A&O keeps 34 of 39 spring NQ solicitors

By on

All permanent contracts

Allen & Overy (A&O) has become the final Magic Circle law firm to reveal its spring 2023 retention result, keeping 34 out of 39 trainees.

Of the 39 trainees due to qualify next month, 38 applied for newly qualified (NQ) solicitor positions at the firm. A&O made 37 offers, 34 of which were accepted, handing the Magic Circle firm a spring score of 87%.

A spokesperson confirmed that none of the new associates will be on fixed-term contracts.

A&O, which offers about 90 training contracts each year, did not disclose the departments its new recruits will qualify into.

This time last year, A&O posted a spring score of 87%, retaining 33 out of 38 trainees. It kept 36 out of 44, or 82%, trainees in the last autumn round.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Our Firms Most List 2023 shows NQs earn £107,500.

James Partridge, recruitment partner and training principal, commented:

“I’m pleased to see a strong retention rate, which is testament to the calibre of this cohort and A&O’s continued investment in the lawyers who are the future of our firm. Congratulations to our latest group of qualifying solicitors.”

The rest of the Magic Circle have already announced their results. Clifford Chance scored 69% (29 out of 42); Freshfields scored 97% (33 out of 34); Linklaters scored 94% (48 out of 51); and Slaughter and May scored 100% (47 out of 47).

For all the latest commercial awareness info, news and careers advice:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter


Crystal ball

Decent result given people were claiming NQs would walk when they chose not to up salaries


I think people forget that for the majority of trainees there, A


Was Anon taken out by A&O heavies while writing this? Anon, please confirm you’re ok!

Well said

Inertia will always prevail


Do firms ever publish how many NQs stick around past the one year mark?

The obvious answer


The less obvious answer



Anyone who claims people will leave in droves once being offered a TC are absolutely deluded. First, it’s obviously a tough gig to get a TC in the first place so you don’t just bin it off (I’d still take a spot at my current firm if not offered my preferred team). Second, the Freshers wildly overestimate how easy it is to transfer to a sweaty US firm for the money. Yes, there are lateral opps out there, but as every recruiter will tell you, these spots are highly, highly contested.


You’re showing that you’re a fresher mate, it’s an NQ job not a TC.


To all MC associate, you’re serviceable and deserve to be paid well. US firms (note: £165k + NQ) are tough but not too dissimilar with your MC hours. I used to be a loyal MC associate to make ends meet, and discovered that my loyalty was worth nothing to these self-centred MC partners who refuse to share a slide of their success with their associates. It’s about time to dust off your CV for the next move.

Jenny From The Block

Any updates on the Travers Smith partner migration ? Another two partners have resigned this week according to my friend who works in the disputes team there! – unclear which teams they’re from though.

Join the conversation