Slaughter and May keeps 29 out of 31 qualifying trainee solicitors

By on


Magic circle outfit Slaughter and May has posted its spring 2020 retention score, revealing 29 of its 31 soon-to-be associates were staying put post-qualificaiton.

This hands the firm, which takes on around 80 trainees each year, a solid result of 94%.

“We would like to congratulate all of our newly qualified associates, who will be integral to the continued success of the firm”, Slaughters said in a statement. “This year’s figures are in line with those of previous years and we are proud of our consistently high rate of retention.”

Historically the firm is a strong retention performer, posting results of 97% (34 out of 35) and 93% (37 out of 40) in 2019, and scores of 95% (35 out of 37) and 86% (32 out of 37) in 2018.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2020 edition shows the new recruits will start lawyer life on a base salary £92,000, with bonuses taking total potential earnings to just over £100,000.

Last month it confirmed associates with two-and-half years post-qualification experience (PQE) or more would receive a pay increase of between 2.2% and 8.2%.

Turning to life as Slaughters, it chalked up As for training and quality of work, as well as Bs for peer support, work/life balance, tech, perks and office.

Earlier this month fellow magic circler Clifford Chance confirmed a spring retention result of 85% (34 out of 40).

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub


F. Latulence



I actually farted as I started reading this comment – thank you for the narration


What I really can’t get my head around is the salary.

It’s lower than some firms with a third of their PEP figure… and all the more so in light of hours at Slaughters being generally longer!

One other thing I can’t really get a grasp of either is their senior associate remuneration with some LC posters claiming it’s only 160-180k (while MC firms like CC go beyond 200k and most US firms 250k+).

All figures just seem too low!


I doubt many CC SA’s are on 200k+.

over it

CC definitely does not pay £200k for its senior associates.

Unfortunately there are too undergrads talking nonsense on this site when they clearly do not know what they are talking about


Not true.

A CC senior associate in for ex. Paris makes shy of Euro 200k, so don’t see why in London (where salaries are even higher!) it wouldn’t surpass the 200k mark.


You’re a first year law student. Called it.

Critical Thinking

Lol try “absolutely none”.

Categorically, 100% you can be assured no CC Senior Associate is on over 200k. Even 180 is pushing the absolute top end.


From what I hear most of US SA’s are also not exactly on 250k+ (though obviously depends)


All equity partnership with massive PEP and people made up relatively early.

That’s the carrot. Lots will fall on the way, but you only need a small number to make it to keep the others believing.


Is the Slaughter really somewhere you would bring your daughter?


CC v A&O for TC? I wanted to train at a US firm 😔

Legal Genius

You can jump to any US firm from either. CC is better in PE and that’s all the rage with Weil, Kirkland and Latham. Go for it.


A&O – CC are filled with turds.


PEP is simply the wrong measure to go by. PPP (profits/revenue per lawyer) provides a much better understanding of the actual performance of firms (This is the whole firm revenue divided by the number of lawyers in the firm, so it is not salary-based but shows a median of what each fee earner is worth too the firm, from trainee to EP). And it is here where Slaughters absolutely bats it out of the park. Check out the Global 200 list (2017-18), where at ~$1.4m S&M are shoulder to shoulder with Cravath, Skadden, Simpson Thacher, Kirkland etc. In fact, they come out over 50% better than any other MC shop.

Slaughters know fully well that their prestige and quality of work will always rake in the top talent (I know a very smart guy who got multiple offers from top US firms and still picked Slaughters), hence why they see no need to increase rookie remuneration – if you want the money you’ve gotta earn it.

They also don’t just want applications from those who are just in it for the money – they want the ones who understand that this is a firm that has maintained its position at the top despite only having 4 offices – they haven’t gone through a series of mergers to try and create the illusion of a global reputation. They also don’t try to be the best at everything, but where they do operate they generally are the best.

Face it. The work is higher calibre than any UK competition. The ones who stick it out to equity partner will be rewarded hugely. (Plus remember, until recently they never hired laterally, so either you seized the chance for a TC or you would kick yourself forever!)


If these solicitors had any talent, they would be at the Bar. Rather than doing pro-forma corporate deals which involve no law, or sitting behind counsel in court.


Sigh, there’s always one.

Seeing how 80% of their revenue is transactional they’ll likely never sit in court. Litigation is for those who need the CPR to remind them to breathe. Garbage work.


I love the people talking down Slaughters. These NQ’s just got the ultimate golden handshake. If they can survive 5 years they will be able to walk into any in-house role, or senior associate position at pretty much any other firm.

Join the conversation

Related Stories