Shearman & Sterling keeps 13 out of 15 trainees

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By Alex Aldridge on

Their pay will now more than DOUBLE from £50k to £105k

Kerching! It’s trainee retention rate season once again, as the nation’s leading law firms decide who they’ll keep (and pay massive real lawyer salaries) and who they’ll eject into perma-paralegal purgatory.

With newly qualified solicitor salary inflation at record levels, the retention decision has become an ever more make or break moment for the profession’s young.

Today it’s Shearman & Sterling’s turn to reveal its hand — and 13 out of the firm’s 15 qualifying trainees will be staying on. That equates to 87%; not bad by any means, but not as good as the 100% retention rate the firm managed in 2016 and 2015.

Although the retention rates announced so far have ranged from a respectable eight out of 11 at Mayer Brown to an excellent 28 out of 28 at Burges Salmon, there is chatter throughout the City that some firms may be set to let go of an unusually high number of trainees this autumn. Legal Cheek understands that magic circle firm Freshfields could be one to watch in this respect. But it surely won’t be alone.

There are all sorts of rumours flying around at other firms, with lots of different theories about why the numbers could be lower than usual.

Anyway, back to Shearman — which all things considered may be rather pleased with its high 80s score. The lucky retained 13 will see their pay double overnight from £50,000 to £105,000 as they are sprinkled across the firm’s M&A, finance, projects and competition practices. They should expect to continue to enjoy demanding hours (Shearman’s average arrival time is 9:28am and average leave time is 7:47pm) and A* quality of work. Three of them will jet off to Brussels, Abu Dhabi and Singapore to do international secondments.

Shearman’s London training principal, John Adams, said:

We are excited to be welcoming the next generation of Shearman & Sterling lawyers into the fold and wish them the best of success as they progress within the firm.

UPDATE 11/8/17 at 1:30pm:

Shearman & Sterling has now issued a revised autumn 2017 retention figure of 75%.

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