Baker McKenzie keeps 15 out of 16 NQs, including two ex-KWM trainees

By on

The one rookie who left the firm has joined a finance company

The London office of international titan Baker McKenzie has chalked up an impressive autumn retention score of 94%.

Of the 16 newbie lawyers who qualified this month, Bakers has finally confirmed that all but one has opted to stick around. The US-founded outfit, which dishes out around 33 training contracts each year, made offers to all its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers. The one rookie who declined has left to join a finance company, according to the firm.

Thirteen NQs will be based in Bakers’ London office, while one, who wanted to return home to Northern Ireland, will join its Belfast outpost. The remaining new associate will move to the firm’s Brussels office after falling in love with the city during his/her secondment.

Of its London lot, four join corporate, two are heading to disputes, two to tax, and two to EU, competition and trade. Employment, banking and IT/commercial will gain an NQ each.

Among Bakers’ fresh faced associates are two former King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) trainees. Following the collapse of KWM’s UK, European and Middle East (EUME) arm in January, a host of City firms stepped in to help its 60 or so stranded trainees in a rescue mission first revealed by Legal Cheek.

Bakers is one of the top three biggest law firms in the world by revenue, and its London NQs will start on a salary of £72,000. This puts them on a pay par with their counterparts at Ashurst, and £500 better of than those starting lawyer life over at Mayer Brown. Bakers trainees currently earn £45,000 in year one, rising to £49,000 in year two.

“I’m very pleased that we have such a high retention rate this year and have been able to make offers not just in London, but also in Brussels and Belfast,” said Bakers’ training principal, Arron Slocombe. He continued:

We our committed to attracting the best and brightest talent and offer the finest training and opportunities, while also maintaining our culture of being a great place to work.

Today’s 94% score means that Bakers has trumped its solid 2016 autumn performance. On that occasion, the firm — which recently launched a training contact offering in Belfast — kept hold of 14 of its 16 NQs or 88%.

Trainee autumn retention 2017

Firm Score Breakdown
Burges Salmon 100% 28/28
Watson Farley & Williams 100% 15/15
Fieldfisher 100% 13/13
Blake Morgan 100% 9/9
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton 100% 9/9
Forsters 100% 8/8
Sullivan & Cromwell 100% 4/4
Latham & Watkins 95% 21/22
Ashurst 95% 19/20
Baker McKenzie 94% 15/16
Macfarlanes 92% 23/25 (two on FTC*)
Slaughter and May 91% 29/32
Travers Smith 90% 18/20
Ince & Co 90% 9/10
Stephenson Harwood 90% 9/10
Blake Morgan 89% 8/9
Reed Smith 86% 12/14
Allen & Overy 85% 40/47
Linklaters 84% 47/56
Gowling WLG 84% 21/25
Bird & Bird 83% 15/18
White & Case 83% 15/18
Covington & Burling 83% 5/6
Osborne Clarke 82% 14/17
RPC 82% 14/17
Clifford Chance 81% 42/52
Addleshaw Goddard 81% 38/47
Bond Dickinson 81% 22/27
Eversheds Sutherland 80% 44/55
Herbert Smith Freehills 80% 28/35
Hogan Lovells 80% 24/30
HFW 80% 8/10
Clyde & Co 79% 34/43 (one on FTC)
Mills & Reeve 79% 15/19 (one on FTC)
DLA Piper 78% 75/96
Simmons & Simmons 78% 21/27
Shearman & Sterling 75% 12/16
Pinsent Masons 74% 67/91
Mayer Brown 73% 8/11
Withers 73% 8/11
Charles Russell Speechlys 71% 17/24
Trowers & Hamlins 70% 7/10
Berwin Leighton Paisner 67% 16/24
Browne Jacobson 67% 6/9
DWF 66% 33/50
Freshfields 66% 27/41
Squire Patton Boggs 65% Not disclosed
Dentons 64% 18/28
Mishcon de Reya 64% 9/14
Norton Rose Fulbright 62% 16/26 (two on FTC)
Taylor Wessing 62% 16/26
Kirkland & Ellis 56% 5/9
Weil Gotshal 50% 5/10
Stewarts Law 25% 1/4

*Fixed term contract

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.


The one rookie who left to join a finance company

Thanks for the mention guys. I’ll miss that titan but it was time to move on. So sorry to have cost you the 100% score.



Any hints as to which firm did you move on to mate? Are we talking large Investment bank like JPMC or a smaller boutique advisory firm like William Blair? Or something totally different?



I looked at both those options but in the end plumped for Prestige Pawnbrokers.



Questionable move by the Belfast bound rookie. Would have stuck it out a couple more years in London on City NQ pay.



Have you seen Irish girls brah?



Yet another retention story.




are these salaries take home or after-tax?



i mean take home or pre-tax?



Not quite true. Our Belfast trainees are required to go back to NI for at least one year. It’s a condition of their training contract.




Pretty embarrassing NQ salary given billable targets are equivalent to A&O and hours aren’t much better than MC firms.

But I guess the equity partners can justify everything by the firm’s “friendly” culture.



The trainee moving to Belfast was hired through the London trainee scheme and therefore was not a “Belfast trainee”. The Belfast trainee programme began in 2016 #alternativealternativefacts


Comments are closed.