Retention latest: Osborne Clarke posts 82% as Bird & Bird reveals 83% result

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By Thomas Connelly on

The strong autumn scores continue

International duo Osborne Clarke and Bird & Bird have announced their autumn retention scores.

First up, Osborne Clarke. Of the 17 aspiring solicitors due to qualify this September, 14 have accepted associate positions at the firm. This gives the outfit, which dishes out around 20 training contacts annually, a solid 82% autumn retention result.

Osborne Clarke confirmed that eight of its soon-to-be associates will be based in Bristol, five in London and one in Reading. As for their departments, four will join the outfit’s real estate group, and a further four are commercial disputes bound. Two are heading to the firm’s banking team, while projects, commercial, corporate, and intellectual property will receive one new solicitor each.

Commenting on today’s retention result, Osborne Clarke’s training principal, Catherine Wolfenden, said:

Trainees who join Osborne Clarke learn by doing. Each person is supported with a programme that combines structured training and hands-on experience, which is backed up by expert partner-level supervision. We tailor this approach so it supports their progression now and in the future.

Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that the firm’s newly qualified (NQ) London lawyers will pocket £65,000, while their counterparts in Bristol will start on £48,000. The Reading bound associate will receive a salary of £51,000.

Osborne Clarke, which chalked up an impressive 100% (six out of six) spring retention result this year, was a standout performer in Legal Cheek’s 2016 Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey. Landing four A*s and four As, the firm went on to bag gongs for both training and partner approachability at our glitzy London awards ceremony earlier this year.

Next up, Bird & Bird. The international firm has confirmed that 15 of its 18 autumn qualifiers have signed associate deals. This equates to an 83% retention rate.

The outfit’s commercial and intellectual property teams will receive the lion’s share of the new associates, with five each. Corporate and dispute resolution will gain two solicitors apiece, while employment will receive one. Bird & Bird’s Most List profile shows that its new recruits will start on a salary of £62,000.

Like Osborne Clarke, Bird & Bird — one of the first firms in the City to establish its own website — also performed extremely well in our survey. It racked up A*s and As in nine out of the ten categories.

The firms now join a number of City outfits that have trumpeted strong autumn retention figures.

Earlier this month Legal Cheek reported that Herbert Smith Freehills had kept hold of 80% of its September qualifiers (28 out of 35), while law firm Watson Farley & Williams posted a perfect 100% result (15 out of 15). Reed Smith confirmed this week it’s keeping 86% of its final seat trainees (12 out of 14).

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