Clifford Chance retains 70% of spring qualifying trainees

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By Aishah Hussain on


Final magic circle firm to reveal 2022 score

Clifford Chance’s London office

Spring retention season is well underway, with Clifford Chance the latest law firm to reveal a score of 70%.

Of the 46 trainees due to qualify next month, the magic circle firm received 41 applications and made 34 offers, of which 32 were accepted. These are all permanent, full-time contracts.

As always, the firm did not provide further breakdown of the practice areas or offices the newly qualified (NQ) solicitors will qualify into.

The new recruits will start on a recently improved base salary of £107,500, almost double their second year trainee salary of £55,000. First year trainees at the firm earn £50,000.

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Clifford Chance offers about 95 training contracts, which is split into two intakes starting in March and September each year. In the autumn 2021 retention round, the firm again scored 70%, keeping 37 of 53 qualifying trainees. It held onto 88% (38/43) final seat trainees last spring.

Firm insiders tell us the results are indicative of some trainees wanting to move over to US firms which pay much higher salaries.

Clifford Chance is the fifth and final member of the magic circle to reveal its spring 2022 retention score. Linklaters reported a 94% result last month, keeping 49 of 52 trainees on permanent deals. Slaughter and May, Freshfields and Allen & Overy followed soon after with results of 85% (33/39), 92% (34/37) and 87% (33/38) respectively.

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