Herbert Smith Freehills keeps 28 out of 30 NQ associates

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Solid spring score of 93%

Herbert Smith Freehills’ London office

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has recorded a spring 2021 retention score of 93%.

From a March qualifying cohort of 30, HSF made 28 offers — all of which were accepted. One rookie qualifies into the firm’s office in Tokyo. None are on fixed-term contracts.

The firm does not disclose the base salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers, however Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows that this sits around £93,000. It can reach up to £105,000 with bonus applied.

David Rosen, training principal at the firm, said: “We are very excited that one of our London trainees in this round is qualifying into our Digital Law Group, which demonstrates the diverse opportunities available to our trainee solicitors. This is in line with our firm’s strategy — highlighting our commitment to focus on digital transformation in our business and service delivery.”

Today’s result marks a major improvement on the firm’s autumn 2020 score which saw it retain just 22 of its 32 qualifying associates — or 69%.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Rosen continued:

“As a global law firm, we are keen to provide international opportunities for our lawyers to develop their career and we are delighted to offer one of the trainees a role in our Tokyo office in this round. The high retention rate shows our continued commitment to investing in our people and attracting the highest calibre of future lawyers.”

Last summer, HSF was one of a number of City outfits to delay the start dates of some of its future trainees in response to the pandemic. As reported by Legal Cheek at the time, TC holders were offered £8,000 and potentially a further £1,000 to put towards an educational programme, to defer by six months.

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I would be interested to know the breakdown of the retention rate BAME vs non-BAME.



HSF recruit the best people. So most of the firm are privately educated and Oxbridge.



So, white privileged, types? Disgusting.


State school non-Oxbridge educated future HSF trainee

Gonna give you both the benefit of the doubt and call troll, but from personal experience I know that HSF has relatively diverse vac scheme/trainee intakes in comparison to many other firms and places a lot of weight in its selection criteria on personality and experience.

Obviously still a long way to go (as is the case for the vast majority of city firms), but certainly wouldn’t say the firm is mostly ‘white privileged types’.



You’ll have to excuse my scepticism but my eyes tell me otherwise. In fact I strongly suspect you are a HR troll trying to make the firm look good. Look around a typical City law firm and the number of non white people can be counted on the fingers of one hand.


Jarrod, even were that true, it could be better explained by socioeconomic issues not race based discrimination. You are just pushing for a positive advantage for a group based on an assumption of discrimination that is secondary to, and very much so, socioeconomic discrimination across all professions.


I wouldn’t



Why would you given how tiny a sample there was? Out of 30 trainees on average about 4 would be BAME.



Average? No way. I’d say one at best.



Expat life is the best life.



Expat life is for second rate people.



…said the first year LLB gimp before logging back in for another Zoom lecture on Basics to Administrative Law at the University of Luton.

Thanks for clearing this one for us mate, much appreciated.



Feb 4 2021 11:56am: spot on.


Sorry to disappoint

Lol nice place to visit but working there as a professional makes London seem like a holiday camp



Thx for the info, cool story bro.



Not in the foreign firms. It is a bit of a doddle over there.



Qualify at HSF, quick hop across to Bracewell to smash a few oil deals for a few years.



wtf is a bracewell lol



it is an Elite US Law Firm with a growing London office.



Shame they don’t care quite so much about support staff. Who have been getting legged over.



Law firms will always prioritise fee earners over support staff, that’s where they make their money


Expat in the UK

Seriously why all the dislikes? I’m sure this wasn’t just a random “hey we’ve no place in London but here’s a position half the world away”, surely the NQ has SOME connection to Japan, might’ve even asked to qualify there.

Honestly if I was from Japan why the hell wouldn’t I want to get experience in London AND qualify into a top firm back home? Seems like a win-win to me.


Coomers everywhere

Ignore the dislikes mate, LC seems to be populated with dozens of betacuck simps and coomers these days who hate on any suggestion of success. It’s mildly entertaining at best.


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