Mishcon de Reya’s autumn retention figure slumps to 64%

As Stephenson Harwood keeps 90% of its NQs

Mishcon de Reya has confirmed a not so impressive 2017 autumn retention figure of 64%.

The firm revealed that from a trainee cohort of 14, just nine have put pen to paper on permanent deals. This means Mishcon, which acted in the Article 50 case on behalf of Gina Miller, is keeping less than two thirds of its new-qualifiers.

Traditionally, the litigation and private client specialist is a strong retention performer. This time last year the outfit racked up a perfect 100% score (11 out of 11), while in 2015 it posted a result of 85% (11 out of 13).

Commenting on the “disappointing” outcome, the firm said:

We are constantly testing and improving our recruitment procedures. It’s disappointing that retention is lower this year — in the previous three years it has been over 80%. But we are confident that our evolving strategy will help ensure that the matching of trainees to the firm works well on both sides.

Mishcon’s profile on the Legal Cheek Most List shows that it offers around 14 training contracts each year and pays its fresh faced associates a starting salary of £63,000. The firm boasts a healthy profit per equity partner (PEP) of £1 million, and has just two offices: London and New York.

The retention news comes just days after it emerged Keir Starmer QC had said thanks, but no thanks, to a lucrative job at the firm. Shadow Brexit Secretary Starmer had been in talks to become an advisor to the Mishcon Academy (an arm of the firm connected to learning and leadership), but eventually decided against it. He said:

I am grateful to Mishcon de Reya for discussing a possible role advising the Mishcon Academy with me, but given my other commitments, I have decided not to further the discussions.

Back to retention rates and City outfit Stephenson Harwood has trumpeted a solid 90% result.

The firm, which offers roughly 18 training contract positions annually, confirmed that nine of its ten autumn newly qualified lawyers (NQs) were offered, and subsequently accepted, permanent associate positions in its London office.

The new recruits will join Stephenson Harwood’s corporate, marine and international trade, commercial litigation and finance practice areas. Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that NQs at the firm start on a salary of £65,000.

Neil Noble, partner and trainee principal at Stephenson Harwood, said:

As we look to achieve our ambitious growth strategy, and to build on the success of recent years, developing a strong pipeline of talent is more important than ever. We aim to attract and retain the very best lawyers and these figures reflect the firm’s ability to provide a supportive environment in which they can thrive in their legal careers.

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