Mayer Brown, Ropes & Gray and Trowers post spring trainee retention scores

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Strong results

Mayer Brown, Ropes & Gray and Trowers & Hamlins have revealed their spring 2021 trainee retention results.

International law firm Mayer Brown is set to retain four of its five March qualifiers, all on permanent deals. This equates to a score of 80%.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows they’ll start lawyer life on a salary of £90,000. Trainees receive £46,000 in year one, rising to £51,000 in year two.

Meanwhile, US outfit Ropes & Gray is retaining both its London rookies on permanent deals. They join the firm’s antitrust and leveraged finance practice. Ropes’ NQ salary currently sits at £130,000, plus bonus.

Elsewhere, City outfit Trowers confirmed it is keeping all 11 newly qualified (NQ) lawyers — six in London, three in Manchester and one in Birmingham. A further soon-to-be-associate will qualify into the firm’s Bahrain outpost.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

With one NQ retained on a fixed-term contract, this equates to a spring score of 100% or 91%, depending on how you read the figures.

Our Firms Most List shows Trowers’ newest recruits in London will start on a salary of £68,000, while their counterparts in Manchester and Birmingham receive £44,000.

Training partner Lucy James said:

“We are delighted to have achieved a 100% pass rate for our newly qualified solicitors. This is a true testament to the considerable amount of work they have all put in throughout their training contracts and we now look forward to watching them prosper in their new roles.”

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Ropes NQ

“Ropes’ NQ salary currently sits at £130,000, plus bonus.”




Indeed, the taxman’s favourite salary. You are essentially paying 60% tax once you go over 100k to 125k as you lose the personal allowance. But you can be assured ropes will work you like you are earning every penny.


average Georgey

its 6k+ per month . You are acting as if they lose 90% of their salary to tax.



Where did I ever mention 90%? You’ve missed the point which is that in real terms someone at freshfields on 100k is not far off someone at ropes on 130k because of the way the tax is structured (indeed with student loan repayments the net difference is just under 800 a month) but you will be beasted differently for that extra income.

Now if you were to work in a low tax jurisdiction that changes the equation entirely


Freshfields v Ropes

If you’re in PE or Lev Fin, you get worked as hard if not harder at Freshfields.

Also you want to push through the 100-125 k bracket at some point unless you plan on sitting at 100k forever regardless of seniority, so might as well do it sooner.

Finally, bonus difference means total comp is 102.5k at Freshfields v around 155k at Ropes.


^ plus higher pension contributions etc.

It’s funny how far the arguments have to go in order to make the MC look competitive for comp – oh let’s inflate salary with vague bonuses, then only look at after-tax and student loan etc. Even then, the US firms are 20 – 40k+ ahead at NQ level.


There’s about £15k difference. That’s a lot!£100k at FF and your take home pay, excluding student loans payments, is £66k. £125k at Ropes and your take home pay is £81k

Ropes NQ

Lmaoooo poor betacuck spotted.

Sucks to be u son



Back to contract law fresher, those student loans won’t repay themselves



What is it like to be poor lol?


Does anyone know what the current NQ rate is at Bracewell? Serious question – recruiter just messaged.



Unfunny. Piss off with your obscure kaka firm you gimp.



No. It is a top-ranked firm for oil/gas etc. I assume in line with market US.


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