Pinsent Masons keeps 63 of 72 autumn qualifying trainees

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Womble Bond Dickinson and Watson Farley & Williams also record solid autumn results

Pinsent Masons has recorded an autumn 2021 trainee retention result of 88%.

Of the 72 trainees due to qualify this September, 62 have signed permanent deals and will be taking up newly qualified (NQ) associate roles within the firm. A further rookie has secured a role within the firm’s public policy team.

Twenty NQs join the finance and projects group, 14 qualify into an array of transactional teams (corporate, commercial, corporate tax, competition, employment), and 22 start life as a lawyer in contentious practice areas (litigation, construction advisory disputes, intellectual property, TMT and contentious tax). The remaining seven NQs join the firm’s property department.

In terms of offices, 24 soon-to-be associates qualify into London, Manchester gains eight, Birmingham receives seven, while Glasgow and Leeds take six each. A further five join the outfit’s Edinburgh office, four are bound for Aberdeen and three join Belfast.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows Pinsent’s new recruits in London start on salary of £75,000 while their counterparts in the regions earn £45,000. Scottish and Northern Irish NQs start on £43,500 and £30,000 respectively.

Secure your place: The September 2021 UK Virtual Law Fair

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has also confirmed 16 of its 18 NQs are staying put. With one retained on a fixed-term contact, this hands the outfit a score of 89% or 83%, depending on your reading of the numbers. Seventeen applied for NQ roles.

Five join asset and structured finance, four qualify into projects and three into disputes. Two NQs join corporate while real estate and employment gain one each. Fourteen will be based in London, one in Singapore and one in Dubai.

Finally, national outfit Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has recorded an autumn score of 88%, with 23 of its 26 NQs securing permanent roles.

Corporate and commercial takes nine, six join real estate and a further six qualify into dispute resolution. The final two rookies qualify into private wealth. Newcastle and Bristol take five NQs each, London, Southampton and London take four apiece, and the firm’s Plymouth office gains one.

This week WBD also went public with its new long-term remote-working policy, telling lawyers and staff they’re free to decide where they work — at home full-time, in the office full-time, or a mixture of the two. Set to be introduced in September, the fresh approach comes “without any mandatory requirements being set across the business other than for those in learning roles”.

Find out how other law firms performed in the autumn 2021 retention round here.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List



Tier 1-2 in several rankings, enough said.

I don’t get the definition of SC, firms like this one are often not included despite being huge players with outstanding departments in certain areas especially.

Time to re-define the SC? In my view: HSF, HL, Ashurst, Simmons, DLA, Pinsent, Eversheds, CMS



Original definition in 2005:

“Silver circle firms are content to advise a premium UK client base rather than service global institutions. A lot of work is private equity-dominated”.

On top of that, PEP which either rivals or exceeds that of the magic circle firms.

Most of the firms you mention have no relation to this definition. I’d argue only three firms today are characterised by this; Travers, Macs and Slaughter and May.



That definition doesn’t hold today, so many things wrong with it. That is why I believe it is in need of a change!

People criticise Eversheds/CMS yet they have the PEP of HSF/Simmons…. senseless


Get outta here




“DLA, Pinsent, Eversheds, CMS”

All credibility immediately lost 😀 😀 😀 😀



Why is DLA criticised so heavily? They have a lot of weight, especially in the UK market. I don’t see why they are not accepted as trailing only slightly behind the other “big” UK players.



Cos’ it’s shet. 😂



Kirkland bigboi

“Pinsent’s new recruits in London start on salary of £75,000”




Anyone got any thoughts/feelings on Wilkie Farr and/or MoFo?


what are you on

obscure shops, very stupid question



Very good shops. Wilkie has grown exponentially over the past years in London. They have some high quality PE work which generates LevFin work.

MoFo is an elite West Coast institution. They are much smaller in London but do have a good Cap Mkts (mostly structured products) department. They also do some cross-border wider Cap Mkts work.

Both very good options. High salaries and respectable. Just people on here – who are not lawyers so only know the 10 “famous” firms – will call these reputable places “obscure”.


You’re on a roll today son



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