White & Case records 88% trainee retention and introduces remote international secondments

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Two on fixed-term contracts

The London office of international firm White & Case has recorded an autumn 2020 retention rate of 88%, as it introduces remote overseas secondments to its training contract.

The firm made 21 offers for newly-qualified (NQ) positions from its cohort of 24 qualifying trainees. All 21 offers were accepted, with two being retained on fixed-term contracts. This hands White & Case a September score of 88%, or 79%, depending on how you interpret its figures.

The new associates join the firm’s global practices in banking, capital markets, commercial litigation, financial restructuring and insolvency, international arbitration, mergers and acquisitions, project development and finance, and white collar. Seven NQs join its offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Geneva, Moscow and Singapore.

Last month Legal Cheek reported that the firm will keep NQ solicitor salaries steady in spite of the economic headwinds brought about by the coronavirus. NQs can expect to earn £105,000 upon qualification. Other MoneyLaw outfits are adopting a similar approach.

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The White & Case trainee solicitor programme has been established for over two decades and has an average retention score of 85% since 2015. In the last autumn round, for example, the firm kept 89%, or 16 out of 18 of qualifying trainees.

As part of the programme, trainees are guaranteed a six-month secondment overseas. The firm said it is continuing to provide trainees with international experience amidst the global coronavirus pandemic through the introduction of remote overseas seats.

“We are determined to honour the White & Case commitment to provide our trainees with valuable international experience, while always prioritising their wellbeing,” said partner Inigo Esteve, who heads the trainee solicitor programme in London. “Running remote overseas seats is consistent with this goal, remains a great development opportunity for our trainees and also benefits our overseas offices, which continue to need and appreciate the contribution of London trainees.”

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Egg Mayo

Better off qualifying at somewhere like HFW or Clydes – less pay admittedly but same quality of work and better work life balance .



Loooool what are you smoking that makes you compare Clydes or HFW with White & Case? Those firms are not even remotely in the same league.


Bombay Bad Boy

That’s only true in the case of the Kitchen Porter roles for which you are leveraging your 2.2 in Left-Handed Puppetry in the hope that one day you will be able to perform a sexual favour for a paralegal who will put in a good word for you with Reprographics.


John J

Can we please please please stop comparing law firms. It’s so pointless and stupid.



Lol I bet you work for a high street nobody firm….


Chris S

I saw a comment under a recent LC article which stated:

“Honestly I miss the days when the comments section was full of banter. There is such an elitist vibe in the comments of these articles nowadays with anons comparing firms and salaries and everything else.

I can just imagine that the comments are full of law students who haven’t even got a TC or if they do they are making comments in defence of their future firm and raging against other firms as some sort of patriotic act. It’s so bizarre.”

And I could not agree more with it^. In pretty much every single article over the last year so, the anonymous commenters just have to bring it back to comparisons and it’s getting boring now.


Bombay Bad Boy

Agreed, Legal Cheek should be a safe space for all those wishing to live in ignorance of professional mediocrity.



Shut up m8. You were probably a diversity hire at your firm


Bombay Bad Boy

Just enjoy Pot Noodles mate. Regards to Gromit.

Bombay Bad Boy

No, I just like Pot Noodles. Regards to Gromit.


Magic circle firms had to cut salaries by 10k, whilst White & Case has kept theirs. Although salaries aren’t an indication of how good the firm is, this is quite interesting, considering how big W&C’s London office is with so many trainees that will become associates. The magic circle couldn’t cope with the salary increases LOL



Associates received the planned salary increase this year as well. So far extremely busy year for the most of the office. But did not expect such a good retention rate, really happy to see that firm decided to take this approach, this was a great intake of trainees.


sound lad

remote international secondments lmao



Imagine going remote out of London and getting sweated out on deals on Singapore or Hong Kong time. What a sweet deal lmao


The cancelled Asian seat to avoid this situation.

Though, to be fair, this could prepare trainees for real practice where you can spend months living Washington / Singapore time when you have a client there.



Remember when we all had a good laugh when Bin Men jobs were described as “Rubbish Executives”?

Remote International Secondments is this vibe.



The point of remote working is to be in some sunny beach in Malta while getting fisted on a sweaty deal.

Imagine having to remote work in some mould stricken flat in Bethnal Green while its pissing down with rain, with snide comments on Yammer from the company PAs raving about how glorious it is where they are.


Oh dear

Someone call Neil Armstrong. I’m doing a “Remote trip” to the Moon right now. I think we can converse on the same level.

This is pathetic.


Gerry Gladstone

Would love to do a virtual secondment. All the fun of working with our colleagues abroad, but no need to travel away from London! All of the fun, NONE of the hassle!



Quite the opposite actually. You have to work the hours of the international office you are virtually seconded to and if there is a deal/closing going on during those 6 months you will have to adopt a nocturnal sleeping schedule to get by.

It is all the negatives without the perks. The whole point of doing an international secondment is being abroad and the experience of working elsewhere.



He was clearly sarcastic…



You are the exact person I’d want to avoid at any social gathering. You probably aspire to work at Slaughters.



Is that an insult…? You really have to be an unbelievably ill-informed/arrogant first-year law student to consider that an insult when, particularly in the current climate, there aren’t many better places to be than a market-leading (or one of, not bothered playing rankings here) corporate law firm based in the City with no redundancies and ludicrously high comp (again, try to resist the temptation to comment the figures everyone knows on Kirkland or whoever else, 87k plus bonus still absurdly high for mid 20s).

There should be a ‘grown-ups’ LC where actual lawyers can discuss the industry with some degree of knowledge, rather than be drowned in a sea of puerile comments from ‘Future Open Day Offer Candidates’ ripping on some of the top firms in the country/world because on the basis of what ‘Future TC applicant having been rejected several times with an axe to grind’ wrote in the comments section.


Random passer-by

Let me know when they set up that adult LC with you in there, so I can avoid it. Just re-read you pathetic comment.

Florence Beatrice Clegg

No one is reading all of this bro. Get a life

Feeling so bloody sorry for the millenenials

Snide remarks from PAs…mmm

Some PAs have worked 20 years plus to have a reasonably nice home in the suburbs without the perks of a mega salary! And have more life skills than most trainees…or they may still live with their parents in order to get a decent foot on the ladder. And this PA live through a time when her mortage rate was 19pc ..a global recession …earnt that nice place in the suburbs

Work another 10 years and you will be out of that dingy kitchen…


Third Seat Trainee

This was an interesting approach from my firm.

What this article won’t tell you is that the majority of seats they offered were ABROAD. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Only 10 trainees out of 24 were kept in their London office. Trainees accepted the overseas qualification options because in this market, everyone is scrambling for what they can get.

The last qualification round was shocking with a retention rate of 40% (hence why you’ll notice they did not publish this the last time – search the website and you won’t find it). It was truly a travesty with people wondering what would happen this round. They’ve covered themselves by pushing a range of people overseas and offering NQ roles to trainees in seats they didn’t even do…

Sometimes you need to know the context behind the headlines as they’re often very misleading.


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