 training contacts each year. According to Legal Cheek’s Most List, the outfit’s newly qualified (NQ) lawyers will start on £71,000.

Commenting on today’s excellent result, Sean Lavin, who is a partner and head of the firm’s graduate recruitment, said:

It is always our aim to find roles for all our trainees upon qualification and we are obviously delighted to have been able to offer 100% retention for our March 2017 intake.

Today’s news marks another strong retention performance for the firm. This time last year Macfarlanes scored yet another perfect 100%, with all six of its young trainees opting to stick around post-qualification. In autumn, and from a much larger cohort of 21, the silver circle outfit racked up a solid 85% result, with 18 newbies accepting associate roles.

Macfarlanes also achieved some excellent marks in Legal Cheek’s 2016 Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. The firm landed an A* for its training and As for quality of work and peer support.

A plethora of firms have now unveiled their 2017 spring scores. Yesterday Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells revealed results of 77% and 79% respectively. Other outfits to confirm their retention figures are White & Case (88%), Trowers & Hamlins (93%), Mayer Brown (100%), Clifford Chance (67%), Berwin Leighton Paisner (55%) and Slaughter and May (100%).

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.

29 Comments

Reed Smith NQ

How come this pokey firm pays more than mine?!

LC said we’re a US titan!

(10)(5)

Anonymous

I had a nice Macfarlanes promotional bookmark once.

(1)(0)

Timnicebutdim

I had a branded pencil sharpener – a luxury one at that as it had the pot attachment to catch the sharpening detritus. Alas..

(4)(0)

Amused reader

71k NQ? What are the working hours likely to be like?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Worrying that as a frequent LC reader I can’t tell whether you’re amused that 71k is so much for an NQ, or so little. Perhaps an indication of how divided the legal profession is currently.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

71k as an NQ. *Chuckles*

Honestly I wouldn’t do City law for that kind of salary. Other jobs pay 10-20k less, but offer a much better quality of life.

US firms are worthwhile – the money is great and they beast you just the same. The money’s a life changer. 10-20k pre tax isn’t lifechanging. Happiness can’t buy you money.

(6)(6)

Anonymous

Not sure whether you’re chippy and trying to feel great about your life, or rich and depressed at a US firm hating on a decent firm with better work/life balance than yours. Either way, have a great weekend buddy!

(3)(1)

Anonymous

It’s a decent firm, but the work/life balance is definitely not better. I have a friend who used to work there, and another at Travers. My hours are probably marginally better than theirs, and I bill 15 minutes, not 6.

No, I genuinely think it isn’t a good deal to go work there. I wouldn’t do what I do for under 100k. Money makes things hugely more bearable. You could become a civil servant working 9-5 hours, flexible hours, working from home, 40+ days annual leave a year including flexileave on about 55k in 3-4 years, so around about the same time. There are exit options from there and it’s just an example, before the obvious fact that NQ salaries do climb is pointed out.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

For a better paid job? Well, you’ll be looking at worse hours then. It’s difficult to rival City law for salaries, however you look at it, and the difference with other careers gets steeper, with most industries not climbing as steeply year on year. e.g. a lot of grad jobs are £40k but not many pay as well as law 5 years later.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

You’ve missed the point. My firm pays 5PQErs 200k+, McF’s will be barely over 100k. The difference between 60 and 100k isn’t that much after 40% tax, you’re looking at a 20k difference, and given you work at McF’s you have to increase expenses to support necessary lifestyle changes narrowing the gap further. Going to work for somewhere like BLP is a mug’s game. Plenty of better jobs out there which might not pay quite as well, but will have a much better work/life balance and probably be more interesting too. I’m junior but at points I reckon I’ll be earning around 100k more than those at these firms so whilst I’m beasted, I get rewarded.

(1)(5)

Just sayin'

Dude, why are you so desperate to justify your career choice to everyone? Sorry, but you sound really unhappy.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

I suggest you read again and attempt to grasp the point. I’ve generally advised against City law especially at a MacF’s type shop. If you have a different calibre firm on the table like Linklaters or Debevoise, then there’s a more nuanced position.

(5)(7)

Anonymous

You sound like a dumb fuck. Almost as dumb as this guy I know. Maybe it’s you?

2pqe

I know the firm well. No idea who the clown above is comparing Macs’ to US firms…don’t see the basis for comparison whatsoever. The hours are fine.

It’s quite formal culturally, an old-school English vibe, people are generally rather posh, a lot of Oxbridge/Hooray Henry types. It isn’t diverse or pioneering at all, to be honest.

It’s the kind of place where people seem to stay because they are satisfied – not because they couldn’t get a higher paying firm. It’s quite a bit better than Reed Smith.

Quietly one of the most profitable partnerships in the City. £1.29 million PEP last year; £1.55 in 2015. If you are up for playing the long game at a non-MC firm, Macs’ should be top of the list.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

The basis of the comparison is that they work you just as hard and pay you half as much. HTH.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Is this you again? Which is your US top firm then? Enlighten us.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I’m not the one writing a puff piece for my firm in the comments section of an online rag. But I can assure you, whilst like virtually all US firms in London the PEP is higher than 1.29m, it’s not an average sweatshop around Chancery Lane where the partners pocket every penny they can and leave the beasted associates with relatively average compensation.

(2)(21)

Anonymous

The tone of your comments is so juvenile, surely you must be from Jones Day. Or Dechert perchance?

(13)(2)

Anonymous

JD and Dechert pay associates 30% on average more inc bonuses than MacFarlanes. Same hours. Generally better quality, more international work. I work at a V15.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

And mentioning PEP as a 2PQE exposes you as a complete goon. The chances of you becoming equity are gobsmackingly tiny. MC and US firms have higher sums, but it’s stupid to even discuss seriously.

(1)(0)

2pqe

1) Macs’ is not an all-equity partnership. I think about half the partners are salaried.

2) I don’t work there. Was not suggesting partnership is a statistical likelihood (though, clearly, people can and do make partner). Was highlighting the PEP because it is measure of the firm’s standing relative to other “mid-tier” city firms. Macs’ is exceptionally profitable.

3) Do your research on PEP. Contrary to your claim, 1.29 million is higher than A&O and CC, and a multitude of US firms.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

You need to go away and have a word with yourself.

PEP obviously affects equity partners, point 1. has nothing to do with anything, point 2 is untrue in all respects and point 3 leads me to point out that Stewarts Law has a significantly higher PEP to MacFarlanes.

PEP is a measure of how much equity partners make. It’s not something a very junior, low level grunt should ever be talking about. If you were a salaried partner in your 40s it would be relevant. But not to the people on here or yourself.

(0)(0)

2pqe

Sorry, but I simply disagree. I don’t understand why you feel it is so offensive for a junior lawyer to discuss PEP. It’s a yardstick by which to compare the profitability of different firms. To say it is not something we, or people on here, should ever talk about is unjustified.

I don’t understand your point in respect of Stewarts. It is one of the best litigation specialists out there. On a par with MC in disputes – go and look at the matters they’ve worked on. The PEP is a reflection of the success of their business.

To clarify – in case your problem is personal, and you consider me deluded/arrogant – I never said that I am going to make partner.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

” I don’t understand why you feel it is so offensive for a junior lawyer to discuss PEP”

You’re using PEP in the context of a trainee discussion to impress the quality of the firm upon others who don’t know better. Half or more of the people reading this probably don’t even know what PEP really is. PEP is irrelevant to anyone who isn’t equity. It doesn’t reliably measure profitability at all. It measures the drawings of equity partners. And in the context of a trainee/junior discussion, it’s so misleading as to be knowingly dishonest on your part.

“On a par with MC in disputes”

HEHEHEHEHEHEH. No, it’s not. How about you go away and look at the legal500 or talk to anyone sensible in the industry about this. They’re not ranked anywhere near the MC. The MC live and breathe banking and commercial lit, Stewarts is a rounded litigation shop including PI and clinical neg.

“you consider me deluded/arrogant”

MacFarlanes is a sweatshop. The lawyers work hard. Just as hard as the MC. They aren’t compensated the same. They don’t get a better work/life balance. PEP has nothing to do with trainees or associates. So I don’t think you’re deluded or arrogant, I think you “know the firm well” and have a horse in the race, i.e. you’re being dishonest.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

This discussion is a good example of everything that’s wrong with some candidates entering the profession.

If only people stopped tunnelling head-first deeper and deeper up their own rectum and rather tried to observe things with a bit of context.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Yes,the fact that there was 100% retention implies that trainees are happy at the firm.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Have I missed something here ?the firm offers 30tcs and this article claims 100% retention as being “all six of its young trainees opting to stick around post-qualification”

(0)(0)

Anonymous

There will be two intakes. At many firms the Spring intake is the much smaller one.
There will be approximately 24 on the Autumn/September intake at Macfarlanes.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Fuck me, city law firm talk is tedious.

Like the work I guess.

(4)(1)

Comments are closed.