Clifford Chance is slashing the size of its trainee cohort by another 25%.

The Magic Circle firm is still one of the biggest recruiters of students in the country, with 103 trainees qualifying at its Canary Wharf office this year. It also posted a decent 81% retention rate for 2016. But from 2018 it will cut its intake to a maximum of 80. That represents a 33% reduction in three years, after the firm decided to employ a maximum of 100 trainees a year instead of 120 in 2015.

A spokeswoman told RollOnFriday the decision was made in spring, "well before" the Brexit vote. She said the intake was being shrunk because of "the increased efficiencies we are seeing in the way in which we deliver client service".

  Bagging a contract with the Magic Circle just got funner 

It doesn't appear to be contagious. Other large employers contacted by RollOnFriday said they had no intention of reducing trainee headcounts. Allen & Overy, which scaled back from 105 to 85 in 2013,  said that it had "no immediate plans" to stop employing approximately 90 trainees in London and 20 law graduates at its Belfast Legal Services Centre each year. Slaughter and May, Freshfields, Eversheds and Linklaters all said they also had no plans to shrink.
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Anonymous 23 September 16 10:37

No need for graduate intellect when you have artificial intelligence. That way you can keep repeating old mistakes and never develop. Brilliant.