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White & Case posts 84% autumn trainee retention score

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There is a strong requirement for English-qualified lawyers despite Brexit uncertainty, says US megafirm

The London office of US outfit White & Case has posted an autumn 2018 retention rate of 84%

The New York-headquartered behemoth, which takes on around 50 rookies annually, confirmed that 21 of its 25 trainees due to qualify next month are staying put. White & Case’s latest batch of recruits will join practice areas including banking, capital markets, competition, commercial litigation, international arbitration, mergers & acquisitions and project finance.

Justin Benson, head of White & Case’s trainee solicitor programme in London, said:

“We continue to see a growing business need for English law qualified lawyers in London and across our offices globally despite ongoing economic and political uncertainties, including Brexit.”

Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows White & Case’s London lot will start lawyer life on a very attractive salary of £105,000. This puts them on the same levels of cash as their peers at fellow US player Shearman & Sterling, and £3,500 better off than the fresh-faced associate over at Sullivan & Cromwell. Trainees earn £46,000 in year one, rising to £50,000 in year two.

Today’s result marks a slight improvement on White & Case’s spring score. On that occasion, the 43-office-firm retained 13 rookies (81%), albeit from a smaller qualifying pool of 16. Last year, the firm posted results of 83% (15 out of 18) and 88% (15 out of 17).

As for the firm’s performance in our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, White & Case scored an A* for perks and As for quality of work, social life, office and training. It received B grades for peer support, partner approachability and tech. The results from the new Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Survey 2018-19 will be revealed next month.

In other retention news, Leeds outfit Walker Morris has confirmed an autumn score of 68%. The firm, which offers around 15 training contracts each year, did not provide a breakdown of its retention result. A spokesperson for the firm told us:

“This year has been an unusual one as our retention rate is usually one of the best in the market. Our average retention rate for the last five years has been 89% but this year our soon-to-be newly qualified lawyers are very interested in the non-contentious sectors in which we operate. Whilst we have done our upmost to retain as many trainees as possible we have been unable to accommodate all of them as we simply have not had roles in their area of interest.

Those retained by Walker Morris will start on a salary of £42,000. Trainees at the firm currently earn £27,000 in year one and £29,000 in year two.

36 Comments

Jiggy Recruiter

In other new, DWF have upped London NQ Salaries to £64 wedge.

You heard it here first…

Anonymous

Up £5k then. No news about regional increases.

Sadly they are paying London NQ’s more than 7pqe associates in the regions.

Anonymous

Yet the sheep will continue to walk in to their office tomorrow morning. I will forever question how the regions have coddled the people into accepting such a hilariously low quality of life.

“Oh but a pint is so much cheaper in [x] and so is rent”. Rent? Maybe, but food and drink from the shops is the same price, air travel and vacations abroad are the same price, housing is getting just as competitive, domestic commuting/travel expenses are the same…

Demand more or walk out.

Anonymous

100% this.

Anonymous

This is a class point to all the regional hype boys. No you haven’t beat the system by earning 48k at NQ at Burges Salmon. Cities like Bristol are still expensive to rent and buy houses in. Food is still expensive as is everything else. Demand more or get out

Anonymous

The lure in PP the regions is that equity drawings are the same as London DLA/Sheds/Squires, but your living costs are still lower. Partnership is still the same nut, I.e. a lot easier to crack than MC/US.

Better regional shout is to get in as GC at a FTSE 350. Paid on same scale as London GCs, including shares, but with much lower living costs and a 20 minute commute you can do without any contact with the general public.

Anonymous

If you’re still at a large regional firm at mid level associate you’re a moron. Firms like BS are becoming more like city firms culturally every day and you work the long hours without the financial reward of city firms. At trainee level it is a good balance of quality of life with pay vs cost of living but at NQ onward the salary gap between a firm like BS and city firms gets bigger and bigger.

Anonymous

Imagine working at Sullivan and having to take flak from this two-bit African shop.

?

Do Walker Morris make crisps?

Anonymous

I thought they made wooden framed cars?

Anonymous

“£3,500 better off than the fresh-faced associate over at Sullivan & Cromwell.”

Tommy, SullCrom pays its London NQs the standard, Wall Street US$190,000 rate.

Do your research and quit pedling lies you two-bit pinhead.

Anonymous

*peddling even

Anonymous

Ah you made a spelling error so it undermines the entirety of your post. That’s the internet’s rules. Suck it.

Anonymous

Link to UK rises?

Anonymous

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

Anonymous

It would be helpful if LC updated their Most List.

Anonymous

What’s the NQ pay at Locke Lord?

Anonymous

What’s a Lock Lord?

Anonymous

Any feedback on W&C? culture, hours, plans for the future of the London office?
Hail the rumors

Anonymous

Decent people on the whole, good arbitration practice – work hard, don’t play that much. Billable targets are high but not unattainable given the time you’ll spend (including evenings and weekends) staring at your phone or laptop.

The buzz of one of my two phones when I am out with my friends – is it the office or the wife? Panic sweats for both.

Anonymous

thanks a lot for the feedback. How many hours do you put down, roughly? I get you work in arbitration – do you have an idea of how much work is on FDI and how much on commercial?

Anonymous

Do your own research you dildo

Anonymous

Yay! Another shop that will 100% never hire me.

Off to Just Costs I go.

Just Costs

What makes you think we want you?

Anonymous

Because I am willing to work 18-hour days like Rosie did.

Anonymous

Do you have nice t*ts though?

Anonymous

I have nice tats. One of a dragon on my thigh and a skull on my chest.

JD Equity Partner

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

Anonymous

It’s cute that you think Just Costs can be selective.

Anonymous

Any info on pay at Baker Botts LLP?

Anonymous

Another ‘story’ on retention rates.

Anonymous

LC, we need a ‘Most List’ which also includes firms that don’t grease your pockets.

It would be particularly interesting to get a comprehensive ‘US Firms in the City’ list, regardless of whether they hire Trainees, and including their pay rates. For example, firms like Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Cooley, Cadwalader, King & Spalding, Fried Frank, Goodwin and many others (FYI I know some of those firms I listed offer TCs).

Given how obsessed you guys are with ‘MoneyLaw’, how about you do some old-fashioned journalist legwork and collect this info for your readers?

Anonymous

Totally agree.

Tom C

Totally can’t be bothered.

Anonymous

Didn’t expect you would you weak dumbf*ck.

Anonymous

How are the hours at white and case like and also how good is the work and culture of the firm?

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