Clifford Chance becomes UK’s largest TC provider with 110

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Exclusive: Additional 10 places sees firm knock Linklaters off top spot

Clifford Chance’s London office

Magic circle law firm Clifford Chance has become the largest training contract provider in the UK, Legal Cheek can reveal, after upping trainee places from 100 to 110.

The revised figure applies to the upcoming recruitment season and sees the Canary Wharf giant pull ahead of its rival Linklaters, which currently awards around 100 TCs annually.

Like with previous years, Clifford Chance says it will review this target at the point it starts to invite lawyer hopefuls to assessment.

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It also confirmed around five spots are set aside for IGNITE, a training contract programme it launched in the summer of 2018 which is specifically geared to students with an aptitude for technology.

But Clifford Chance isn’t the only firm upping its rookie intake. Baker McKenzie recently increased from 33 to 44 and Travers Smith moved from 30 to 40, while CMS grabbed headlines last year when it boosted TC numbers by a hefty 25% from 79 to 95.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows Clifford Chance pays its trainees £50,000 in year one, rising to £55,000 in year two. Base rates for newly qualified associates currently sit at £125k following an uplift earlier this year.

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What’s going on with Links associate salaries, has there been any news internally?



No, not beyond what’s reported. Suspect it’ll be November if any movement at all.



Adopting the IB recruiting vibes as a result of being the only major law firm in Canary Wharf



Are you aware that Skadden is also in the Wharf?



Which it is leaving presently



Given the mark-up on Trainee billables, it’s unsurprising. With trainees billed out at approx £300p/h and NQ’s hovering around £500p/h, but paid 3x more, it makes sense to overload the bottom of the pyramid. The funding for the LPC/SQE is a drop in the ocean in comparison.


Go away fresher

Not really because recovery on trainee time is generally much lower than junior associate time.



Congratulations captain obvious. What next, a quip on the the difference between a billable and chargeable?



Do you even commercial awareness, bro?



So, CC are simply building an army. It will get to a point where they’ll start offering TCs from those who just left year 11.



Their overheads costs must be ridiculous


Bullish Britdog

B…B…But recession?



I heard that Linklaters annual TC target is around 110 anyway?

Can anyone confirm?



Is this a good thing? Does it really make the firm appealing?



Not sure I would like being a cog in giant machine, how personal can the training really be when there’s so many trainees?

Also would they be able to get 100% retention?


stupid question here

“How personal can the training really be”

Everyone gets a line manager and everyone gets training in small group sessions. You know, just like every other large firm.


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