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Clifford Chance becomes first magic circle firm to reveal spring trainee retention score — 85%

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34 out of 40 stay put

Clifford Chance has become the first magic circle outfit to announce its 2020 spring retention score.

From a qualifying cohort of 40, the Canary Wharf-based giant confirmed 34 newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers will be staying put — or 85%. CC received 40 applications and made 34 offers, all of which were accepted.

As with its previous retention announcements, CC declined to provide a further breakdown or comment on today’s result, which marks a slight drop on its spring and autumn 2019 retention scores of 90% (46 out of 51) and 87% (41 out of 47), respectively.

Legal Cheek’s 2020 Firms Most List shows the firm’s newly qualified (NQ) lawyers will start life on a pay package of roughly £100,000. This six-figure sum does, however, include a discretionary bonus. Trainees receive £48,000, rising to £54,000 in year two.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

As for its performance in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, CC scored A*s for training, perks, office and tech, as well as As for quality of work, peer support, partner approachability, canteen and social life.

Last month the firm announced it will reduce the number of places on his London vacation scheme as it moves away from “traditional hiring methods”. As part of this, the firm launched a new internship programme that sees future trainees spend up to two months with a participating business, broadening their commercial skills.

Junior lawyer event: How to build a career at a US law firm in London, with lawyers from Cleary Gottlieb, Kirkland & Ellis, Shearman & Sterling and Skadden — this Thursday evening: REGISTER TO ATTEND

12 Comments

Jason Jastin

Yeah that’s right after qualification, give it a few months and they’ll be flocking to US firms

Anonymagic

Unlikely for the ones that want a stable career path instead of having 4-6 years of high pay before being binned for fresh meat and having to accept mediocre in-house roles!

K&E Turbopipe

Stfu u betacuck, im 2pqe and already makin millions . stay weak and beta lmaoooo

Anon

Is there any truth to this at all? With some exceptions, US firms operate an 8 year track. Depending on the firm they may or may not keep you on beyond that for your experience or manage you out. Again, depending on the firm you may have more doors open to you in areas such as PE and funds when going in house if you’ve been at a firm serving those clients – which includes a number of major US firms.

Anonymagic

8PQE at a US firm you’re looking at a salary of £250k + bonus. If you’re “exiting” at such a seniority you’re either going for partner in a smaller firm more mid market firm or an in-house role.

Those are realistically your only options and that is why jumping to an elite US firm is very high risk/high reward.

Realist

The failures go offshore.

Anonymagic

What do you mean? I heard that offshore lawyers are actually paid quite well and the quality of work is good since most cross-border deals have some offshore element to them.

Is this true? What’s the career of an offshore lawyer typically like?

Anon

Junior lawyers in offshore jurisdictions (e.g. Cayman Islands, BVI) start on US $160,000-$180,000, tax free. The beaches are spectacular and it all feels like you’re in some US island gated community.

The question is whether you can stomach the sheer boredom and Stepford Wives’-like cliques surrounding such small places.

Realist

Or if you can stomach being looked down on by everyone else in the legal profession for acting as a postbox for onshore lawyers. Offshore is a career graveyard.

Anon

Don’t think they care what the “legal profession” thinks of them mate. 😂 Not when they’re raking in tax free cash, getting flown out back home Biz-class and having all school fees paid for their kids.

Well done for getting the respect you deserve at your “top City firm” and the corresponding 40% tax rate.

Realist

You are an ignorant peasant who clearly is not in the legal profession. None of the offshore firms pays for school fees. And the tax rate is likely to be the advanced higher rate of 45 percent.

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