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Freshfields keeps 34 out of 41 London qualifying trainees

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Autumn retention score of 83%

Freshfields has become the fourth magic circle law firm to announce its autumn 2018 retention result.

From a September qualifying cohort of 41, the Anglo-German giant confirmed it had made 37 offers. Thirty-four accepted, handing the 28 office-outfit a solid retention result of 83%. Farah Ispahani, trainee development partner at Freshfields, said:

“This strong retention rate for September 2018 is in line with our medium-term average, which we expect to maintain and which demonstrates consistency in developing and retaining great talent.”

Today’s news marks an improvement on the firm’s spring 2018 rate of 74% (31 out of 42) and autumn 2017 score of 66% (27 out of 41). Freshfields, which dishes out around 80 training contacts annually, recorded results of 84% (31 out of 37) in spring 2017 and 95% (40 out of 42) in autumn 2016.

The 2018 Firms Most List

So what can fresh-faced associates expect to receive in terms of remuneration? Well, Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at Freshfields’ London HQ will start lawyer life on £85,000. Following a fresh round of summer uplifts, trainees receive £45,000 in their first year, rising to £51,000 in their second.

Back to retention rates, how does the firm’s autumn score compare with its magic circle rivals’?

Last month, Clifford Chance confirmed 36 of its 47 NQs were staying put, handing the firm an autumn retention score of 77%. Meanwhile, Slaughter and May announced a result of 86%, keeping 32 of its 37 qualifying trainees. Allen & Overy posted a rate of 80% (37 out of 46) earlier this month. Linklaters is the only remaining member of the elite fivesome yet to reveal its autumn rate.

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77 Comments

Anonymous

Why would you stay with a firm that has a reputation for working you like an absolute dog, and pays less than HSF, and only slightly more than Norton Rose, DLA, Travers and Hogan Lovalls, Baker McKenzie, and Macfarlanes?

It isn’t a sustainable model, surely they need to at least try to separate themselves from themselves from the chasing pack on salary, even if they’re never going to get near US pay rates?

(38)(15)

Anonymous

Yeah everyone at Freshies should quit their jobs. Yawn. Where do you work fella?

(11)(12)

Anonymous

I’m an MC trainee at not FBD, since you ask

(7)(4)

Anonymous

“I’m an MC trainee at not FBD”

Lol nope, you’re a barely literate and frustrated TC applicant. I guarantee that the trainees who have qualified at Freshfields are in a far better career position than you, yet here you admonishing the entirely logical decision to qualify at a firm which wouldn’t even let you past reception.

(35)(6)

Anonymous

I mean I never did a vac scheme at FBD so I’ve got no idea whether they’d let me through the door. I’m presuming since I got two TC offers from other MC firms though that they wouldn’t have kicked me to the curb.

Yes, an excellent deduction there, people who have an NQ offer and have qualified are in a better spot than I am as a trainee with an ~80-85% chance of being retained. I hope someone is charging you out at a handsome rate for analytical skills like that.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Thank you so many private school rejects and losers on legal cheek training at garbage firm’s like hsf nobody wants work at hsf

(1)(4)

Anonymous

“…….at least try to separate themselves from themselves from the chasing pack on salary…”

Que?
If you are MC then the late nights are getting to you!

(4)(0)

CorporateSlave

Somebody help me.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Jump ship then. Plenty of decent mid-sized firms in the City with friendlier cultures / US firms.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Anyone know what the NQ pay at Mintz Lewin is these days? Their practice areas excite me and I’d love to work there.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

£110k

(1)(0)

Anonymous

FYI the HSF salary increase is a complete fraud. Key phrase: Salary AND bonus…

(19)(0)

Anonymous

Do you have any idea on the true HSF NQ salary then?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

£85k base rate. Still a phat wedge of you ask me

(7)(3)

Anonymous

“Phat wedge” eh?

You been huffing glue again brah?

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Lower excluding bonus.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

HSF base rate is 78 not 85

(1)(0)

Anonymous

HSF base rate is 85 with the recent rise

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Not for NQs

(0)(0)

Anonymous

78k for NQs

(1)(0)

Anonymous

83% retention is not “strong” or “solid”.

(11)(10)

freebies

I’m planning to stay 6-12 months then hoping to jump ship to a US firm. As far as I’m aware 3/4 who didn’t apply had offers already lined up, & one had at least 3. FBD froze NQ pay again this year. Why stay at FBD long term when you can get £45k more at an equally prestigious US outfit working similar hours?

(24)(2)

Anonymous

Offers from whom?

(2)(2)

FDB2018

From US firms mainly, they like to ‘poach’ good MC trainees.

(12)(3)

Anonymous

Sure, that much goes without saying. Which firms?

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Kirkland.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Out of interest how do the US firms find out which ones are good?

(0)(0)

magicassociate

They generally base it on your CV, prefer Oxbridge or very good RG, ideally with a 1st.

Anonymous

They don’t base it on Oxbridge at all. They put the applicants through three to five rounds of intense interviews. Winner of that process gets the job – by the nature of the competition, you cannot win if you are not very good.

citylawkey

K&E have a huge number of MC associates & partners clambering to join the firm. They’re not going to take some trainee,

(3)(0)

Anonymous

*clamouring

Anonymous

Dorsey for big ticket M&A. Billion dollar deals, kicking ass and taking names

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Dorsey Schmoresy

(1)(0)

Freshfields Sep Qualifier

What’s the NQ? Might put in an application.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

At least £140k NQ, rumours say it can be double with the annual ‘Myth of Minneapolis’ bonus

Anonymous

Freshfields is far more prestigious than US firms. You’d only move for the money.

(10)(27)

Anonymous

keep telling yourself than hun

(12)(1)

Eyal

I’m not your hun, hun.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

then why are you calling me hun? u ok hun? let’s not fight

(0)(0)

Hayley

Eyal I don’t want you to be me hun that’s the whole point of it

(11)(1)

Dr Alex

Aw hell

(10)(0)

Georgia

I’m loyal babe

TRUTH SIREN

£45k more? And the rest!

(0)(0)

FBD Senior Associate

I’m astonished it’s that high, the atmosphere in the core teams is completely toxic these days.

The only trainees I’d advise to stay are those favouring suppprt departments.

If it weren’t now the quickest route to a partner badge for me, I’d be straight out of here.

(26)(4)

freshieslitigator

I agree, it’s sad really. An utter craphole. Aavoid.

(20)(2)

Anonymous

Loool. Why would a senior associate gunning for partner at Freshfields come and write this?

Legal cheek is honestly hilarious. Half the comments are left by HR trolls at rival firms, the other half by uni students posing as US associates.

(17)(5)

Theodore Gumbril

This is a very distinct category of comment on LC, so let’s inspect it more closely. The general template goes something like this:

“Ha! Do you really expect us to believe that a godly senior associate at [insert MC firm] would stoop so low as to post on here?”

It’s unclear why anyone would imagine “senior MC associates” don’t have the time or the inclination to read or post on LC. It’s pretty obviously the main forum for discussing this stuff and regularly features discussions in the comments relevant to those at the upper tier of UK firms. To assume that those working at those firms don’t take an interest by reading and occasionally contributing to such discussions because they’re just too occupied with lofty legal matters is utterly naïve and belies a cowering deference to MC firms that is, above all else, now entirely unwarranted by their standing in the pecking order (see above).

(7)(5)

Anonymous

Durham?

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Ew, Durham

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Congrats on your essay! I regret to inform you that it is a massive straw man argument.

Let’s do this slowly shall we. Re-read the comment. Think – carefully – about the intended impact and the advice offered. Next, consider again why a senior associate hoping to become a part-owner at Freshfields is very unlikely to post it.

Tip: it is not because he/she is too ‘godly’.

You’re welcome.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

LC is anonymous comments.

Obviously I’m not putting “This place has gone to shit” in my business case.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

I think the point is that the success of Freshfields as a business depends in part on its ability to attract and retain talent. If Freshies is your best chance of making partner, it doesn’t make sense to attempt to undermine the success of the business. If most of the trainees run for the exits (as you have advised them to do) and students are turned off from applying to the firm (as you appear to be encouraging) ultimately the quality of the work product will suffer, and eventually the clients will leave. Senior associates are expensive and people like you will be the first to be culled.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Listen, the retention problems aren’t going away and certainly won’t be solved by people keeping tight-lipped – trainees will (and are) figuring this stuff out for themselves anyway.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

No one is disputing that retention is a problem. My point is simply that the person who commented is neither a senior associate nor partnership candidate at Freshfields.

Theodore Gumbril

Hello there 12.44. Looks like you’re just plain wrong, soz. Better luck next time.

I really do hope your sneering post soothed some of your inner rage about life generally.

You’re welcome.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

And, in one fell swoop, you confirm that you are an immature fresher who knows nothing.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I’m the original poster.

I commented because I think it’s useful info for students to know, which isn’t widely known outside firm. This annual article seems the obvious place, given no one reads RoF these days.

Plus I was bored taking a dump.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

FBD Senior Associate, how is the atmosphere toxic?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

It isn’t an FBD senior associate…if you get a training contract at Freshfields, accept it mate. The self-appointed careers advisors on here are mostly unemployed and uninformed.

(14)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(7)(0)

Not a Russian bot

Let them eat cake!

(1)(2)

fbder

#JobCentre, #Fired.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

This retention rate masks the morale of the trainees, who now routinely seek NQ options elsewhere.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

Who wants to be a corporate finance NQ?

(12)(1)

Anonymous

What’s BCLP’s reputation like nowadays?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Good firm. Good Culture. Best RE practice in the City. Appalling pay.

(9)(3)

Anonymous

No, CMS has the best real estate practice in the City.

(2)(10)

Anonymous

Biggest maybe but not best. Ranked Tier 2 for Property Finance.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

But Tier 1 for Big Ticket Real Estate and Real Estate Litigation

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Like BCLP then?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

ROFL LOL

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Are they worth a shot for someone not that arsed about RE?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Hello

(5)(0)

Anonymous

DM me

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Describe norks

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Is private equity interesting at K&E? What kind of tasks do NQs do?

(0)(11)

Comments are closed.

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