Freshfields rounds off magic circle spring retention season with 78% score

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32 out of 41 qualifying trainees stay put

Freshfields has become the fifth and final magic circle law firm to reveal its spring retention score.

From a March qualifying cohort of 41, the Anglo-German giant today confirmed it had made 35 offers. Thirty-two rookies put pen to paper on permanent deals, handing the 28-office-outfit a retention score of 78%.

The Fleet Street firm, which offers 80 training contracts annually, is one of the City’s more consistent retention performers given its sizeable trainee intake. Freshfields recorded a result of 83% (34 out of 41) and 74% (31 out of 42) in the past two rounds. However, the firm did post an uncharacteristically low rate of just 66% (27 out 41) back in autumn 2017.

On matters of money, Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows newly qualified (NQ) associates start lawyer life at the firm’s London headquarters (which is set to relocate to Bishopsgate next year) on £85,000. Trainees earn £45,000 in their first year, rising to £51,000 in their second year.

In our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2018-19, the firm bagged an A* for its lavish perks which include no less than an on-site doctor, dentist, masseuse and sushi chef, as well as access to a free in-house gym, and As for its training, quality of work, peer support and social life. The City outfit is shortlisted in two categories at the Legal Cheek Awards, held next week at London’s iconic Cheesegrater.

How does Freshies’ 78% spring score stack up against its magic circle rivals’?

Clifford Chance set the ball rolling when it announced an impressive spring score of 90% (46 out of 51) last month, while Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May confirmed results of 83% (39 out of 47) and 97% (34 out of 35), respectively. Linklaters, the City’s top TC provider with a whopping 100 positions annually, announced a spring score of 80% (41 out of 51) last week.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List



Clifford Acne



i dreem of workin at turk & mcconnell llp . any1 kno what ther nq dolla is liek ???



Clifford The Big Red Dog Chance.



Pah! Greenberg Glusker LLP retained 178% of trainees this Spring.



Nope Latham is better sorry



Wot about spb? Top stuff



The whole office is debunking to Crowell & Moring, who will soon dominate in London.






What is spb ?



Squire Patton Boggs



utterly shet , ludicrously badd



£85K is paltry



You probably pull in £18k as a regional paralegal. Grow up.



I don’t. I’m a SA on partnership track at a top US shop actually.



Yep. Next one to revise is easements, then mortgages.

Those May exams are coming soon, Fresher.



Not you again, the one who is obsessed with freshers. Go somewhere else to feed your fetish, deviant.


“I’m a SA on partnership track at a top US shop actually.”

It’s nice to see that you still believe what they’re telling you. Until your name is on the books you’re just another piece of sh*t like the rest of us.



“… top US shop”?

More likely you’re part-time in Topshop



Why so low? Are trainees not even applying to stay?


Ano. Ny. Mous.

Historically poor retention figures at the MC were down to the firms not hiring trainees. Increasingly it’s now because of trainees preferring to qualify elsewhere (usually but not always somewhere American). This has the effect of making retention figures pretty meaningless – a more interesting figure would be how many trainees are entering NQ-level employment at the firm they trained at OR a similar firm.



Still the firm most famous for giving internationally renowned fkwit Dominic Raab a training contract.

Nothing more needs to be said. Less magic circle than magic contracting circle at the base of the spine..


Dominic Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab

Watch your mouth, I know martial arts.




Linklaters. You mean Linklaters; you do not mean Freshfields. Bad credit where bad credit is due.


Previous Anon

You’re right. Beg pardon. Apologies to Freshfields.

*red faced* *sheepish*



Dumb ass.



I don’t accept insults from Americans.

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