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Kirkland & Ellis reveals 56% NQ retention result

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Top paying global mega-firm sees autumn rate drop sharply

The London office of US outfit Kirkland & Ellis will retain just over half of its lawyers due to qualify this September.

From a trainee cohort of nine, the firm confirmed to Legal Cheek this afternoon that just five will start associate life at its Gherkin office (pictured top). This equates to a disappointing autumn retention figure of 56%, particularly when contrasted with Kirkland’s perfect 100% retention score from this time last year.

Legal Cheek understands that the low retention figure is a result of NQs being unable to qualify into their department of choice. Beyond confirmation of the 56% score, Kirkland has declined to comment.

Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that Kirkland’s five new lawyers are set to become some of the highest paid in the City.

Off the back of last year’s MoneyLaw movement in the US, a host of firms, including Kirkland, raised US year one associate pay to $180,000. Opting to chuck the same rises at its London lot, Kirkland’s NQs saw their dollar-tied salaries rise to a high of £147,000. Today, it’s £137,000 based on current exchange rates. First year trainees are on £46,000, rising to £50,000 in year two.

Remuneration aside, Kirkland experienced mixed fortunes in Legal Cheek’s 2016 Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey. It scored A*s for quality of work, office and perks, and a mixed bag of As and Bs for categories including canteen, peer support and social life. The firm went on to scoop the gong for ‘Most Impressive Law Firm Office’ at our awards ceremony earlier this year.

The Kirkland news rounds off a day of retention rate reports. This morning Legal Cheek noted that Mishcon de Reya had posted a retention figure of just 64% (nine out 14), while Stephenson Harwood revealed a solid 90% autumn result (nine out of ten).

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40 Comments

Former Kirkland Trainee

Kirkland & Ellis is a ruthless and cut throat law firm. You have to be crazy to work here.

(63)(4)

Anonymous

Please elaborate

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Can you go anywhere, make that sort of dolla, and not be under it?

(1)(15)

Anonymous

“dolla”. Obvious twat. Grow up.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Just wait ’till those CMS retention figures are published.

(16)(5)

Anonymous

Stay away from K&E guys!

(36)(3)

Anonymous

None of those who left must’ve wanted to work in Private Equity, they’re currently recruiting for an NQ in that team (got an advert through LinkedIn).

(7)(12)

Former Kirkland Trainee

I’m one of them and we do have an interest in PE. But none of us want to qualify into debt finance where Stephen Lucas and Neel break our balls.

(50)(1)

Anonymous

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL elaborate how they’d break your balls (ex vac scheme child)

(7)(1)

Anonymous

FYI, i’d love to have my balls (or ovaries) broken by NEEL – SEXIEST SOLICITOR IN LONDON

(4)(5)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

To those above warning people off KE, could you actually give reasons? From my perspective it seems the same as any other firm where you’d get beasted but just get paid more.

I ask because I’ve received emails from recruiters about vacancies there, and I might be tempted to put my CV.

(9)(4)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(26)(1)

Anonymous

so do the Jones Day ones

(13)(2)

Anonymous

WHERE IS FORMER Former Kirkland Trainee

(16)(0)

Former Kirkland Trainee

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(18)(0)

Former Kirkland Trainee

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(14)(0)

Jones Day equity partner

Noyce… I gotta try that this year.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

fuck I missed that

(9)(0)

L&W NQ

I am glad I left and joined L&W. Avoid K&E like the plague!

(21)(0)

Anonymous

Okay so none of the reasons relate to the actual work. Skip the scandalous bit and tell us why they would break balls

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Is there any other reason why we should avoid Kirkland?

Are the partners especially obnoxious, or is it just a few ‘bad eggs’ like most firms?

(7)(1)

Anonymous

It seems to attract pyschopathic bellends.

(17)(2)

Linklaters Partner

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(16)(3)

Anonymous

Where do I sign?

(20)(1)

Former K&E trainee

Looks like LC got a terse call from K&E and began deleting comments…

Well done Tommy.

(37)(0)

Trainee in Hell

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Name dropping how scandalous

(1)(0)

Anonymous

means I get a chance

(0)(0)

Anonymous

2 comments about partners were deleted

(22)(0)

Trainee in Hell

There we go comments are back.

(16)(0)

Truth News

Thomas Connelly U fat twat stop deleting comments

(18)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(5)(0)

K&E NQ slave

Top bantz. Keep ’em coming, I’m working late so I might as well be kept entertained.

(0)(0)

K&E NQ slave

YOU CANNOT SILENCE US ALL!!!

(15)(0)

Anonymous

What did they say

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Inb4 LC shuts down comments section in 3…2…1…

(43)(1)

Kirkland Associate

There are a lot of bitter ex K&E people about. The truth is that it’s a super demanding place to work and it takes a certain personality type but on the flip side you get great experience, there are way better partnership prospects than most US firms and you get paid a fortune, so it’s a trade-off.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Spill some more beans, mysterious Associate. Plz.

(2)(1)

Comments are closed.