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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

FirmScoreBreakdown
Burges Salmon100%28/28
Watson Farley & Williams100%15/15
Fieldfisher100%13/13
Blake Morgan100%9/9
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton100%9/9
Forsters100%8/8
Sullivan & Cromwell100%4/4
Latham & Watkins95%21/22
Ashurst95%19/20
Macfarlanes92%23/25 (two on FTC*)
Slaughter and May91%29/32
Travers Smith90%18/20
Ince & Co90%9/10
Stephenson Harwood90%9/10
Blake Morgan89%8/9
Reed Smith86%12/14
Allen & Overy85%40/47
Linklaters84%47/56
Gowling WLG84%21/25
Bird & Bird83%15/18
White & Case83%15/18
Covington & Burling83%5/6
Osborne Clarke82%14/17
RPC82%14/17
Clifford Chance81%42/52
Addleshaw Goddard81%38/47
Bond Dickinson81%22/27
Eversheds Sutherland80%44/55
Herbert Smith Freehills80%28/35
Hogan Lovells80%24/30
HFW80%8/10
Clyde & Co79%34/43 (one on FTC)
Mills & Reeve79%15/19 (one on FTC)
DLA Piper78%75/96
Simmons & Simmons78%21/27
Shearman & Sterling75%12/16
Pinsent Masons74%67/91
Mayer Brown73%8/11
Withers73%8/11
Charles Russell Speechlys71%17/24
Trowers & Hamlins70%7/10
Berwin Leighton Paisner67%16/24
Browne Jacobson67%6/9
DWF66%33/50
Freshfields66%27/41
Squire Patton Boggs65%Not disclosed
Dentons64%18/28
Mishcon de Reya64%9/14
Taylor Wessing62%16/26
Kirkland & Ellis56%5/9
Weil Gotshal50%5/10
Stewarts Law25%1/4

*Fixed term contract

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