Walker Morris and Watson Farley & Williams release autumn trainee retention rates

Avatar photo

By Bradley Fountain-Green on


83% and 78%

Walker Morris and Watson Farley & Williams are the latest firms to go public with their autumn trainee retention scores.

Walker Morris is keeping 15 of its 18 final-seat trainees, resulting in an autumn retention rate of 83%. The new solicitors will qualify into a spread of practice areas including construction, corporate, commercial, employment, infrastructure/energy, pensions, competition, IP, disputes, and sport.

Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2023 shows that the 20 first-year trainees that the firm takes on each year year earn £28,000, before stepping up to £31,000 in their second year. NQ pay currently sits at £60,000.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

At Watson Farley & Williams, 14 of the 18 qualifying trainees will be kept on, after the firm received 16 applications for positions. This gives the firm a retention score of 78%.

Four NQs are going into assets & structured finance; three into energy & projects; three into dispute resolution; two into corporate; one into real estate and one into regulatory & public (all in the firm’s London office).

WFW offers 18 training contracts every year. Rookies in the London office can expect their first year pay to rise by £3,000 to £50,000, then up to a current NQ rate of £90,000 post-qualification.

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

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter



So Walker Morris pay NQs same as some trainees at US firms?

Yorkshire pudding

WM are a firm based in Leeds, so their NQ pay is broadly in line with regional rates.


What a silly comment

Not Pinsent Masons NQ

Have you seen Pinsent Masons?

WM Junior

Yes but were in Leeds – so we live in beautiful countryside or a great city- have property we can afford – are out of the door by 6pm most days – have a billables target of 1350 – have a bonus of up to 35% – have loads of interesting work – and you couldn’t work with a nicer bunch of people………

But yeah U$ firms pay more. life is all about choices.


Hmm for London tho?


Yes, if you’re in the London office of Walker Morris as an NQ, you’ll be paid the same as some trainees at US firms..but at least you are a lawyer right?

Yorkshire pudding

WM do not have a London office. They are based in Leeds…

Join the conversation

Related Stories