PJ office

An NQ transitions back to the office, post-lockdown 

Macfarlanes has announced a Covid-proof retention rate of 100%. 

The City firm has retained all six of its trainees who qualified in March. It continues a brilliant run for the firm, throughout the pandemic. Macfarlanes retained 88% of its qualifying trainees in Autumn 2020 and 80% of its qualifying trainees in spring 2020.

"It’s excellent to have once again retained all of our spring trainee cohort upon qualification," said Jat Bains the firm's graduate recruitment partner. "We are pleased that they have chosen to build the next phase of their careers with us. Notwithstanding the pandemic, we take a long-term view, recruiting our trainees to be the partners of the future.” 

Freshfields has also posted a strong trainee retention rate of 94%, as it is keeping 32 out of its cohort of 34 qualifying trainees, with none of fixed term contracts. The Magic Circle firm retained 90% of its qualifying trainees in spring 2020, although there was some mystery as to the exact number who were permanently retained in the Autumn, as the firm declined to say at the time if any of its qualifiers were on fixed term contracts. 

“We are delighted to be retaining a very high proportion of our March 2021 qualifying intake," said the Magic Circle firm's training principal, Craig Montgomery. "This is a real testament to the strength of the lawyers who have thrived in an unprecedented time. It is also a reflection of our ongoing commitment to recruiting, retaining and developing top talent for the future.” 

White & Case will retain 82% of its trainees, as 14 of the 17 qualifying trainees accepted positions at the firm, with no fixed term contracts. The US firm had a retention rate of 79% in Autumn 2020, as it kept on 19 out of its cohort of 24 trainees on a permanent basis (although it also retained two qualifying trainees on fixed term contracts).

“The quality of our training programme, combined with a highly competitive salary and benefits package, positions White & Case as a destination firm for talented and ambitious trainee lawyers,” said White & Case partner Inigo Esteve, who heads the trainee solicitor programme in London. And the firm will be rewarding them with a massive wedge on qualification as, despite the pandemic, it managed to increase salary for its NQs to £130k last October.

Hogan Lovells offered 15 permanent roles out of 21 qualifying trainees, and two fixed term contracts - a retention rate of 71% (based on the permanent positions). In Autumn 2020, the firm retained 62% of its trainee qualifiers, as it held on to 18 out of 29 qualifying trainees on a permanent basis (but also gave two NQs fixed term positions). 


Tip Off ROF


Jonkster 19 March 21 09:30

Lord have mercy on whoever has just qualified into the Hogan Lovells commercial litigation team. The people newly in charge there are absolute pillocks. 

Anon 19 March 21 10:39

Clearly some ROFers who work at Debevoise have a beef with a few partners who have just moved to HL. OK, we get it; you don't like them. The comments about it any time either of those firms is mentioned in an article are a bit boring. This is an article about trainee retention lol. 

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