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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But what is the ethnicity breakdown of BAME? You have to disclose that otherwise that 100% is redundant and useless.



This is a great point, and I’ve heard David Lammy speak about this many times. It’s fine hiring a black man who attended Harvard (Lammy), but, what we need to be doing is hiring across the social spectrum.



I mean, all people who are qualifying as lawyers at magic circle firms are going to have attended a university or two so that’s probably not the best example.

There’s a constant drive to improve diversity of background and life experience in professional services but that’s never going to be reflected in saying “X% went to private schools; Y% lived in a council house; Z% are the descendants of refugees” and that sort of thing – there comes a point in your life where being tagged to that degree belies the fact that you’ve actually achieved something from whatever start you had to get there.



I disagree, most firms give a breakdown of Russell group, oxbridge and non Russell group. It’s quite common for them to have targets based on recruitment from non oxbridge. Deal with it



Not only Ethnic diversity but also class diversity should be included in recruitment. Im not sure if class diversity is included within ethnic diversity. Recruiting Ethnic minority from Oxford, Cambridge or some kinda highfly elite background makes no sense.. Ethnic minorites from low class background, going to common schools and universities probably should be recruited if true diversity is to be implemented.


4.08pm tries to undermine how bad socio-economic discrimination is in the UK. The data are very consistent that the simple “first person in family to attend university” is a massive indicator of social background, and while that will be lessened by the future effects of Blair’s desire to give everyone who can scratch their backside a degree, it still retains validity today.



BAME retention score? Good grief, what kind of society are we becoming!



It is all about ticking those boxes. It is great time to be be privileged and female or BAME, a great time. Surf those tailwinds all the way.



BAME is only one element of diversity. While it’s very welcome that ethnicity is now being taken account of, it’s an easy metric for firms to measure. I’d also be interested in how they are taking steps to open their intake to a broader pool of candidates by other metrics.



Read the marketing materials, engage with the firm’s social media, talk to people at recruitment events – it’s all there.



Any suggestions that don’t make me want to blow my brains out?



Everyone who has announced on LinkedIn that they have a TC at Linklaters is unbelievably irritating. There are so many of them. Especially from Durham. Good luck to anyone working there, you’ll want to end it all after meeting these people.



Bitter much?



Bitter about working in that shithole? Have you even been to their offices?



Looked good enough to me and they’re moving to a new office soon. If you weren’t bitter, you wouldn’t be spending your time commenting hate on here about a firm that you clearly couldn’t get into.



Looked good enough to me and they’re moving to a new office soon. If you weren’t bitter, you wouldn’t be spending your time commenting hate on here about a firm that you clearly couldn’t get into.



How can one be bitter about Durham grads? Imagine going through life with a CV that says “lacked the wit and intelligence for Oxbridge”?


Someone Who Actually Has a Job

Imagine going through life commenting anonymous hate. I’d say that’s worse.



Failed your Oxbridge interview, Someone? Sorry to hear that.

It was less hate, more pity.


I have more respect for a state comprehensive kid from Durham (or other similar uni) than a privately educated kid from Oxbridge. Always will.


Not Me

Depends what standards you are setting. The bottom half of Oxbridge are pretty much the same as Durham, UCL, so at that level you have a point. But the best sail in to Oxbridge effortlessly whatever their background.


OK, you got me.

I couldn’t get into Linklaters so I hate anyone who did.

I’m deeply ashamed.

I’m going to go and commit pesticide.


Lack of exit options to US whack is keeping MC retention high. No other explanation for wanting to work in that sweatshop in the Barbican.



If an MC is a sweat shop, a US firm is worse.


Someone who actually has a job

Not sure what you’re talking about mate. US recruitment hasn’t slowed down in the slightest.



US firm recruitment hasn’t slowed down. I got contacted about jobs in September for US firms the other week. Not sure what news you are reading



Linklaters? Chicken feed pay, dear children.



Chicken feed pay? This must be Elon Musk commenting anonymously. Go focus on flying cars at Tesla.


If the Commercial Bar follows this path – English common law will never recover.
Lord help us.


Future Trainee

Follows what path? Taking on more pupils as tenants? That’s a sign they’re doing quite well, because why else would they want to dilute the share of work for juniors?

Unless you’re talking about the BME (a term I admittedly despise) retention rate. Why would that be an issue? Standards aren’t lowered for anyone. And Links gets a lot of international trainees, accounting for the numbers.

I’m also cautious of meritocracy being undermined in cases of positive discrimination, but this isn’t one of them.


White middle class Oxbridge male




What people forget is that the unfortunate default at law firms is that everybody is white.

BAME deserves a voice and deserves to be recognised. Shout out about your BAME numbers and statistics and be proud.

BAME careers matter.


Ah Yeah

In a nation that is 87% white, the default should be around 87%. However socioeconomic discrimination falls harder on BAME citizens being a higher relative representative group at the lower socioeconomic strata. But pushing BAME representation as a per se good mainly benefits middle class BAME candidates and ultimately leads to more not less socioeconomic discrimination.



87% is fanciful and based on inaccurate and dated national statistics that only serve to suppress the growing BAME population of this country.

BAME is a spectrum and it isn’t as simple as being white or not being white. Somebody with a slight tan that speaks with a mild European twang is quite capable of being discriminated against, but could well be recorded as being white for statistical purposes.

Wealth and socioeconomic status is also an issue, but it should not detract from the BAME debate or be mixed in with it. That said, it often exasperates the plight of BAME candidates, with BAME candidates being less likely to come from money due to the years of ongoing oppression.



And this shows the mindset. It is often skewed by those with experience of London or other large English cities, where BAME populations tend to be more concentrated. BY way of counter-example, Scotland is 96% white. The data are the data. We will have the 2021 Census data quite soon, and the changes in ethnic composition are not expected to be materially different.

The real issue is seen in “Wealth and socioeconomic status is also an issue, but it should not detract from the BAME debate or be mixed in with it.” The point is vast vast majority of alleged BAME discrimination IS socioeconomic discrimination. Address the latter and the true, limited extent of the pure form of the former will be seen. But to treat all issues facing BAME citizens as a race issue is to look to wrong problem and will only result in advantaging middle class BAME candidates even more and disadvantaging white and BAME from working class background.

But luckily the likes of Jarrod represent the fringe. Let’s not let the extremist talks wage the progressive dog.


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