Macfarlanes posts 100% spring trainee retention score

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All six March qualifying rookies stay on at silver circle firm

Macfarlanes’ London office

Macfarlanes has announced it’s retained all six trainees due to qualify next month, giving the firm a 100% retention score for spring 2022.

The newly qualified (NQ) solicitors will see their salaries double from when they started as trainees at the firm two years ago, from £50,000 to £100,000. Macfarlanes increased NQ base rates to six figures at the start of this year.

Macfarlanes did not disclose the departments the NQs will join upon qualification.

Jat Bains, graduate recruitment partner at Macfarlanes, commented:

“Our trainees are the future of the firm and we look forward to continuing to support them in their careers at Macfarlanes. We are really happy to have retained all our trainees in this cohort.”

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Macfarlanes is traditionally a strong retention performer, regularly keeping the majority, if not all, of its qualifying trainees. The firm offers 33 training contracts annually and the bulk of its intake qualifies in the autumn.

In our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey Macfarlanes scored an A* for training and an A for quality of work.

Spring retention season is well underway, with Macfarlanes now the third of five silver circle law firms to reveal their scores. This is followed by Herbert Smith Freehills and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner revealing scores of 83% (24/29) and 72% (13/18) in recent weeks. Ashurst and Travers Smith are yet to reveal their latest scores.

Check out the latest coverage of law firms’ 2022 spring retention scores.

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CC take notes…still find it funny that that firm after all it’s glossy marketing, boasting about its office and diversity scores- people are still running a mile.



It’s very telling to say the least



Someone doesn’t understand how retention scores work – quite a few leavers were never offered positions with CC because they weren’t good enough. I would also personally prefer to train at a firm top US firms are poaching from, than to have limited qualification options and have to stay put. Don’t sniff at CC training allowing for top job prospects. Foolish.



Macs trainees have limited NQ options? They could go anywhere, probably better trained for the level of responsibility expected at US firms


Someone get a tissue for this CC future trainee

Ahahahha is this some CC future trainee? Stop crying mate. A total of 7 people decided they’d rather leave/didnt accept the offer. Look at the figures yourself. I also know a minimum of another 5 will be leaving after accepting. So yeah the figures are bad and clearly something is messed up.

Also US firms are not specifically “poaching” CC NQs. Get a grip. I’ve seen NQs from the likes of Addleshaws, CMS, DLA, Simmons etc up end at US firms in high numbers. In fact you’ll see in some head hunts that US recruiters prefer to recruit juniors from other US firms or mid sized firms; they want juniors who are familiar with higher responsibility and who are less specialised.



Yeah, I’ve seen it from Burges Salmon so maybe wind your neck in Anon



You know CC are slipping when the lawyer does an in depth piece devoted to CC trainee retention scores lol



How are they getting away with paying NQs 100k with firms like SPB and Eversheds pretty much paying the same. Where’s the incentive to give up your evenings and weekends?



Same questions can be asked of all SC and MC now. Good on sheds and SPB for lighting a fire up their ***. Inevitable pay rises to follow.



At Macfarlanes you will be working on vastly superior deals and cases to dumps like Eversheds and SPB.


Baker 2PQE


What kind of person accepts the same money for 10+ more hours per week for “vastly superior deals and cases” when the actual work itself, the substantive part of it, is literally the same?! I’d love to see you get by on the cool newspaper articles you or your firm aren’t mentioned in but which you know you worked on.


100% Spot On Dude

“Prestige” 🤣🙏


Sick of it

@ Anon
Feb 15 2022 3:35pm

Corporate trainees will be beasted no matter where they land. I doubt that someone in the corporate team at AG or ES will be having the time of their lives right now.

Someone might choose to work at Macfarlanes over a firm like Eversheds for any of the following reasons:
* better colleagues – and especially senior associates/partners
* better deals to put on the CV
* more experience (the longer hours you work, the more likely it is that you’ll be given responsibility above what you’re used to doing… the best way to become a better lawyer is to just work harder and with a larger number of people)
* better pay raises and bonuses at 1PQE onwards
* better name on the CV if you want to move in-house

It speaks volume to your age and experience that you’re only focusing on the ratio of hours to pay. If you have that mentality, then (a) you’re probably not accomplished enough to land a TC at a firm that you think is a “bad deal” (Macs and above), and (b) you’ll be moving to a rote in-house function for the 9-5 soon enough, in which case your obsession over law firms shouldn’t matter.



100% this. The students here on Legal Cheek who probably don’t even have TCs can turn their nose up at the genuine top firms all they like, but the naivety is blindingly obvious to those of us actually working at these firms. I often see the people with correct viewpoints being downvoted while people who clearly know nothing about the working world hype their entitled beliefs up. If you don’t want to work longer hours and on top quality work (sniffing at the MC and top firms), go into another profession because you’re going to be in for a nasty shock.



Agreed. There is a queue for entitled people at the job centre.


LC poster

No, you idiot!
The best firm to work it is the one with the best hours to pay ratio. Don’t you understand this?
The mid market is now KING



Why are you lot even arguing. This is a site meant for children. The mentality and achievements of someone who is aspiring to a TC at Macs is nothing like that of someone who is aspiring to the Shed. Few people ever get TC/NQ offers from both types of firm, and the decision for those who do is obvious.


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