Baker McKenzie retains 14 out 17 autumn qualifying trainees

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A score of 82%

Baker McKenzie has revealed its autumn 2020 trainee retention score, confirming 14 of its 17 soon-to-be associates are staying put post-qualification.

The international firm said it made 14 offers, all of which were accepted. None are fixed term deals. The three unsuccessful trainees applied to join oversubscribed teams, the firm said.

Five are corporate bound, three join employment, while EU/competition & trade (one team) and banking take two apiece. Tax and disputes also take one newly qualified (NQ) lawyer each.

Arron Slocombe, Baker McKenzie’s training principal, said:

“We are delighted to welcome another strong group of trainees into permanent roles as qualified lawyers across both our transactional and advisory departments. This autumn’s retention rate remains high at 82% and represents our ongoing commitment in attracting and retaining the very best talent to help grow our business in the future. We wish them every success in what, we hope, will be a long and fulfilling career.”

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Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows its new recruits will start on a revised base salary of £87,500, after the firm took the decision in July to cut NQ pay in response to the pandemic. Other City players have taken similar steps.

This time last year the global player retained 16 of its 18 NQs — or 89%.

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lol Mcdonald’s still hiring talent? that’s brave. If you’re BM it basically means ur an elite US firm and MC firm reject simple as that. Sorta like Durham but worse. Because Durham is not a fast food chain. And doesnt need to harp on diversity to cover up it’s lacklustre practice groups. Lucky 3 didnt make it.


Future trainee

Bakers or Travers?



Bakers. Based on the way they have responded during the lockdown measures is very telling. Also, the PEP and revenue reports show that Travers is too dependant on a thriving economy to perform well – bit of a liability of a firm.



Bakers for sure. Don’t let these 2nd year law students tell you otherwise



If you want corporate, definitely Travers Smith.



Hahahahahahahahahah what would seam beam say now – to all of you Gandolf haters!



This is precisely why the terms Magic Circle and Silver Circle are dead and a non-existent firm hierarchy that simply does not exist anymore. Here you have an international firm with higher salary offering than MC and SC firms



I’m confused – this salary isn’t higher than the MC firms (I’m at one)? What are you talking about?!


William F

The Magic Circle firms besides from a Freshfields have dropped their NQ salary to 83k…

Everyone already knows about this and it has been the hot topic in the LC articles and comments section for a while now. You must be living under a rock



Incorrect, CC’s basic is higher than this.



‘I’m at one’… yeah sure looool



So the first thing a Magic Circle lawyer does at 10:22am is apparently check the latest Legal Cheek article and start writing comments and engaging in discussions with 1st year anonymous law students???

At least try to make it more believable. All city lawyers right now would be responding to emails and starting up their work day.

The sad thing is there are so many students in the comments who believe this kinda stuff from trolls pretending they work for law firms they clearly don’t.



Rubbish. I’m the Senior Partner at an elite US firm (won’t name the firm) and I still have time to comment on the occasional articles. Everyone has a 10am trip to the gents.



Cool story brah, changed my life


Senior Partner at a US firm and you’re spending your toilet break arguing with random 1st year law students in a comments section? What a sad little life bro


Don’t listen to students on legalcheek. The salary at my firm is £87k, so slightly lower than Bakers but with an additional binary bonus which everyone actually gets unless they’re performance managed out (unlike Bakers). Freshfields is £100k basic.

Tell me again how Bakers pays more?



I love how students on legalcheek think 10am on a Monday morning is when the workload is busy and a lawyer couldn’t possibly comment. A lot of lawyers don’t start working until around 10am – late nights, late mornings. Ta-ra!



It’s unfortunate for those 5 who didn’t get offered the NQ spots. It would be helpful if firms were more open and honest about the recruitment process during the TC itself. I know so many trainees who have gone into the TC picking random seats and not knowing how to navigate their TC to eventually lead to an NQ offer.



How exactly does a trainee set themselves up to get a NQ position though?


Playing the game

Doing seats in practice areas that take more NQs than others and schmoozing the right people early on.


NQ loife

Preaching to the choir.



Easier said than done


Slippery Bratwurst

There are slimy eels in every cohort, who see every other trainee as competition. Despite being objectionable people and broadly disliked amongst fellow trainees, they do tend to land on their feet. Can’t really fault that in the 2020 NQ market.



What do they do that makes them a slimy eel? Sounds like if you’re a good trainee it makes other trainees in the cohort jealous



I don’t think so. There are some trainees in every intake who spend more time charming the partners and really showing they “fit in” with the old boys and the clients than actually doing any real work. When they do actually have to stay past midnight a few times they’ll make sure every single partner knows.

Meanwhile some honest, less snaky people actually working very hard for the full seat, getting regularly beasted on 4ams, get thrown under the bus at qualification, as the partners claim they don’t know them well enough and blame them for “not bonding”.

@ anon

How does that make them a ‘snake’ though?

Surely they are doing what all trainees should during their TC… making it known that they are interested in having a future at the firm and getting in there with those who may be the partner or senior associate in the team they’re potentially hoping to qualify into


If you thought vacation schemes were competitive and the other vac schemers were kissing grad rec and the seniors arse then just wait until your TC when you see people doing it for the 2 years straight


Back to work

There’s nothing funnier than loads of undergrads talking about which firms are best when their only experience of commercial law is Legal Cheek comments sections with other undergrads


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