Slaughter and May is retaining 91% of its qualifying trainees this September.

The elite Magic Circle firm has announced that it is retaining 29 out of its 32 fourth-seat trainees. Two of the 32 trainees did not put themselves forward for NQ jobs at the firm. Slaughter and May has a good record with retention rates. It hung on to all 25 of its March 2017 qualifiers, and achieved 89% for autumn 2016, 95% for spring 2016, 89% for autumn 2015 and 88% for spring 2015.

"Yes! We're in!"

Trainees and NQs divulged some of the reasons they stay in RollOnFriday's Firm of the Year 2017 survey. "No other firm commands the respect and social prestige of Slaughter and May", said one. A trainee said it exuded a "quiet sense of peerless superiority". Last year Slaughters was perceived to be lagging behind the rest of the Magic Circle firms when it came to pay (they all still do with regard to US firms). But December's perks package (which included pay rises, plus an increase to 30 days of annual leave), "exceeded all expectations". It "was generous", said an NQ, "bringing our salaries up to the top end of the Magic Circle and other benefits unmatched elsewhere". The firm, said a trainee, "listened, and responded to, employees' concerns over pay". 

The new NQs will be familiar with the "intimidating" atmosphere of working amongst "quietly brilliant" lawyers. Now they just have to deal with the possibility of being "dropped in the deep end" and "given full responsibility for managing a project". Which, said an NQ, "leaves you with a permanent knot in your stomach for the first few months (although arguably this is quite good for learning quickly)".

Announcing the latest solid stat, a Slaughter and May spokesman said, "We remain encouraged by our consistently high retention rates and are confident that all these talented lawyers will make a strong contribution to the firm”.