Linklaters keeps 49 out of 54 qualifying trainee solicitors

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Magic circle law firm Linklaters has posted its autumn 2019 retention score, revealing 49 out of its 54 soon-to-be associates were staying put post-qualification. This hands the firm, which received four resignations, a retention result of 91%.

“We are pleased once again to retain a high number of quality lawyers from our September qualifiers,” Richard Hodgson, trainee development partner at Linklaters, said. “Attracting, developing and retaining the best people is crucial to the success of our business and we look forward to seeing their careers progress at our globally minded firm.”

The firm, which offers roughly 100 training contracts each year, more than any other City outfit, posted a spring 2019 score of 80% (41 out of 51) and an autumn 2018 result of 73% (43 out of 59).

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows newly qualified (NQ) solicitors at Linklaters’ London HQ will start on a recently improved salary of £100,000 — a six-figure sum which includes a discretionary performance bonus. Trainees earn £47,000 in their first year, rising to £52,500 in their second year.

Turning to the rest of the magic circle, Clifford Chance retained 41 of its 47 qualifying trainees or 87%, while Slaughter and May posted an impressive 93% result (37 out of 40). Allen & Overy and Freshfields are yet to reveal their autumn scores.

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The five not retained will all be joining elite US firms earning mega bucks.


Kirkland NQ

Mega bucks – sounds hefteh. If they are lucky, one might end up at the ‘land.



Or they quit to join Eve Cornwell’s empire of internet influencers.



Bants, they are going to get pissed on alcohol soon



Not sure what else they’d get pissed on?



Lighter fluid, idiot


Future Trainee

Another misleading legal cheek article. The NQ salary is not £100,000. Law is the only profession where discretionary bonuses are included in salaries. The base is £90,000 at Linklaters.



It’s not misleading at all. It clearly states 100k including a disc. bonus.



It’s therefore not “salary”.



Hahaha. Yes soooo misleading. Idiot.



It’s £95k base



Either Legal Cheek edit the article really fast or people just don’t know how to read…



People do not read articles on this site, they come here to read the comments



It’s quite funny that the Links MP kicked-off in the press about the salary increases…greedy greedy.



And the rest



Is there a link for this?



Base is 95k for nq and 0.5, 100k for 1pqe



I wonder what the prospects are for an MC trainee who wanted a role with the firm they trained in but did not receive an offer.

It’s one thing to have an offer elsewhere lined up and be indifferent to an offer/lack of offer, but I imagine it would be tough for someone about to qualify in 5-6 weeks to have to go find a job right now.



Think will still do well if have good reason for not being taken – e.g. the department you liked was not hiring your intake.



Yeah, plenty of poor bastards stalking recruiters in the City right now. The market is totally crap, and there’s literally 50+ CVs being sent out for each and every decent role. Good luck to them, would hate to be in that position.

A recruiter told me Akin Gump recently had a Lit/Arb NQ position come up and received 1,000+ CVs in 48 hours LOL



999 of those CVs were probably from trainees at second rate law firms.



Your point being? Even if only 20 CVs are from MC-calibre firms, that still leaves you as the candidate with a ~5% chance of getting through



Of those 20 people, each will have applied for five or six jobs, and if they accept one then they remove themselves from the job market. So that further improves the odds.

MC Associate

Probably only 5 of those 20 MC candidates are of any substance though. Lots of duds at the MC.


You’ve either been lied to by a recruiter and believed it, or you’re the liar. I’m not sure which is more embarrassing.

Roughly 6,500 individuals qualify as a solicitor annually. You’re seriously suggesting circa. 15% of those applied for a single NQ role and did so within 48 hours?

If that in itself isn’t ridiculous enough, consider how many of those aren’t commercial solicitors and how many aren’t / don’t want to be based in London.



It’s not tough at all for a Links trainee who’s not been retained to find a job. There’s loads of law firms looking for MC trainees. If it’s a Shoosmiths trainee not retained then it’s a different story – KFC or McDonald’s are the only options.


Universal Credit Express

Can confirm the above is true. Lol.


Irwin Mitchell Final Seat Trainee

I’m looking to move to Linklaters. Can anyone help?


LL Associate

Yeah I think we have some openings in the canteen?


SM Catering

Mind you, that’s how I got my job.



Only I can help you with that


CMS 4th Seat Trainee

Might put a cheeky application in to LL if the Skadden PE role doesn’t come through – just on the off-chance though.



You think Skadden would hire a trainee from CMS? Good luck with that…



They do all the time – as do Kirkland. I should know as I am leaving to go there.


Links Night Watch

Truth is that all Kirkland associates, including Kirkland NQ, were ex-CMS and Shoosmiths.


Kirkland NQ

As is well known, I was in fact hired directly out of Harvard following my first lecture and a tip-off being made to the ‘Land’s executive committee that I was too bright for lectures. I’ve been back a few times to attend Porcellian Club meetings but not sure what a CMS or Shoosmith is.



I believe the latter was brought in to polish the rest’s shoes.


You’re hard



Your mum made a similar observation last night



Skadden has never hired an NQ from CMS…

K&E is a different matter


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