Osborne Clarke posts perfect 100% spring retention score

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All six March qualifiers have committed their future to the international firm

Osborne Clarke has unveiled a perfect 100% spring 2017 retention score.

The international firm — which dishes out around 20 training contracts annually — confirmed that all six trainees due to qualify this month had put pen to paper on a newly-qualified (NQ) solicitor contract.

Osborne Clarke’s London office will receive three new associates, with corporate finance, real estate, and employment gaining a new lawyer each. The firm’s Bristol office will acquire two new lawyers, with one joining commercial and one joining real estate. The remaining March qualifier will be based in Osborne Clarke’s corporate finance team in Thames Valley.

According to Legal Cheek’s Most list, associates based in London will pocket £65,000, while those starting out life as a lawyer in Thames Valley and Bristol will earn £51,000 and £48,000 respectively.

Commenting on today’s stellar retention performance, Catherine Wolfenden, a partner and training principal at Osborne Clarke, said:

Our award-winning trainee programme ensures each trainee is given the guidance they need to succeed. We constantly get feedback from our trainees that they feel supported by colleagues and partners, but equally they are given responsibility to manage matters.

Today’s result means that the firm has equalled its 2016 spring performance. This time from a relatively small intake of just seven, Osborne Clarke racked up a perfect 100% score.

The outfit was one of the star performers in Legal Cheek’s 2016 Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey. Landing A*’s for quality of work, training, peer support and partner approachability, it’s clear to see why its NQs have chosen to stick around post-qualification.

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Struggling SC Trainee

Osborne Clarke is a small firm and yet paying a decent 65K for NQs. It puts silver circle pay to shame.



Totally agree SC pay is embarrassingly low.



What do you think SC and MC rates should be?



I think the SC should be paying at least £80,000.



With MC paying £85k, despite pretty big differences in quality of work and profits??



No I think the MC should be paying £90-100k,but the SC pay rates are very low in comparison to most city outfits.


broke macfarlanes lawyer

SC should be £85k and MC £100k. US firms should be £150k which is $180,000 and that’s what they pay thier New York intake.



I’m inclined to agree,these figures seem about right.



Do you think this will happen for either MC or SC?



When Reed Smith are paying the same as SC things need to change.



There are more important factors than base salary (or so there should be) at NQ level – quality of work, overall reputation of firm, exit options, etc. OC aren’t close enough on these points to the Silver Circle on a regular basis to make anyone serious about their careers pick OC over a SC firm for the sake of £250 a month in their NQ year. Also bear in mind the salary increments each year at OC will be smaller too, so by 3 or 4 PQE the gap will be bigger than £5k by some distance. OC is a great place to slow down later into your career and no doubt is a place that does what it says on the tin in terms of culture but if you are a driven and motivated junior or aspiring lawyer who wants to be in one of the best city or international firms it shouldn’t be your first choice.


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