Baker McKenzie and Simmons & Simmons reveal 80% plus retention scores

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By Thomas Connelly on

Spring season gathers pace

International corporate duo Baker McKenzie and Simmons & Simmons have unveiled their spring retention scores.

First up, Bakers. The outfit’s City office has retained 14 of its 17 newly qualified lawyers or 82%. The firm, which provides up to 33 training positions annually, made 15 offers from its spring intake. One soon-to-be associate said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ in favour of a move to a US banking firm.

Bakers confirmed its employment team will take three newbies, while corporate, tax and competition will gain two NQs each. The remaining fivesome will join the outfit’s capital markets, IP, pensions, IT/commercial and dispute resolution teams.

David Scott, graduate recruitment principal at Bakers, said:

“We’re delighted with this year’s spring retention rate, and that again we’ve been able to make a high number of offers to our trainees across departments. We’re always strongly focused on attracting and retaining the very best talent, and on offering a leading and flexible work environment for our people.”

Today’s score is a slight drop on the firm’s autumn 2017 score. On that occasion Bakers retained 15 of its 16 NQs (including two from the now defunct King & Wood Mallesons), equating to a score of 94%. The firm — which pays its fresh-faced associates a salary of £72,000 — recorded a result of 81% (13 out of 16) in spring 2017, and 88% (14 out of 16) in autumn 2016.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Elsewhere, Simmons & Simmons has confirmed a retention result of 83%. Twelve trainees went through the qualification process and eleven received offers. Ten rookies eventually accepted and one offer was declined. Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2018 shows Simmons’ new recruits will start on £71,000. Trainees currently earn £42,000, rising to £47,000 in year two.

Matthew Hooton, Simmons’ graduate recruitment partner, said:

“Obtaining an associate position at Simmons & Simmons is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our trainees over the last two years. I wish this cohort all the best as they enter the new stage of their careers and continued success at the firm.”

Historically, Simmons has had a great deal of variability when it comes to retention scores. In previous rounds it has posted results as high as 80% (12 out of 15), and as low as 50% (12 out of 24)

Retention rates aside, both outfits scored well in our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. Bakers bagged A*s for quality of work and social life, while Simmons secured As in categories including peer support and partner approachability.

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