Linklaters rounds off magic circle retention season with 46 trainees staying on

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One on fixed-term contract

Linklaters has become the final magic circle firm to reveal its autumn 2020 retention score, with 46 of its 53 final-seat trainees staying put.

The global firm confirmed one rookie, who qualifies into its pro bono team, is on a fixed-term contact due to the nature of the project they’re working on. This hands Links — which dishes out around 100 TCs annually, the highest of any other City outfit — a score of 87%, or 85%, depending on how you interpret the numbers.

Links’ latest recruits will start on a salary of £90,000 after the firm opted to reduce NQ wedge earlier this month to negate the financial impact of COVID-19. Trainees receive £47,000 in year one, rising to £52,500 in year two.

Richard Hodgson, trainee development partner, commented:

“We are delighted to once again retain a high number of quality lawyers from our September qualifiers. This figure demonstrates our ongoing commitment to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse group of talented people and we look forward to seeing their careers progress at our global firm.”

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So how does the firm’s autumn result stack up against its MC rivals’?

Last month Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy chalked up scores of 78% (36 out of 46, plus two on fixed-term deals) and 93% (38 out of 41) respectively, while Freshfields revealed a result of 84% (32 out of 38). Slaughter and May, meanwhile, retained 38 of its 41 autumn NQs — or 93%.

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I want to know why Legal Cheek publish these articles. Is anyone even interested?



He who pays the piper….



I think it is useful as a rough gauge of how well firms are doing. Certainly in the last recession, the extent to which junior lawyers were thrown under the bus reflected the fortunes of their respective firms.

Arguably, however, this time around firms have realised the PR importance of retention, so there is greater willingness to take a costs hit, but they will simply reduce the number of training contract offers (accepting, of course, the four year delay inherent in the latter).


Kirkland NQ

A better gauge is a quick perusal of the car park. If you see pure Italian thoroughbreds, gull wing doors and more horses than a french butcher’s shop then you’re at a successful firm.



Gull wings are for new money types. Big red flag.



An Italian thoroughbred has nothing in common with Lamborghini’s charging bull you utter mongoloid. At least try a bit harder pretending to be someone you’re not, fresher.



Several firms have been throwing juniors under the bus in more sneaky ways this time round – e.g. some firms deferring NQ roles for x number of months (unpaid), some firms keeping NQs on trainee salaries for x number of months…. etc
Interesting that legal cheek doesn’t post anything about thatttt stuff…



Joke outfit, Jones Day scored 100% and on more wedge



lmao thx 4 d info bruv


CMS Trainee




Why is CMS trailing on pay then



Bunch of amateurs aren’t they?


legal hopeful llb llm

Any news on retention rates at SPB ???


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