23 out of Macfarlanes’ 25 qualifying trainees given permanent jobs

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The other two accepted fixed term contracts; each can expect to earn at least £81,300

City of London law firm Macfarlanes has announced a 92% autumn trainee retention rate.

While all 25 of the qualifying rookies will stay on with the firm as full-fledged solicitors, just 23 have been handed permanent contracts. Two are on fixed term deals.

Thanks to Macfarlanes’ substantial newly qualified pay rise last month, their salaries will soar from £46,000 (the firm’s second year trainee rate) to a new base rate of £75,000. When bonuses are factored in, each can expect to earn at least £81,300, and as much as £90,000 if they perform really well.

They will work across the M&A-geared practice, joining the six trainees who qualified earlier this year in Macfarlanes’ smaller 100% spring retention round.

It has been a good year for the firm, with revenue up 4% to £167.6 million and profit per equity partner up by 8% to £1.38 million (which is magic circle territory). Macfarlanes also got good results in the key categories of the 2016-17 Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, scoring an A* for training, while netting As for quality of work and peer support. But it’s a hard-working place: according to our data, on average trainees and junior associates leave the office at 7:51pm, having started work at 9:04am.

Seán Lavin, the firm’s head of graduate recruitment, said:

We recruit trainees of the highest quality and we do so with a view to offering them long-term careers with the firm. We try very hard to ensure that we can offer a role to each trainee on qualification in order to keep that talent within the firm.

The news follows some widely fluctuating retention rates at rival firms. On Friday Freshfields posted a disappointing 66%, with Dentons (68%) and Taylor Wessing (62%) also announcing figures in the 60s. However, Latham & Watkins managed 95% while Allen & Overy hit 85%. Let us know your firm’s retention rate by emailing

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Any word about fieldfisher?



Fieldfisher already announced 100% for Autumn, or do you mean pay rises? If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t hold your breath



Last seen in an agricultural area looking for marine creatures to catch.



Cool story bro



and now can we return the real news, what are the Legal Cheek writers are being paid?

a) 0-£15,0000
c) £30,001- £45,000
d) over £45,001



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



She’s paid £45,001, so none of the above options.



Any news on Dechert?


Former employee

Bizarre firm with overwhelmingly sub-par work and wretched employees. If you like endlessly blozzing FTSE250 microcompany mergers and £10m share issues, this is the place for you. Thank god I’m out.



Don’t get much mud being slung at Macfarlanes on LC. Wonder why…



Macs is objectively a great firm. If I had my time again I’d work there.



Smart but nice people there,high quality deals,decent work/life balance.



Not so sure about the work/life balance, but it is genuinely a nice place, with decent people, and great work.



Any word on Asons Solicitors?



Those on fixed term contracts might want to bone up on Employment law …😉


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