HSF kicks off autumn retention season with 84% result

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16 out of 19

Herbert Smith Freehills’ London office

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has fired the starting pistol on a new retention season with a solid score of 84%.

Of the 19 final seat trainees due to qualify this September, sixteen will be staying on as newly-qualified (NQ) associates. Sixteen rookies applied for permanent roles.

All soon-to-be associates are on permanent deals, HSF confirmed.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows HSF recruits around 60 trainees each year, split across two intakes. Trainees earn a salary of £50,000 in year one, rising to £55,000 in year two. NQ pay currently sits at £105,000, excluding bonus.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Today’s result more or less matches the firm’s spring rate of 83%, when it retained 24 of 29 qualifying trainees.

Earlier this month HSF confirmed it will provide a maintenance grant of £17,000 to future trainees completing the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) — a sum which matches that provided by the likes of Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.

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US trainy

Interesting.. our retention will be 50-60% this year..



Well duh.. what to expect at a soulless sweatshop



Which firm?



Any word on HSF or other firms increasing NQ salaries (Ashurst, Bakers, A&O, Links, NRF etc)?



Why would they increase again so soon? Especially silver circle, they seem to have a great offering right now; circa 5k a month for 9-6/7pm leave time (average) and free weekends. Sounds like a good deal to me.

US firms maybe 1.3k more a month yet you’ll be beasted to within an inch of your life.

Swings and roundabouts I suppose



Why do people keep perpetuating this myth that silver circle lawyers simply clock off at 6pm?! If you are on a live deal you will stay up per the clients instruction and same as the other side . I have regularly dealt with silver circle lawyers sending emails at 2/3am when deals heat up and working flat out through weekends.



Sure silver circle lawyers will also have long hours but these won’t be as often as US sweatshops. There’s also a lot more appreciation/time-off to recover which can make a huge difference. At US firms on the other hand you are often expected to send capacity emails if you’re likely to finish before 11/12 (source Kirkland NQ). So there is a difference!


why do kids still keep posting here

6/7 pm average clock off time at an SC firm? Average?

Free weekends?


Hog Lover

Somebody should start asking why Hogan Lovells hasn’t shared theirs in a while…



Hog Lov > HSF. Higher NQ salary for fewer hours. Decent culture and loads of US/MC exit opportunities



Comparing hogan and hsf give it a rest. They’re so similar. So many firms are similar. Why do people talk about them on here as if they’re football teams? So weird


HL Trainee

Every trainee bar one this round who wanted a TC got one. Several chose to leave for other opportunities abroad or to other firms



Congrats herbies!


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