Macfarlanes boosts LPC grant to £10,000 as it confirms 100% spring retention score

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All six associates kept on

City law firm Macfarlanes is offering its trainees-to-be £10,000 in financial support during their Legal Practice Course (LPC), as it confirms a spring retention score of 100%.

The new and improved sum equates to an uplift of 43%, up £3,000 from the previous maintenance grant of £7,000. Legal Cheek’s LPC Most List shows the London-headquartered outfit is the 15th law firm to award its future trainees the five-figure sum. The firm confirmed the uplift also applies to its GDL’ers.

Macfarlanes’ newest recruits complete the vocational course at BPP University Law School’s Holborn branch. The firm — which offers around 30 City training contacts annually — also fully funds LPC fees.

Turning to the silver circle outfit’s spring retention score, Macfarlanes confirmed all six of its March-qualifying associates-to-be had stayed put. This hands the single office outfit a perfect score of 100%. It did not disclose the departments its newly qualified (NQ) solicitos would be qualifying into.

Seán Lavin, partner and head of graduate recruitment at Macfarlanes, said:

“We are really pleased once again to have achieved 100% retention of our trainees for the March qualification round. This is consistent with our aim to offer long-term careers to as many of our trainees as possible. We regard our trainees as the future talent of the firm and retaining them on qualifying is an important objective for us.”

Macfarlanes was a solid performer in this year’s Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, racking up A*s for its training and quality of work, and As for peer support, perks, office, canteen and social life.

News of the maintenance uplift follows similar money moves made by a number of top City outfits including Norton Rose Fulbright, Hogan Lovells and Herbert Smith Freehills. The London office of Chicago-headquartered Sidley Austin, however, tops the market for LPC grants; offering its rookies £11,000 in financial support. At the time, one Legal Cheek commenter went below the line and wrote:

“Long overdue and hopefully other firms follow their lead. Unless you have parents living in London or take out a supplemental loan, getting through the LPC year on the current market level grant is tough.”

The last major round of maintenance uplifts was way back in 2013, when Linklaters led the way in increasing them from £5,000 to £7,000.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List



Top firm



No deal

Cha cha cha

No deal

Cha cha cha

It is going to be apocalyptic



Gammon Watch

Go get your meds, you insignificant cretin.



What is a Macfarlanes and how do I get one?


Dr Frankenstein

They sell really well at LIDL.



Sweaty firm.





Final year law student

Whats better, Macs or Ashurst? I’ve got offers for both, the pay is the same. Any tips ?



Depends what you want to do.

Corporate (especially PE), Macs is vastly superior.

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in finance (or niche areas such as projects or restructuring) then Ashurst might be better.



Macs wipes the floor on ashurst – the former has been doing well (it’s more profitable than most the MC) while ashurst has struggled despite the last few years of economic expansion. God knows what will happen to a struggling transactions focused firm like ashurst when the recession actually hits.



Ashurst has been posting good numbers the last few years. Not sure you’re working with up to date information.



Also, “transaction focused”?

Save for a litigation boutique, or some reg advisory boutique I suppose (do these exist?), what City firm would not be accurately described as “transaction focused”?

Sounds like something you would say if you don’t really know the market.



Some firms (including Macs) hedge their practices with strong countercyclical practices (insolvency, litigation, high yield) – they’re not necessarily not transaction-focussed but they’re much more balanced than Ashurst.


Ashurst has been posting improving numbers but these numbers only just about leave the firm at par from it’s awful 2015-2016, where PEP fell 20%. In the meantime, it’s traditional rivals like the MC and firms like Macs have taken advantage of the bull market and posted strong and/or record results the past few years. If Ashurst can only tread water in good economic times, where its “peers” have been performing strongly, this brings legitimate questions on how the firm will fare in a recession, especially since the firm is so transaction focused, my next point.

As for “transaction focused”, this is a relative term. Yes, the vast majority of city firms get alot of work for transactions. However, some firms (ie Freshfields, HSF for disputes) have major non-transactional practices as well, which at least in theory, are more recession proof than transactional practices. If you know the market, you should know Ashurst is not one of these firms.



Macs or Cadwalader? TC offers from both.



Once again, depends what you want to do. If you’re into structured products or high yield, then Cadwalader would probably be a better choice. I would also say that whether you’re an international student or a British national may affect your likeability of the two.



Thanks, I’ll take cadwalader. Yankee dollah!



Complete toilet or a firm, with no work. Go for Kirkland or Latham if you want to get anywhere





Because I left it about two years ago to join another US firm for those reasons. No work and no culture, its an empty vessel


Kirkland or Irwin Mitchell? Offers from both.






Depends how much of a passion for motor claims you have.



White & Case or Injury Lawyers 4 U? I have offers from both.



The latter. Top firm.



Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky or Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo? Bagged offers from both. What’s better for critical motor insurance?



Neither. Stick with Nutter McClennen & Fish for that.


Infatuated of Tunbridge Wells

I would pay £10,000 just to be in the same room as Katie King.



Why is the Macfarlanes application form so long.

They number of words they want you to write for your extra curriculars and interests is dead.



Will this apply for all incoming Trainees?


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