Linklaters retains 45 of 48 autumn qualifying trainees

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All permanent positions

Linklaters is the first of the magic circle to reveal its autumn 2021 trainee retention score, keeping 45 out of 48 newly qualified (NQ) solicitors.

This hands Links a score of 94%, which is in line with previous retention rounds. In spring, the firm retained 94% of its qualifying cohort (47 out of 50), though one rookie was on a fixed-term contract (FTC), and in the last autumn round, Links’ score was 87% (46 out of 53), with one NQ on a FTC.

Links disclosed for a second time a separate retention score for its black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) trainees. The firm will be retaining 90% of its BAME trainees and 100% of its trainees who identify as black this autumn.

“We are very pleased to report that we have once again retained a strong and diverse cohort of talented trainees, retaining 94% of our September 2021 qualifying intake,” said Richard Hodgson, trainee development partner at Linklaters. “A huge congratulations to our newly qualified lawyers who have excelled in what have been extraordinary times. I look forward to seeing their careers progress at Linklaters, as we continue to invest in, develop and retain talented individuals.”

All 45 new associates in this year’s round are retained on permanent contacts, Linklaters confirmed. Two NQs are headed for the firm’s Singapore office.

They’ll start on a newly improved salary of £100,000, plus discretionary bonus, after Links, like most of its MC rivals, joined the six-figure base salary club just last week.

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Among this year’s qualifying cohort is the UK’s top legal influencer, Eve Cornwell. The Bristol University law grad has accepted an NQ role at Linklaters, becoming the first YouTuber with a truly large following to gain full lawyer status.

“Delighted to announce that after two challenging and rewarding years training at Linklaters I’ve accepted an associate position, starting September 2021,” Cornwell tweeted last month. “I think this is the ‘we did it’ Elle Woods moment.”

Cornwell started her two-year TC at Linklaters in September 2019. She’ll wrap up her final six-month seat in the summer before embarking in an NQ solicitor role from September 2021. Cornwell will be specialising in corporate M&A work, according to her LinkedIn page.

Cornwell has shared her legal exploits with fans over the years on YouTube. She’s amassed 374,000 subscribers and over 20 million views since she started her vlog in 2013.

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A good score and shows confidence more broadly in the legal industry.



Doesn’t matter, people on LC will bash this firm anyway. Despite it being top of the MC, i.e. top of the legal world… smh


GCSE Patrol

We all know you’re very excited to begin your studies in law but please return to chapter 5 of your Introduction to the English legal system textbook and refrain from making further comments until you graduate.


Improvised Tactics

So £100k base like A&O?

Meaning A&O & Links are now the top of the MC? Wow, I remember when Slaughters and FF were the best of them.



FF have 100k base too hun


FF Anon

No bonus until 1pqe earliest though.



As in that’s when you start qualifying or just that’s when it’s paid out? Because it makes sense if you only get paid the bonus for the first year fully qualified after that year has passed e.g. qualifying this Sept means you get your first associates bonus in autumn 2022. I know a large number of firms work that way. My firm’s financial year roughly matches standard qualification time and that’s how it worked out for me.

If you only start qualifying for FE bonus schemes after 1PQE, that just sounds like they’re justifying to the ranks why they’re trying to keep up with the NQ salary war but not raising 1-5 PQE salaries by the same percentages. That’s a cheap a** move which is about right for the FF (and most traditional British firm) leadership.



I don’t believe they have matched the rises at CC (i.e 2 PQE about 125 and 3 10K more + bonuses)



Lol 100k was supposed to be the going rate back in 2019 when FBD broke out of the MC cartel.

All the others then posted vague bonus figures to artificially match FBD. For LL it was 95k, then cut to 90k, then up to 92.5k and 100k this year. Laughable that they are now being lauded as the front runners when they are merely paying the base rate that FBD set 2.5 years ago, after having cut / frozen pay as soon as COVID hit.



I wrote a poem for the fallen three:

Enjoy the memories, the things you learned,
For the candle has burned, yet the scent will linger.
The past defines us, including the wounds,
The light that has burned must guide us on.
Keep and cherish past experiences,
Stay positive and look to the future.
Whatever you do, don’t berate yourself,
Your choices are half chance.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room,
Do not read beauty magazines they will only make you feel ugly.



Terry, if you could offer one tip for the future, what would be it?



Wear sunscreen.



For a second I thought the article said “They’ll start on a newly impoverished salary of £100,000”. I genuinely thought I read that and had to double take.



Literally no-one outside of the LinkedIn law grad echo chamber cares about ‘law influencers’ like Eve Cornwell.


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