RPC posts low 42% autumn retention rate

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Five out of 12 qualifying trainees kept on

RPC’s London office

International outfit RPC has posted a 2019 autumn retention score of 42%, citing a number of trainees vying to qualify in “significantly oversubscribed” practice areas as the reason for the low result.

Of the 12 rookies who qualified this year, ten applied for permanent positions at its London HQ but only five were kept on as newly qualified (NQ) solicitors. Today’s 42% result is a combined percentage based on RPC’s spring and autumn qualifiers.

Simon Hart, partner and training principal at RPC, said:

“Firstly, we’d like to congratulate those who will qualify with us as NQs in the autumn. It was an extremely competitive process, with some high quality applicants. However, we are disappointed that our retention rate this year is lower than we typically see at RPC, largely due to applications into certain practice areas being significantly oversubscribed and us being unable to accommodate everybody with the number of roles available.”

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He added: “We are committed to our application process and are confident that we will see our retention rates return to previous form in 2020.”

RPC has posted solid trainee retention results over recent years. In the previous two autumn rounds, the City firm — which is best known for its high-end insurance work — scored 82%, keeping 14 out of 17 qualifying trainees on both occasions.

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Soon to be deleted


We get it, they sponsor you..


Rupert; a US Firm associate

Chip shop firim.



Firim? U high blud ?



Lol they removed it.


The Right Honourable Osama Bin Tarantino

But not the comment on it, lol.



Good luck to all leavers, its a tough place to be in. The market for Nq roles is totally f*cked right now



How come?

Can you please elaborate on the situation of the market if you have some insight?

It would be interesting to know more about it!


US Firm NQ

Would not say so. Was qualifying in February, got like 50 recruiters writing to me on Linkedin with offers, including c. 10 in my rather niche area of law (which is only practiced by large law firms or small boutiques). Though could have changed since then.


Leg Rec

If your firm decides to not retain you, you’re facing a really tough slog. Other shops will stay away as you haven’t cut mustard to be kept on, and there’s hundreds of other qualifiers around you vying for the same job in any case already. My advice: take whatever your shop offers you, then jump if need be.


Utterly Bamboozled

It’s currently 2 for 1 on selected Ready Meals at Sainsbury’s. However, what’s that got to do with looking to work at another Law Firm? Your sending mixed signals.



This is just absolutely incorrect.



Because it’s 2-for-1 on ready meals at Tesco tonight, not Sainsbury’s.


Utterly Bamboozled

I have erred…



Is it?! There’s tonnes of roles



No there’s not, certainly not for NQs. Most shops rather try and play it safe with someone who’s 0.5-1PQE. Plus most firms instruct half a dozen recruiters hacks, creating a false sense of abundance when actually it’s just 10 people hawking the same single NQ spot at “top City firm”.



Rubbish – the NQ market is saturated with roles.



In critical motor insurance up in Doncaster maybe



Disagree with the above posts; if you’re good enough other firms will take you



Of course, but at the very NQ-level, it’s more about the necessity of other firms to fill a role as opposed to them actually being on the lookout for a “top lawyer” given the minimum amount of experience/technical skills such a junior lawyer would have.


Dechert big dick

Not taking the piss but wtf is an RPC?



RPC is very girthy.


RPC ranger

Piss off you retard



“High end insurance work” is a oxymoron


A Legal Recruiter

Not being retained is never ideal situation to be in, especially if it’s because you were not offered a position despite applying for one.

However, it is not the end of the world. If you are looking to qualify into a more niche area, such as tax, pensions, funds, or finance, you should be able to find some options. This is purely due to supply and demand.

With that said, if you are not being retained and you are looking to qualify into a popular area; these being corporate, real estate or commercial litigation, then you should take whatever you can find. I have known some NQs to take on paralegal jobs since qualifying due to the market being so tough.


Shearman NQ

Absolute bullshit. No NQ goes and becomes a paralegal. And finance and funds are not niche areas. Fake wannabe recruiter you are!



Why not? Seems a perfectly plausible reality; gotta pay the bills somehow.



Funds and finance are not niche areas. Do not use that recruiter.



Sure, but wtf should you do if you dont get an offer upon qualification? Hit the streets and beg? Or get a paralegal role while you look for better opportunities?


You do whatever you can, including offering your choco hole to the savage beasts inhabiting the side alleys around Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill.

A Legal Recruiter

Funds and finance are comparatively niche areas from an NQ perspective in terms of the which areas of law are popular upon qualification.

I appreciate that as a Shearman NQ you must rarely have you head outside of your rectum so listening to the opinions of others must always be difficult for you.



Simply wrong – as a legal recruiter, your head is filled with more shit than your rectum


A Legal Recruiter

Ouch! No recruiter lunch for you!


They really were



RPC is a good firm to work at. That is why it must be particularly disappointing for those that missed out. For what it is worth, I do think it is because trainees applied for over subscribed/applied-for positions. Whilst those teams are doing well, they do not have the gravitas to turn 1 NQ position into 2. I hope those that were not successful are able to find something they want elsewhere.


Commercially Unaware Graduand

When a retention rate is posted, does this correspond exclusively to, (a) the number of trainees that the firm has chosen to retain, or (b) the number of trainees who have decided to stay? Or is it a mix of the two, or something different entirely? Sorry I don’t know much on the topic!



It is the number of trainees offered an NQ role (usually includes temporary roles for statistics purposes), divided by the number of trainees in intake. The percentage is affected by both instances of the firm not making offers, or instances of trainees not taking up offers and/or leaving to go elsewhere.


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