Shearman & Sterling revises down autumn retention figure following trainee numbers oversight

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By Thomas Connelly on

87% 75%

The London office of US titan Shearman & Sterling has revised its 2017 autumn retention figure after it omitted one trainee from its final calculation and another changed her mind.

Last month, Shearman trumpeted an impressive 87% retention result, revealing that 13 of its 15 soon-to-be associates would be staying on. However, it has since emerged that the firm’s newly qualified (NQ) headcount actually stands at 16.

This is because, as a spokesperson for Shearman told Legal Cheek: “One trainee opted out of the qualification process to fulfil a career outside of law which is why we didn’t include them in our numbers.” We understand that the trainee who has opted for a life away from law is in the process of setting up their own business.

Then, after the outfit went to press with its 87% result, one offer-accepting NQ decided to leave the firm. The spokesperson continued:

After we announced our retention rate, one of the NQ lawyers accepted a position elsewhere. We wish her well in her future career.

Crunching the new numbers, Shearman — which offers around 17 training contracts annually — now has a new autumn retention figure of 75%.

Legal Cheek‘s Most List shows that the 12 who have put pen to paper on permanent NQ deals will start on an eye-watering £105,000 a year. This salary puts Shearman’s newbies on a pay par with their peers at fellow US giant White & Case, and a full £20,000 better off than their nearest magic circle rival. The commercial firm’s trainees trouser £45,000, rising to £50,000 in year two.

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