A third of the cohort will be Wombling free out of the firm.
Womble Bond Dickinson is retaining 67% of its qualifying trainees this year.
Disconsolate sources voiced suspicions to RollOnFriday that the firm's retention rate was under 50% (do leak what's happening at your firm). However, rumours of WBD falling flat on retention proved to be exaggerated; albeit retention has dropped 10% from the firm's score of 77% last year.
WBD had a cohort of 27 this year (26 qualifying trainees and one additional SQE candidate). The firm offered 19 permanent roles and 18 of the brood accepted positions, including one who qualified earlier in March.
Those qualifying at Wombles will be on a NQ salary of £78k in London; £60k in Bristol; £55k in Leeds/Southampton; and £50k in Edinburgh/Plymouth/Newcastle.
WBD had been in discussions earlier this year to merge with BDB Pitmans but the deal fell through. The Wombles can claim bragging rights when it comes to retention (just about) as BDBP scored just 54% placing it bottom of the table.
A WBD spokesperson said: "This year's cohort of qualifying lawyers is a dedicated group that we are encouraged to see continue their career development and growth with Womble Bond Dickinson. This will provide us a strong pipeline of talented people for the future needs of the firm."
When asked about the dip, the spokesperson responded: "While we do acknowledge there has been a drop in overall retention rate when comparing this year's cohort to last year's, we are encouraged that those continuing with Womble Bond Dickinson represent a strong addition to our team and will not only safeguard future needs of the firm, but ensure we continue to provide our clients with high-quality service."