Ashurst autumn retention rate: 95% of NQs staying on

Their salaries will leap from £46,000 to £72,000 overnight

City giant Ashurst has announced its September 2017 qualification stats, and it’s good news for its trainees.

Of the 20 aspiring lawyers due to qualify this autumn, 19 have been offered places to stick around, of which all were accepted. This equates to a retention rate of 95% — no wonder graduate recruitment partner Nick Wong is happy. He said:

We are extremely pleased with the results of the qualification round. Attracting, developing and retaining the best people is critical to the success of our business and we are confident that these talented young lawyers will make a significant contribution to Ashurst over the course of their careers.

The bulk of Ashurst newbies (13) will be heading over to the corporate team. The finance division and the disputes division will gain three newly qualified lawyers (NQs) each.

The news comes just over two months after Ashurst — which offers about 45 City TCs annually — revealed a spring retention score of 85%.

So what will lawyer life be like for the new Ashurst bunch? The NQs will be expected to rack up 1,600 billable hours a year, and for this they’ll receive a healthy remuneration of £72,000. Not only is this a hefty £24,000 more than the £46,000 the commercial law enthusiasts have currently been raking in as second year trainees, it’s also a pay boost for Ashurst.

The firm has revealed NQ salary increases of £2,000 (from £70,000), as well as first year trainee hikes too. Aspiring lawyers beginning their training this year will earn £42,000, up from £41,000.

Turning to Ashurst’s performance in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, the firm scored As in six categories: perks, social life, training, peer support, quality of work, and partner approachability. Its work/life balance, office and chances of secondment abroad got a B, while its canteen was rated C.

It’s proving to be a good summer for Ashurst. Just weeks ago, the firm announced that its revenue had climbed by £36 million (7%) to £541 million, up from £505 million the previous year when the firm recorded a 10% decrease.

The firm’s profit per equity partner (PEP) has also risen, and now stands at £672,000. This is an 11% rise on last year’s £603,000 figure. This modest increase will come as welcome news to partners who last year saw their PEP plunge from £747,000, a drop of 19%. Ashurst will hope that this year’s results, although not a full return to financial form, will signal the steadying of the ship.

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The real picture

I bet the one that wasn’t retained was probably state school educated, not white, not male and not straight.

95% marks for retention, yet still 0% diversity. Shame.


Sounds like a well-reasoned, well thought out response that seems backed by evidence.

Evidence talks

Have you seen Ashurst’s diversity statistics?

You do realise that it is a law firm right?


Definitely. Ashurst probably put a small ledge in front of their lifts just to thwart those in wheelchairs. Disgusting behaviour.


Friend was a trainee at Nabarro. He suggests Cannon Place has absolutely f**ked it this year.


Just you wait when those CMS retention rates roll out. Will make even Mayer Brown’s look good.


Internal strife, low retention rates, average pay… oh to be an NQ at CMS.

Secret treasures await CMS NQs

CMS fudge the figures every time. Similar to how they claim to be the 6th biggest law firm in the world.

But, there is a magical dungeon underneath Cannon Place that has many treasures. It is called the Pelt Trader.


This article is such a massive puff job. Truly outstanding journalism, Katie.


With KWMs UK downfall in the last year I’m fairly sure the SC is now a historical, rather than current, moniker.


There’s already been a mass exodus at CMS – so their figures might look reasonable, but make no mistake about, half the intake has already walked.


Choice to be proactive and get a job elsewhere, rather than wait and be a part of what would (otherwise) be a 40-50% retention.

Even for those who “quit law”, you see it far more often when people leave CMS. That firm has a habit of driving people away from the profession.


got offered a TC at ashurst a couple of years ago. turned it down.

now paralegalling for £300 a week at a local council.

no regrets.
(not even kidding)

Ex-LC article reader

You know that a site’s articles are trash when you enjoy reading the comments more than you enjoy reading the articles themselves.


100% this. LC ought to hire some of these rogue commentators.

Trumpenkrieg’s articles would have billions of views…YUGE.


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