Reed Smith keeps 12 out of 14 qualifying trainees, including King & Wood Mallesons’ survivor

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By Thomas Connelly on

Firm also reveals its training contract applications have almost doubled

The London office of international law firm Reed Smith has posted an autumn 2017 retention figure of 86%.

Of the 14 final seat trainees due to qualify this September, Reed Smith confirmed that 12 will be staying on as associates. Three newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers are commercial disputes bound, while a further two will join the firm’s corporate team. The remaining seven autumn newbies will join: the financial industry group, shipping, energy and natural resources, entertainment and media, real estate, labour and employment, and intellectual property.

The firm — which offers around 24 London training positions annually — confirmed that all 12 soon-to-be associates are on permanent contracts.

Among Reed Smith’s new recruits is a former King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) trainee. Following the collapse of KWM’s UK, European and Middle East (EUME) arm earlier this year, a host of City firms came forward to help its 60 or so stranded trainees in a rescue mission first revealed by Legal Cheek. Reed Smith took three of KWM’s wannabe lawyers. One is staying on, one is leaving this autumn, and the final KWM recruit will qualify next year.

Commenting on the result, Reed Smith’s training principal, Samantha Roberts, said:

We are pleased to maintain a strong trainee retention rate this autumn. 86% of our qualifiers will be staying on to progress their careers with us, including trainees who joined us from KWM in January. This represents a 19% increase on last year’s autumn retention rate. Our retention rate reflects both the high quality of our trainees as well as the firm’s philosophy of recruiting the best talent.

If this retention news makes you hungry for Reed Smith trainee life, be prepared to face more applicants than usual. Highlighting the intense competition among aspiring solicitors, Roberts added:

We continue to see an increase in applications for our training contracts and this year the numbers have almost doubled, reflecting the firm’s reputation and the attractiveness of the experience on offer. We extend our very best wishes to those pursuing new opportunities outside the firm.

Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that Reed Smith’s new associates will start on a salary of £70,000. Its trainees currently pocket £40,000 in year one, rising to £44,000 in year two.

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