He thought they'd let him stay in the cave. He was wrong.

BCLP has retained just over half of its cohort of qualifying trainees, saying that it acknowledges there is "more work to do".

The firm confirmed that in the UK it retained 11 out of 19 trainees, or 58%, and that globally it retained 12 out of 21, or 57%.

BCLP declined to say how many (if any) of the retained solicitors were being kept on fixed term contracts, which provides firms with an easy means to keep on solicitors temporarily.

Before merging with US firm Bryan Cave, BLP was a real estate stalwart, but for the second qualification round running there were no berths in the property practice, sources told ROF. An insider said it was “shocking given that RE is meant to be our strength”.

Any figure over 50% does at least represent an improvement over BCLP’s March retention rate of 25%, when it kept on just four of its 16 qualifying trainees.

Nonetheless, an insider told RollOnFriday that the firm only made 12 NQ places available, and said it was “really disappointing to watch extremely talented people being let go. We’ve seen this before - the firm doesn’t retain good trainees" and then "hires laterally once the market picks up again... Sigh. When will we learn?”

At least the firm held its hands up, telling ROF that "We remain committed to making further progress with our retention efforts and acknowledge there is still more work to do here".  

“Providing high-quality training to equip our trainees for their legal careers is one of the firm’s top priorities", it said, highlighting that among its qualifying cohort is its first Solicitor Apprentice to qualify through BCLP's apprenticeship route. 

"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", said a spokesperson.

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Tip Off ROF


Soon2bNQ 05 July 24 08:58

It is by no means the only firm doing this :(. Not an easy time to find an NQ job either.

Dayglo Dave 05 July 24 09:31

I have no connection to BCLP but I like their honesty in recognising that they are not perfect.  More than that, I think they are being prudent.  There are storm clouds on the horizon.

Jamie Hamilton 05 July 24 09:50

Thanks Curi0usly_Anon, we got your comment but we're going to look into it for a potential story next week - so please keep it under your hat!

sesamebun 05 July 24 10:05

Seems to be the industry standard at the minute. Hired in a post Covid boom, dropped in a purdah heartbeat. Feels good. 

Real State 05 July 24 11:32

Presumably the bar to hiring NQ’s is now a lot higher given the additional cost of all these salary rises which have accrued over the last few years. Combine that with a slow transactional market and it’s not hard to see why this is an outcome. I doubt they will be the only firm doing this. 

BCLP insider 05 July 24 12:16

Bclp barely retains over 50% of trainees in any given year. Not sure we can infer too much for the wider market yet

low retention… low salaries… low morale 05 July 24 13:44

Also confirmed no salary increases when the whole market is moving up

Anonymous 05 July 24 16:34

Whatever happened to the silver circle? SJ Berwin imploded after an ill-advised merger, BCLP is having similar difficulties, I understand from rumour that Ashurst nearly went under a few years ago (although apparently it's recovered well), Travers has widely reported partner losses and only Macfarlanes really seems unscathed. 

Lower still to come 06 July 24 18:03

Wait until some of the US firms announce their retention rates. There is a reason some of them have not matched the wage increases. 

Questioning_the_editor 06 July 24 20:53

Why is it that BCLP’s retention rate is written about yet BDB Pitmans who are only retaining 4 of their 12 trainees are left unscathed? Possibly because of RoF’s friendship with their MP..?

BDBP v BCLP 08 July 24 19:01

The BCLP retention rates look practically civilised against BDB Pitmans’ rate of 33%! 

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