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Linklaters keeps 47 out of 50 NQ solicitors

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Reveals BAME-only retention score in City law first

Magic circle player Linklaters retained 47 of its 50 rookie solicitors due to qualify this spring.

Links confirmed one of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers is being retained on a fixed term contract, handing it a spring score of 94%, or 92%, depending on how you interpret its figures.

In what is believed to be a first for a City law firm, Links also revealed a separate retention score for its black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) trainees — just months after it set a series of “aspirational” targets to improve diversity across its sizeable lawyer ranks.

The firm, which offers around 100 training contracts each year, the highest of any other City outfit, confirmed it had retained all 20 of its BAME trainees — or 100%.

Links’ latest recruits, who join as fully-fledged associates this March, will start on £90,000 after the firm opted to cut pay by 10% last summer in response to the pandemic.

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Richard Hodgson, trainee development partner at Linklaters, commented:

“We are very pleased that in our first qualifying intake of 2021, we have retained an even higher number of trainees than last year. This figure demonstrates our ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse group of talented individuals. I look forward to seeing the careers of our newly-qualified lawyers progress in the firm.”

Historically a strong retention performer, Linklaters posted a result of 87% (46 out of 53) in the summer and 88% (36 out of 41) this time last year.

Links becomes the second member of the magic circle to reveal its spring score, after Allen & Overy confirmed this month that 34 of its 37 trainees (92%) were staying put. The rest of the magic circle are expected to follow with their own announcements in the coming weeks and months.

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