RPC has posted a less-than-stellar trainee retention rate of 42%. The firm put it down in part to a number of trainees competing to qualify in the same practice area.
Of the 12 qualifiers in the cohort, 10 applied to stay at RPC. But just five are being kept on.
"Firstly, we'd like to congratulate those who will qualify with us as NQs in the autumn”, a spokeswoman told RollOnFriday. "It was an extremely competitive process, with some high quality applicants. However, we are disappointed that our retention rate this year is lower than we typically see at RPC, largely due to applications into certain practice areas being significantly oversubscribed and us being unable to accommodate everybody with the number of roles available."
"We are committed to our application process and are confident that we will see our retention rates return to previous form in 2020", she said.
This year's retention rate is almost half the 82% posted in 2018 and 2017. Part of the problem has been RPC's arguably sensible policy of declining to shoehorn qualifying trainees into a lower-choice department, on the basis that if it did, a bunch of NQs would send out their CVs as soon as they got their feet under the desk.
Meanwhile, Travers Smith posted a solid retention rate of 81%. 17 out of 21 trainees will be kept on. Two of the brood didn't receive offers, while the other two opted to leave for other firms. It, too, represents a drop from last year's 100% and 90% in 2017.