Freshfields keeps 32 of 34 spring NQ solicitors

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By Thomas Connelly on

Macfarlanes also confirms 100% score

Freshfields and Macfarlanes have confirmed their spring trainee retention scores.

Magic circle player Freshfields is keeping 32 of its 34 rookies — or 94%. None are on fixed term contracts and all will be based in its new London HQ, an ultra-modern skyscraper at 100 Bishopsgate.

Craig Montgomery, training principal and trainee development partner said: “We are delighted to be retaining a very high proportion of our March 2021 qualifying intake. This is a real testament to the strength of the lawyers who have thrived in an unprecedented time. It is also a reflection of our ongoing commitment to recruiting, retaining and developing top talent for the future.”

The firm dishes out around dishes out around 80 training contracts each year, with trainees earning a salary of £45,000 in year one, rising to £51,000 in year two. Legal Cheek‘s 2021 Firms Most List shows NQs receive a base rate of £100,000.

Freshfields is last of magic circle to reveal its spring score, with Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance recording results of 93% and 88%, respectively, and Linklaters and Allen & Overy both posting 92%.

Elsewhere, Macfarlanes has chalked-up a perfect spring retention score of 100%, with all six of its final-seat trainees staying on post-qualification. All are on permanent deals.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The silver circle outfit’s graduate recruitment partner, Jat Bains, commented:

“It’s excellent to have once again retained all of our spring trainee cohort upon qualification. We are pleased that they have chosen to build the next phase of their careers with us. Notwithstanding the pandemic, we take a long-term view, recruiting our trainees to be the partners of the future.”

Our Firms Most List shows the NQs will start on a base salary of £85,000 — a five-figure sum that was trimmed by £5,000 last summer (and later reinstated) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Trainee pay currently sits at £44,000 in year one and £49,000 in year two.

Last summer Macs announced it was upping its training contract offering slightly, from 31 to 33, to accommodate future growth.

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