Reed Smith posts 62% autumn trainee retention rate

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By Bradley Fountain-Green on


8 out of 13 NQs take on permanent roles

Reed Smith will keep eight out of its 13 trainees due to qualify next month, handing the firm an autumn retention score of 62%.

Two of the firm’s new associates will qualify into energy & natural resources, with a further two going into the financial industry group. Two more join global commercial disputes while projects & construction and real estate gain a new solicitor each.

Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2023 shows that the NQs will start on a salary of £107,500, a decent jump from the £55,000 trainees earn in year two of their TCs

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

On the autumn result, Reed Smith’s training principal Nick Harris said:

“Congratulations to this hugely talented class of new associates. They are the next generation of the firm and we are proud to be investing in their career development and future successes.”

The firm recently launched a scheme to support first-year students from backgrounds underrepresented in law, with successful participants ‘fast-tracked’ through its 2024 vacation scheme application process.

On this, Rebecca Schrod, Reed Smith’s graduate recruitment manager, added:

“We take diversity, equity and inclusion very seriously at Reed Smith and this applies across all levels of the firm. This year we have continued to focus on attracting more diverse individuals to a career in law by embedding initiatives aimed at removing the barriers that often inhibit them from applying.”

News of the retention score comes just weeks after the firm announced plans to cut its global workforce by around 2% in response to a “reduced level of demand for legal services”. At the time, Reed Smith declined to say whether roles in London would be impacted.

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American firms are a bloodbath currently. Sidley keeping hardly anyone, Latham dropping people… Godspeed out there.


Yep, next 12-18 months is going to be brutal, especially at PE heavy firms.

Other firms too

MB, Taylor Wessing, Ashurst – I am looking at you (finance teams).


Says who?


Latham retention is misleading though. A handful were set on doing litigation where there’s only about 2 NQ places each year. Only 1 or 2 weren’t offered places in transactional seats – it’s not that bad.


K&E kept its trainees…

Mickey Mouse 🤡

This firm once invited me to interview and then 2 days before called me saying I was invited by mistake lmao truly tinpot

Not looking good bruv

Wow, that’s not looking good bruv




This is the worst NQ season for a long time, so many trainee’s being cast aside by firms.

Disgruntled RS trainee

7/11 stayed on in the previous intake, heard the job list has correlation with what the trainees have interest in. No transport or corporate jobs despite that being the main interest among the intakes

Living in the real world

I would be surprised if the jobs list has correlation with what trainees are interested in. In most firms it’s more linked to what resource is needed in each department- if they are really busy or had a few juniors resign recently they are likely to hire.
If they don’t have much work and juniors aren’t busy they won’t be hiring.

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