Herbert Smith Freehills records 93% trainee retention score

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By Emily Hinkley on


27 out of 29

Herbert Smith Freehills’ London office

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has confirmed a spring trainee retention score of 93%.

HSF confirmed that all 29 of its March qualifying trainees applied for a newly qualified (NQ) roles, with 28 receiving offers and 27 accepting. None are on fixed-term contracts.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023 shows HSF recruits around 60 trainees each year, split across two intakes. Rookies earn a salary of £50,000 in year one, rising to £55,000 in year two. NQ pay currently sits at £120,000, excluding bonus, after the firm boosted rates by 14% last year.

The retention result is higher than HSF’s 2022 spring rate of 83% when it retained 24 of 29 qualifying trainees.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Last summer, HSF confirmed it would match the likes of Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May in offering a £17,000 maintenance grants to future trainees completing the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

HSF is now the fourth Silver Circle law firm to reveal its spring retention score. Macfarlanes, Travers Smith and Ashurst have already announced scores of 100% (6 out of 6), 75% (6 out of 8), and 84% (16 out of 19) respectively.

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