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Slaughter and May's 87% retention rate shows new confidence
19 February 2010
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There were clear signs of renewed confidence amongst leading firms this week, as further details were released of trainee retention rates. Slaughter and May now tops the RollOnFriday table, with a recession-busting 87% retention figure - with Nabarro hot on its heels with an 86% result.

However not every firm shares the same business confidence. Denton Wilde Sapte still languishes at the bottom of the table with a dismal 14% retention rate, while Reed Smith, Lovells, Irwin Mitchell and Stephenson Harwood all remain below 70%. 

It seems confidence is strongest amongst the biggest firms - Freshfields for example managed 80% and Herbert Smith at first sight seem close behind at 79%. However, that figure alone ignores the fact that HS has just asked its new joiners to defer their start dates - and the firm is also happily sacking students on technicalities.

The RollOnFriday retention table currently stands as follows: 
Firm     No. of qualifying trainees  No. being kept on  Percentage being kept on 
Slaughter and May 24 21 87
Nabarro     14 12 86
Freshfields      50 40  80
Herbert Smith     34 27 79
BLP 16 12 75
CMS 31 23 74
Linklaters 67 49 73
SJ Berwin  14 10 71
Clifford Chance      63  44  70 
Reed Smith 13 9 69
Lovells                 38 26 68
Irwin Mitchell     6 4 66
Stephenson Harwood 8 4 50
DWS 7 1 14*

Bear in mind that all of these firms would be offering jobs to 90% or more of their NQs in boom times. RollOnFriday analysts advise investors to buy Slaughters, hold Clifford Chance and sell DWS**.

Use the button below to send in your firm's rate.

*FFS, that's 14%. What are you playing at DWS?
** Law firm values may go up slowly as well as down very rapidly indeed. You may not recover the value of your initial investment, RollOnFriday analysts have no qualifications, track record or basic social skills. Your house may be at risk and so may your parents' house. Please don't play with matches and ask a grown up to help with the scissors. Careful now, thanks.


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