BCLP posts 58% trainee retention rate

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By Rhys Duncan on


Better but still not great

BCLP has released the retention rate for its September 2024 qualifiers, with 11 of the 19 trainees staying on.

This equates to 58% of the most recent UK cohort, with the global retention marginally lower at 57% (12 out of 21).

Whilst this isn’t a particularly strong figure, it is a significant increase from the 29% (4 out of 14) retained in the spring. The firm expects this trajectory to continue, with a spokesperson stating: “We remain committed to making further progress with our retention efforts and acknowledge there is still more work to do here.”

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

BCLP has faced challenging market conditions in recent years with the commercial real estate sector, one of its key specialisms, suffering. The firm has also lost a number of Russian clients since sanctions were applied after the invasion Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the firm added:

“We are pleased that one of our qualifiers is our first Solicitor Apprentice to qualify through the apprenticeship route for the firm. We are actively supporting our remaining trainees to find alternative roles, with many in the final stages of that process. We wish all our qualifiers all the best in their future legal careers.”

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that BCLP take on around 35 trainees each year, with London recruits receiving £50,000 in year one, £55,000 in year two, and £105,000 upon qualification.

Those joining the Manchester office can expect a first year salary of £33,000, rising to £37,000 in their second year and £67,000 upon qualification.



Yet they increased their NQ salaries

Are you thick?

NQ salary increases aren’t purely aimed at NQs lmao.


There is zero correlation between retention and NQ salaries.

Hope that helps

Unretained Silver Circle Trainee

Retention is poor across the board at city firms.

The NQ market is dead.

Budget cuts in departments.

Good luck to trainees qualifying this September!

I feel for you.

Un-retained elite US trained

So true. 30-40 trainees fighting for 1 NQ role.


For external NQ roles? Nah bro it’s much higher than that.

There are over a hundred applicants going per NQ role.

It’s a VERY saturated market.

Kirkland NQ

Sorry, can you speak up, can’t hear you over the sound of my Lambo.

Reply to smart ass

Erm genius I know that but increasing NQ salaries when retention rates are low may not align with financial prudence. It could lead to higher costs without guaranteeing long-term retention or productivity gains.

Also without clear evidence that higher salaries will improve retention and productivity, the investment in increased NQ salaries may not yield sufficient returns to justify the expenditure.

Reply to idiot

Nothing you said makes any sense. You’re just spouting complete nonsense.

Clearly you don’t understand ecenomics or finance or more importantly how law firms operate as a business.

“increasing NQ salaries when retention rates are low may not align with financial prudence” … wth are you on about here???? Some of these law firms with low nq retention rates are posting their best ever financial end of year. They can afford to increase the NQ salaries – they simply aren’t taking on more NQs because there isn’t a demand for NQs in the current market. Many of these teams are looking for 2-5PQEs not NQs.

“It could lead to higher costs”… wrong again! If firms aren’t taking on as many NQs but increasing the NQ salaries then it doesn’t lead to higher costs. It’s simple maths. Paying 50 NQs 100,000 or 30NQs 110,000… which works out cheaper? Exactly.

“without clear evidence that higher salaries will improve retention and productivity”… you don’t need evidence to prove that a pay increase will incentivise people to stay.

You are an absolute waffler who knows nothing.


This may be hands down the dumbest comment I’ve read in a long looong time.


You’re taking out your arse mate


Where’s he taking it?

To the commenter above (pick any)

Hey you shut up!


Wow. Genuinely shocked reading that headline. What on earth is going on? Berwin Leighton Paisner was historically an incredibly strong London firm of solicitors?

Truth Serum

It’s not about how strong a firm is.

The market is dead and there’s nothing firms can do about that.

Trainees at US firms and Magic Circle / Silver Circle firms are being let go.

The firms that are disclosing higher retention are not telling you the whole truth. A lot of trainees are having to qualify into teams they did not want to for the sake of having a job.


It still is a strong London firm. The NQ market is just dead and firms aren’t looking to hire

Bclp insider

They had a 29% retention rate in spring. You can’t blame BLP’s decline purely on the current market.


This is dreadful. BCLP was never a serious player in any field, other than RE.

Bleeding partners, associates and now, trainees, across the board.

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