Watson Farley & Williams keeps all 15 autumn NQs

International outfit posts perfect 100% retention score

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has confirmed that all of its 15 trainee solicitors have opted to stick around post-qualification.

After trumpeting a perfect autumn retention score of 100%, the firm revealed that four newly qualified lawyers (NQs) will join its energy department. Three are asset finance bound, while a further three will join its corporate team. Employment, litigation, real estate and tax are all gaining a new associate, and the final NQ will start life as a lawyer at WFW’s finance division in Singapore. All 15 are on permanent contracts.

Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that the outfit’s new legal talent will earn a salary of £70,000, having previously trousered £46,000 as second year trainees. This equates to a rise of £24,000 or 52%.

Commenting on the retention result, WFW’s graduate recruitment and development manager, Lucie Rees, said:

We have always been pleased that we have kept on a high percentage of our qualifying trainees over the years, offering a variety of NQ roles across our different practice areas and offices. It is particularly exciting this year that we have been able to offer roles which have been accepted by all 15 of our qualifying trainees.

The firm — which dishes out around 18 training contracts each year — has 14 offices across 11 countries, most recently in Dubai. For City law history buffs out there, WFW actually began life in the early 80s as a breakaway from Norton Rose’s (now Norton Rose Fulbright) shipping practice. The outfit has since developed a solid reputation in a number of key corporate areas including: aviation finance, renewable energy and shipping law.

Turning to WFW’s performance in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, the firm scored A*s for its canteen and its international secondment opportunities (around half of the firm’s staff are based overseas). It also gained As for quality of work, peer support, partner approachability and perks.

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