go your own way

The cover versions get worse and worse.

BLM is retaining just 37% of its qualifying trainees.

RollOnFriday was prompted to make enquiries after a source advised that the firm's retention rate was "horrendous". BLM confirmed the details, to its credit, and said that out of the 19 trainees who qualified this Autumn, only seven were staying on at the firm.

The trainees had a stressful wait. For much of the summer, said sources, the firm would not tell them whether or not there would be NQ jobs available in the autumn. Now they know why. The remaining seven are, at least, all joining the firm on permanent contracts.

Elsewhere, BCLP has posted a 76% rate after finding permanent roles for 16 out of 21 of its qualifying trainees. “Congratulations to our 2020 autumn cohort who overcame a tumultuous final few months", said Chloe Muir, BCLP's Senior Graduate Recruitment & Development Manager.

Best of all, Gowling WLG has kept on all 18 of its qualifying trainees, and in permanent positions. "We are delighted that in these unsettling times the Firm has been able to retain all of its September 2020 qualifiers", said a spokesperson. Go to the top of the table, Gowling.


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Anonymous 25 September 20 08:20

Not surprising seeing as there are redundancies ongoing at BLM. 


Hope the NQs manage to bag a job elsewhere. It's a jungle out there right now.

Gary A 25 September 20 08:26

Why is this a surprise / story?

Trainees don't have a right to being taken on.

There is a recession.

Anonymous 25 September 20 09:43


Obviously it is very disappointing if a firm does not keep trainees on, but yes I agree. A firm is under no obligation to retain trainees but certainly should try their best to do so (if the trainee is any good).


Anon 25 September 20 10:44

A firm is under no obligation to retain trainees, but from my experience in law firms low retention rates are horrible for associate morale (who instructed said trainees), indicative of poor finances and/or an unpleasant culture.  

It is also a wasted investment of time and money, both in terms of sunk cost in their training and loss of future earnings they might have brought the firm, either as senior associates / partners or in-house counsel.  People underestimate how much of a guessing game it is at NQ level: from intakes I have seen 20% would be the top lawyers and 5% would be the underperformers.  The remaining 75% would all be roughly even, leading to some fine-margin decisions in practice areas where there are not enough places.

forster 25 September 20 12:13

Another law office foolishly listening to marketing scammers telling them that an 'alphabet ' name is cool, and will attract business   

Now rebounding on them as BLM riots go out of control 

WTF was wrong with Berrymans ? Far easied to remember 

Anonymous 25 September 20 12:31

This all has very little to do with Covid. BLM’s retention rate is appalling every year. A combination of trainees spending most of their training contract in low value personal injury seats they have no interest in, an emerging talent team who only seem to contact trainees to ask them to complete feedback surveys and the continuing decline in the firm’s fortunes.

Anon 25 September 20 20:05

Dumping the qualifying trainees (having invested so much in them) is normally a sign of serious money worries.

In the context of office closures and multiple redundancy consultations, it is difficult to see that things look good there. 

Anonymous 26 September 20 09:34

Suspect there may be similar numbers to come from elsewhere unfortunately. The firm I work at only kept 1 out of 4 qualifying trainees in our office (not sure about overall firm numbers), and whilst as has been said there’s no obligation to retain it’s never a good look and a waste of the investment made.

Anonymous 26 September 20 12:15

Gary there is no recession in insurance law its booming blm have always been tight

Gary A 28 September 20 10:32

BLM deal mainly in PI claims. So yes there is a downturn in this area. Every one of their competitors has made redundancies and furloughed staff.

This is a non story. It's all very well this guff about the wonderful value of trainees but if you haven't got the work for them...

When trainees bugger off for better jobs on qualifying it''s 'a free market' and no one questions the absence of loyalty to the employers that paid and invested in their training. When the boot is on the other foot it's 'a disgrace' and there is uproar from the twerps on this website.

A lot of immature,ignorant and self indulgent people who seem to have missed the fact we are in the beginnings of a big recession. 


Anon 28 September 20 13:25

Gary A, I hate to shatter your basic understanding of the free market, but employees in every industry are free agents and can do whatever the hell they want.

Law firms, on the other hand, have both the greater power and a reputation to uphold.  Why on earth would talented employees go to a firm with a poor retention rate?  The recession argument is valid, but most firms have not even dropped below 75%.  If your business cannot hold on to the people it has trained in contrast to the rest of the legal market, you rightly deserve criticism.  Pointing to other industries and saying “oh look, bartenders are losing their jobs so lawyers should too” is not a convincing argument.

As for your apparent grudge against trainees, I’m not sure what that’s about.  The only immature person here is you, given that childish rant at 10:32.

Anon 28 September 20 17:03

Gary A. The difference, as in all industries, is that employees are free agents who can do whatever they want.

The cost to a law firm of its trainees leaving is not significant compared to its costs overall.  Another trainee will take their place.  The cost to a trainee of being made jobless at the end of their training contract is significant, both mentally and financially.

That is obvious to any mature adult with a brain.

Anonymous 29 September 20 08:31

It is not as if BLM trainees had a choice to stay.  It has nothing to do with loyalty but it is about progressing with careers and paying bills.  


As for the recession, other law firms go out and win clients and do not just rely on motor personal injury, low value, high volume work which has understandably suffered a downturn.  There is nothing wrong with that sort of work though training contracts should not be set up based on 12 months of it either.


You can focus on how the economy is in recession and a business is struggling, or you can fight to make it survive and thrive.  Hopefully BLM has a plan to get out of this mess beyond redundancies and poor retention.

Gary A 29 September 20 19:46

Crazy comments....as if BLM is the only law firm suffering. Don"r trainees read the legal or business press? Are they aware of what is happening globally? Stop being so self indulgent and feeling sorry for yourselves. Start looking for work...stop your moaning and criticism of BLM. If you don't rate the firm why did you join it?

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