Allen & Overy posts 93% autumn retention score

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38 out of 41 trainees stay on

Allen & Overy’s London office

Allen & Overy (A&O) has today announced an autumn retention score of 93%.

Of the 41 final-seat trainees due to qualify in September, 38 applied for newly-qualified (NQ) positions at the firm. All 38 trainees were offered and accepted NQ roles. A spokesperson confirmed that none of the new associates will be on fixed-term contracts.

James Partridge, graduate recruitment partner at A&O, said:

“These are very positive numbers and I’d like to congratulate all of our September qualifiers.”

He added: “To be able to put forward a 100% offer rate in such an uncertain market is testament to the quality of our upcoming lawyers and demonstrates our commitment to continuing to invest in the future of legal excellence at A&O.”

A&O, which offers about 90 training contracts each year, did not disclose the departments or offices its new recruits will qualify into.

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NQs can expect to earn £90,000, comprised of salary and sign-on bonus, after the magic circle firm opted to cut pay by 10% from a minimum of £100,000 last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, A&O posted a spring score of 81%, retaining 30 out of 37 trainees. It kept 39 out of 44, or 89%, trainees in the last autumn round.

A number of law firms have announced their autumn 2020 trainee retention results in the past month. Clifford Chance (CC) is so far the only other magic circler to reveal its score. CC will retain 36 out of 46, or 78%, of qualifying trainees.

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None of the NQs are on fixed term contracts? Surely this should have been focused on more in the article?



I don’t think you understand what a fixed term contract is…



I think she got confused with those 6 month contracts that some firms were keeping NQs on with haha



Is that not what it is??



A fixed term employment contract is of lower value than a typical employment contract.

Fixed terms run until the end of the term specified in the contract (and for NQs are often used a way of sneakily keeping retention rates high). After the term the NQ can be booted out because their contract is up.

These A&O employment contracts theoretically run forever until the employee serves notice to leave or the employer dismisses them for reasons specified in the contract.


I heard Kirkland has moved everyone below partner onto FTCs



I heard Kirkland is desperate to recruit from top, top titans CMS because they need more alphas.


MC trainee

Great retention rates, but correct me if I’m wrong – are A&O NQ base rates now the lowest in the MC, as well as lower than HSF/Macs/TS? I do figure people would rather be retained at a lower salary than let go though.



Pretty sure Slaughters is lower and don’t think LL have revealed theirs…



Troubling if an MC firm isn’t able to match SC firms though…



Slaughters: 87k
A&O: 90k
CC: 94.5k
FBD: 100k
LL: still dragging their feet but suspect they’ll be in the bottom half


Asking for a friend

Serious question. How hard is it to move from A&O to a US (Moneylaw) firm? Would one be particularly sought after?


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