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Clifford Chance in 67% trainee retention shock
17 February 2017
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With a muted fanfare, Clifford Chance has announced a trainee retention figure of just 67% for this spring. The worst of the field so far.

43 out of the Magic Circle firm's 46 trainees applied for a position but only 33 were offered jobs, with just 31 accepting. Those that have jumped through the appropriate hoops to land a job at CC will be awarded a tasty £85,000 a year as NQs.

This spring's low retention rate is unusual for CC but continues a recent downward trend. The firm kept on 91% of trainees in Spring 2015, 96% in Autumn 2015, 80% in Spring 2016 and 82% in Autumn 2016. A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment on the latest round-up.
     

CC fared reasonably well in the Firm of the Year survey, coming 22nd out of all firms and 2nd out of the Magic Circle with an overall score of 70%. The most enthusiastic response came from one fresh-faced trainee saying "I could never have imagined my training contract being this enjoyable". Although a jaded 5 PQE lawyer said "I am worked like a bitch" but resignedly pointed out "I would be worked twice as hard elsewhere in the magic circle".

  Day one: "Will this unbridled joy ever end?"
 
  Day twelve
 

Elsewhere, other firms have announced impressive spring retention rates. Magic Circle firm Slaughter & May is keeping on all 25 of its March cohort, who will be on  £78k as NQs. Although S&M doesn't include its bonus in its stated pay, so they could earn as much or more as their Magic Circle peers.

     

Mayer Brown also posted a 100% trainee retention rate this spring, Trowers & Hamlins announced an impressive 93% retention rate, and White & Case has will be keeping on a very respectable 88% of tis trainees.

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