Trainee retentions: mixed fortunes for Simmons and Shoosmiths

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Spring scores of 57% and 100%

Simmons & Simmons and Shoosmiths have gone public with their latest trainee retention scores.

Simmons confirmed it will retain four of its seven final seat trainees — or 57%. All are on permanent deals.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows the fresh-faced foursome will see their salaries swell from £50,500 to £100,000 upon qualification.

Simmons recruits around 24 trainees each year split across two intakes.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Today’s result is a marked drop on the firm’s autumn 2021 performance, which saw it keep 16 of its 20 trainees — or 80%.

Meanwhile, Shoosmiths has chalked up a perfect spring score of 100%, with all seven soon-to-be associates committing their futures to the firm.

The new recruits qualify into departments including medical negligence, construction, real estate, planning, banking, corporate and commercial.

The firm — which recently launched its first international office in Brussels — pays NQs £75,000 in London and £50,000 in the regions. It recruits around 30 trainees each year.

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Lol – 100k NQ but only half the spots. Smh



Do we know why? Didn’t make offers? Candidates left for other firms?



Why would you want to work at either of these awful firms? Better off moving to a different career than working at these shops.


silly hyperbole ^

You think after two years of training (on top of degree + lpc), it’s better to jump careers to a likely lower paid role than earn 100k or even 75 k a year straight out of training?

Anyone who does that has wasted a good 4+ years of their life.

If it’s just these shops, surely the ideal solution is to move firms after qualification instead of just giving up?


Northampton Pie Club

No surprise with Shooeys, punching well above their weight on salary and seem to be transcending that Mills & Reeve / Gateley territory.


MC 3pqe

Anyone who has moved from MC (or other) to a US firm after qualification: would be interested to know whether you did so directly or via a recruiter, and whether you were able to negotiate a signing bonus?


US (not cravath)

Jumped from a T-40ish firm. went via a recruiter. Offered a 10k signing bonus. I’m 1PQE.


3rd seat trainee

what practice area?


US (not cravath)




Went via recruiter got offered 10k signing. 1PQE at a US firm (non cravath scale but well into 6 figures for NQ).



Not really necessary to negotiate a signing bonus. They are pretty much standard at certain types of US firms. From what I’ve recently heard from friends/contacts, they now usually range from £20-60k (depending on seniority). Guess it’s up to you to ask for more if you’re not satisfied with what you’re offered initially.


Dentons 2 PQE

Moved through a recruiter to a solid US practice. Negotiated a ridiculous package and 10k signing bonus- Recruiter made it pretty clear to them to make their best offer first and not “mess about” they have done just that and I start there next month.



Shoosmiths massively leapfrogged RPC at NQ level too. RPC has historically been 5-8k ahead of Shoosmiths!



That’s pretty decent wedge at Shooey, maybe time to swap my US firm champagne for some sparkling English!



75k a year is a pretty good deal for NQs at Shoosmiths when you consider the workload.

That’s more than a few international firms.


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