Freshfields kicks off spring retention season with 97% score

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Magic Circle firm retains 33 of 34 trainees

Freshfields’ London office at 100 Bishopsgate via Instagram (@lloyd_rees)

Freshfields has today revealed a spring 2023 retention score of 97%, keeping 33 of 34 qualifying trainees.

The Magic Circle firm made 33 offers. It does not disclose the departments in which its trainees qualify, nor does it disclose whether any were retained on fixed-term contracts (FTCs).

“We are delighted to see such a positive acceptance rate, with nearly all of our spring qualifying intake continuing to build their careers at Freshfields,” said Craig Montgomery, partner and training principal at Freshfields. “We congratulate them on coming to the end of their training contracts, and the dedication and talent shown throughout.”

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The soon-to-be newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors can expect to see their salaries more than double, from £55,000 per annum to £125,000, our 2023 Firms Most List shows.

Freshfields offers 90 training contracts across two intakes each year. In the last autumn round, the firm retained 86% (32/36) of final-seat trainees, and 92% (33/37) last spring.

Freshfields is the first of five Magic Circle firms to post its spring 2023 score. Expect the rest to follow soon.

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Pretty strong considering all this talk of economic headwinds from certain other firms. Freshfields now pay more at NQ level than linklaters pay their 2PQEs (given ongoing salary freezes and no bump in September for the jump in Pq level).


Truth teller

Top US firms have already started stealth layoffs due to the slowdown of work in PE and finance. Good on FF’s trainees for staying – the grass isn’t greener and you may not even have a job if you were to move to a US firm.



I think you mean to say “you may not even have a job if you were to LEAVE FF”. If the trainees were to “move to a US firm”, well that would suggest they have the job, as one cannot move to a firm they are not employed by.

I know it’s Thursday, but at least comment with purpose.


Rebel without a commenting purpose

Oooh look at me, I’m anonymously “CoMmEnTiNg wItH pUrPoSe”, readers of this comment section must love my clever pithy remarks and analysis of other comments



Goodwin have announced layoffs



Best disputes practice in the magic circle by some distance. They’ll be fine this year.



thought more would move to simpson/ropes etc. given their sky-high salaries now…


Reality cheque

Well only if you want to jump on a sinking ship. Mid-level associates are being pushed out as there isn’t much work in corporate/finance right now. The future of these firms is bleak.


STB Associate

Lol ok.



At this point, Freshfields (and perhaps CC) seems like the only UK firm that is even trying to be remotely competitive with US firms. Excellent salary plus decent job security. Good on them.


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