Linklaters retains 41 of 49 spring qualifying trainees

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By Rhys Duncan on


One on fixed-term deal

Linklaters has retained 41 of its 49 trainees qualifying this spring, with one on a fixed-term contract.

This translates to retention score of 84% or 82%, depending on your reading of the numbers. The figure represents a minor drop from the outfit’s autumn retention figure of 86% (42 out of 49), and a more significant change from the 94% (48 out of 51) recorded last spring.

Taking on 100 recruits each year, Linklaters has one of the largest trainee cohorts in the City, joint with Freshfields and narrowly behind Clifford Chance on 110.

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New joiners can expect to take home £50,000 in year one, £55,000 in year two, and the Magic Circle standard of £125,000 on qualification.

Chris Stevenson, trainee development partner at Linklaters, commented:

“We’re very pleased to have another group of high-performing junior lawyers take the next step in their careers with Linklaters. We are all extremely excited to see what this talented group can achieve with our global platform behind them – investing in our people to reach their full potential and delivering the best for our clients.”

Linklaters is now the fourth Magic Circle player to release their retention figures, with Clifford Chance clocking 71% (40 out of 56), Allen & Overy 77% (30 out of 39), and Freshfields 84% (32 out of 37).



What does a fixed term contract mean in this context?


They were not offered a permanent role. This could be due to a particular team not having the budget or demand to take on an NQ, or their performance needs further assessment to determine if a permanent role should be offered. The former is usually most common.


It means that someone is qualifying as a non-fee earner into the legal and risk team.


Would typically be a 6 or 12 month contract. The lawyer stays on for that period of time, after which the contract may be renewed or they receive full employment. But the firm is not obligated to keep them on beyond the fixed term of the contract.


Bro it’s basic employment law lol


It means they have no fixed abode so the contract is not fixed to where they live.


Wonder how many applied, or is it just assumed everyone applied to stay on?

Logical thinker

They won’t all have applied. Some will probably have expected to take a US NQ role for over a year now and will now be doing this. Some won’t be wanting an NQ role anywhere (it’s not for everyone). Some will have applied and not been offered anything, either because their practice area(s) couldn’t take them on or because they weren’t good enough, though those numbers are likely to be pretty small. Main interest is in the MC trainee to US NQ transition numbers. 84% suggests not too many here but look at CC’s numbers over the last couple of years and you get a different picture.


Qualification processes for firms like Links usually start quite early (before trainees have been able to secure offers elsewhere) so most people will generally apply/express interest in qualifying at their training firm and then some will explore other options in parallel. Would therefore expect most, if not all, of the current Links intake applied to qualify there.

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