Stephenson Harwood keeps 9 out of 12 spring qualifying trainees

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A result of 75%

Stephenson Harwood has posted a spring 2020 trainee retention score of 75%.

From a March qualifying cohort of 12, the City player made ten offers, nine of which were accepted. The newly qualified (NQ) solicitors will join the firm’s commercial litigation, corporate, finance, and marine and international trade practice groups.

“The firm has a rigorous approach to the recruitment of newly qualified lawyers,” said Lisa Marks, partner and trainee principal at Stephenson Harwood. “We are very pleased these nine NQs will be joining us and wish them all the best at this exciting time in their careers.”

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The latest recruits will start on a salary of £75,000, putting them on the same levels of cash as their peers over at Addleshaw Goddard, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Dentons and K&L Gates. Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows trainees receive £43,000 in year one, rising to £47,000 in year two.

Today’s retention score is a drop on the firm’s autumn 2019 performance, which saw it retain 12 out of 13 rookies — or 92%.

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K&E big boi

Never heard of him.



Bang average firm that attracts bang average grads. Nothing to shout about here.



Good for shipping and asset finance. Anything like PE, funds, finance – go elsewhere.



Their litigation team is also pretty strong


Frustrated Writer

As his face was covered in an expensively acquired surgical mask, no one would have been able to see the huge grin on Tom’s face as he put the finishing touches to his latest retention rate article. Although he was working at home, with no one else around, he still felt wearing a mask, full disposable body suit, plastic glasses and spraying his bedroom hourly with Dettol was prudent. His only regret was leaving his grandad’s World War Two gas mask in his parent’s attic last time he went home. He was determined not to catch this virus, not after being basically tee total and celibate through university to avoid infections.

Tom was happy to have finished his work as he had had to work harder on his latest piece. He’d been hitting the phones every day, but with the lockdown his diligent enquiries had been met only bewildered replies from security and facilities staff, who, even with repeated pleas, had little interest let alone knowledge of their employers’ retention rates. Having a phone slammed down on you several times by CMS’s facilities manager with a string of expletives about priorities would leave even the most intrepid legal reporter down in the dumps.

Finally though Tom had managed to get through to a training principle at a middling City firm who was too kindly to palm him off. “Thomas Connelly here, reporter at Legal Cheek. Just call me Tom though. I got a few questions on your NQ retention, you ready?” he had asked, with his usual enthusiasm.

“Who, at where?” the confused partner had responded.

Shaken, but determined, Tom reiterated his name and employer. “Tom Connelly, from the legal youth publication and, if we were printed, a great source of substitute toilet paper, Legal Cheek?”

There was a brief silence followed by a sigh. “I’m sorry, I really don’t have time for this” the partner replied. “My kids are off school, my nanny is nowhere to be found and you wouldn’t believe how many Covid-19 updates I’ve got to review to show our clients we care, and are relevant and on the button”.

Tom swallowed. He struggled for a reply. “I’m sorry”. He finally said. “Just tell me the rates and I can make up something as a quote, ok? Don’t worry, not many people will read it. I mainly write this to stop me thinking about the futility of my life”. He paused, as his eye fell on a silver framed picture of a young blonde haired woman on his desk. It was in pride of place, with a regularly replaced floral arrangement around it. Whilst not conventionally good looking, the woman she was the apple of Tom’s eye. He still missed Katie every day, despite his lingering resentment towards her for leaving him with Alex and his boozing.

“Fine, frankly I’d never heard of you. Just put anything for the rates” the partner replied. “Anyway, how did you get this number?” Before she could get a reply, Tom had already hung up. He had his article and was ready to churn it out again.


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