White & Case keeps 14 of 17 NQ solicitors

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Two rookies qualify into the firm’s offices in Dubai and Geneva

White & Case has posted a spring trainee solicitor retention score of 82%.

The global law firm confirmed 14 of its 17 UK trainees have been retained on permanent deals, with 12 joining its London office and two starting associate life in Dubai and Geneva. It made 15 offers.

The newly qualified (NQ) solicitors qualify into departments antitrust; commercial litigation; debt finance; financial restructuring and insolvency; intellectual property, international arbitration; and mergers & acquisitions.

Legal Cheek‘s 2021 Firms Most List shows the new recruits will start on a recently improved salary of £130,000, while trainees receive £50,000 in year one, rising to £55,000 in year two.

Partner Inigo Esteve, who heads the trainee solicitor programme in London, commented:

“The quality of our training programme, combined with a highly competitive salary and benefits package, positions White & Case as a destination firm for talented and ambitious trainee lawyers. The training equips our lawyers with the skills and experience to succeed in the global practices they join, preparing them to advise leading global clients on their most important, complex, cross-border matters.”

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Last September White & Case recorded an autumn retention result of 88%, with 21 of its 24 NQs staying put (two on fixed-term deals).

Melissa Butler, White & Case office executive partner in London, added:

“As we mark 50 years in London, our long history of success in this market ensures that White & Case attracts and retains top legal talent at every level in the profession. Our trainees join a programme that has launched hundreds of successful legal careers and a firm where the business need for English law qualified lawyers in London and throughout our offices worldwide continues, despite the global coronavirus pandemic and other ongoing economic and political uncertainties.”

Earlier this week Legal Cheek reported that Stephenson Harwood had kept hold of eight of its ten soon-to-be associates — or 80%.

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How far does £130k go in Geneva?



£130k is the median lawyer salary in Switzerland. It is a decent salary considering income tax is much lower in Switzerland.


NQ salary is different in every office, this is the salary just in London office (you could have guessed this from the fact that it is given in pounds if you were more attentive to detail). It is obviously different in Dubai (where US firms normally pay New York size salary in USD) and Geneva (where it is paid in Swiss francs).



Did the vac scheme and I’m pretty sure they hand out TC offers to almost everyone on the scheme since most people accepted MC firms elsewhere.

You have to do pretty badly on the Vac scheme and TC for them not to take you on



W@C is one of those firms where you’re almost guaranteed a TC offer once you get onto the vac scheme



University of Law had errors in its Business Law and Practice exam for the LPC



Why do people keep commenting this like we give a sh*t about your easy open book exams? No one cares?



Interesting that there were only 17 qualifiers. Didn’t W&C have aspirations to increase the intake to 50+? Or is this something that’s still a work in progress?



Split between January and September starts



Does the other start have 33 qualifiers? I’d imagine that the two starts are balanced to a degree.


Not really, September is always 1.5-2 times larger intake. 3 years ago it was 20-25 people, could be closer to 30 now.


Too Salty for Swiss

That associate off to Geneva is one lucky sod. Skiing all winter, jazz festival down the road during summer, incredible income potential with a sensible income tax regime.

Not to mention wavy blonde hair every which way….

Why did I spend years chasing the Square Mile?! Working my ass off for an effective marginal tax rate of 60% and surrounded by people that pronounce water as “woot-AH”. I can’t wait for global warming to raise the sea levels above the Dover cliffs.


Just saying

Aside from your obvious social chippiness, which is a shame and you should grow out of that, I assume you aspired to the City because it is the only place to be if you are talented and ambitious. Having worked in the City, I can tell you that you would find Geneva, and the Swiss market generally, a huge step down. The quality of lawyers in Switzerland is lower than in London; and civil law is less intellectually challenging than common law.



Yeah I would be interested to know if the non-city roles are basically their way of saving face, like we’re giving you an offer but we know you won’t actually want to stay there for any length of time so you’ll leave. Totally depends on circumstances of the person themselves though


Aspiring solicitor

What’s the training like here?



Honestly, it’s sub par.

As soon as I qualified I moved firms.


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