Trainees try to make it to qualification

Macfarlanes and Watson Farley & Williams are the latest City firms to post their trainee retention scores.

Macfarlanes offered 25 out of its 26 September qualifiers permanent NQ positions, of which all accepted, giving the firm a 96% retention rate.

“Congratulations to our latest cohort of qualifying lawyers,"  said Jat Bains, early legal careers partner. "Our people are the key to our success and we’re committed to investing in their development.”

It follows the firm posting a 100% retention score in the spring this year, as all 6 qualifying trainees were kept on in March.  

Looking at trainee numbers at Macfarlanes, over the last decade the firm's yearly cohort size (spring and autumn combined) has been fairly consistent, ranging from the mid-20s to the low-30s. This year's qualifying cohort totals 33 (which the firm calculates as being the September 2023 and March 2024 qualifiers). 

NQs at Macfarlanes recently received a pay rise from £107,500 to £115k putting their salary on a par with Slaughter and May.

Watson Farley & Williams is giving permanent roles to 14 out of 18 qualifiers this year - a retention score of 78%. All are permanent positions. 

A spokesman for the firm told RollOnFriday: "As some departments were oversubscribed in terms of applications we only made offers to 14 out of the 16 applicants" all of whom accepted.

London NQs at WFW are on a base salary of £90k, on a par with the likes of Mishcon de Reya, Osborne Clarke and Withers. 

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Tip Off ROF


Sceptical Anomaly 04 August 23 11:57

I like keeping tabs on the firms that don’t release retention at all…what are they hiding?

Anon 04 August 23 12:21

I heard that HFW is keeping 10 out of its 14 trainees who are qualifying this September.

Kenneth F 06 August 23 09:17

What is happening at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK ? Rumours of a sale of the remaining divisions. But who will be buying ?

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