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DWF keeps 66% of its autumn NQs

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As Cleary Gottlieb posts perfect 100% result

DWF’s London office

DWF has revealed a diasppointing autumn retention score of 66%.

The firm trained up its biggest ever cohort of aspiring lawyers, its 50 trainees beating the intakes of Allen & Overy (47), Freshfields (41) and Slaughter and May (32). From this massive qualifying cohort, the northern upstart — which has 23 offices in nine different countries — has kept hold of just 33 of its rookie lawyers.

The outfit’s new London recruits will start on a salary of £59,000, while their regional peers will earn £38,000. Those qualifying into one of the firm’s two Scottish outposts (Glasgow and Edinburgh) will receive £36,000. DWF currently offers around 40 training contacts annually.

DWF’s recent retention form has been mixed to say the least. In the past two retention rounds the firm chalked up results of 74% (35 out of 47) and 62% (29 out of 47).

Commenting on this autumn’s result, the firm’s training partner, Carl Graham, said: “As we undergo significant growth there is naturally a period of adjustment as we determine how to balance our training scheme against the needs of our changing business.” He continued:

While of course we always aim to retain as many of our talented trainees as possible, this year we had an exceptionally large intake and could not meet demand in our most popular practice areas. We are thrilled with the strong talent we have retained this year and look forward to seeing them develop their careers with us.

Meanwhile, the London office of US outfit Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has posted a perfect 100% score. The New York-headquartered firm confirmed that all nine of its newbies had opted to stick around, with eight remaining in London and one moving to Abu Dhabi.

The departments that will share these newly qualified lawyers (NQs) are: M&A, tax, dispute resolution, IP, capital markets, regulatory, competition, finance and restructuring. The firm offers around 15 training contracts each year, and pays its new lawyers a staggering £120,000.

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
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
Taylor Wessing 62% 16/26
Kirkland & Ellis 56% 5/9
Weil Gotshal 50% 5/10
Stewarts Law 25% 1/4

*Fixed term contract

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