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"Hooray, I'm being kept on! I still get to use the office air-con..."

RPC and Baker McKenzie are the latest firms to announce their autumn trainee retention results.

RPC has scored a perfect 100%, as it is keeping hold of its entire cohort of 14 qualifying trainees. One of the qualifiers will be based in Bristol, with the rest in London. The result follows a good retention score by the firm of 86% last year.

"We are delighted that all of our September qualifying intake will continue their career at RPC," said the firm's training principal Parham Kouchikali. "The enviable 100% retention underscores not only the quality of our trainees, but the investment we are making at the firm in supporting and developing early talent and helping them achieve their ambitions."

Trainee cohort sizes across many firms have dropped over the last decade. A rummage through the archives reveals that the RPC cohort numbers have yo-yoed since 2012: ranging from a highest intake of 21 trainees in 2014; to a low of 12 trainees in both the 2017 and 2018 cohorts (notably, the firm didn't take on any Bristol trainees from 2015 to 2017). There are 18 trainees in this year's most fresh-faced contingent of 2022.

This week, RPC revealed that its revenue in the last financial year grew by 10% to £149.4 million. Net profit was £43.3 million (down 8.6%) and PEP was £571,000 (down 9.9%). A RPC spokeswoman said: "A large proportion of this decrease can be attributed to RPC's massive drive towards investment in people, IT and infrastructure over the last year (which includes RPC's new offices in Bristol)". She added that this year's PEP was "still well above figures" in 2020, when PEP was £434,000.

Baker McKenzie is retaining 14 out of 16 of its autumn qualifying trainees; a score of 88%. The firm has posted decent retention rates in recent rounds, with 88% of its March cohort being kept on earlier this year, while 89% were retained last autumn.

Having a quick rootle through the firm's cohort figures, they have been fairly consistent over the last decade - - with intake sizes around the mid-30s.

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Lawyer2B 22 July 22 13:09

How is the B&M figure calculated? 14 out of 16 is a retention rate of 87.5% not 93%?

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