Linklaters completes magic circle retention season with 84% result

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By Thomas Connelly on

Global giant keep 43 out of 51 spring NQs

Linklaters has become the fifth and final magic circle law firm to unveil its spring 2018 retention result.

From a hefty qualifying cohort of 51, the global outfit has confirmed 43 rookies will be staying put. This hands Links — the largest training contract provider in the City, with 110 positions annually — a spring score of 84%. Legal Cheek understands all of the firm’s new recruits are on permanent deals.

Those sticking around at the firm will start on a base salary of £78,500. However, remuneration for the outfit’s top performers can swell to as much as £90,000 when salary and performance-dependent bonuses are combined. Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2018 shows year one trainee salaries currently sit at £43,000, rising to £49,000 in year two.

Richard Hodgson, Linklaters’ training partner, said:

“Following several years of consistently strong retention rates we are pleased to once again retain a high number of quality lawyers from our March qualifiers. At 84%, our retention rate demonstrates our continuing ability to offer our trainees exciting qualification opportunities into a best in class and globally minded firm.”

Hodgson is not wrong about Links being a solid retention performer, especially given its large trainee intake. In the past three retention rounds it has marked up results of 84% (47 out of 56), 86% (44 out of 51) and 91% (51 out of 56).

The 2018 Firms Most List

Retention news aside, Links was a strong performer in our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. At our Legal Cheek Awards ceremony last week, the City outfit won a gong for its perks, plus it achieved A*s for training, tech and canteen.

But how does the firm’s spring result stack up against its magic circle rivals’?

Clifford Chance was the first to release its result, unveiling an impressive 92% score (44 out of 48) in January. Several weeks later, elite duo Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy announced results of 95% (35 out of 37) and 80% (32 out of 40) respectively. Finally, Anglo German giant Freshfields confirmed 31 of its 42 rookies were staying put (74%).

Spring 2018 retention scores — magic circle round-up:

Firm Score Breakdown
Slaughter and May 95% 35/37
Clifford Chance 92% 44/48
Linklaters 84% 43/51
Allen & Overy 80% 32/40
Freshfields 74% 31/42

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