"We're Walker Morris NQs, time to celebrate! Shot! Shot! Sho- Hannah, your video's frozen. Hello? Can anyone hear me? Ok, that's better. Shot! Shot! Sho- Adam, go closer to your router."
Leeds firm Walker Morris is keeping on 94% of its qualifying trainees, and while firms announcing their trainee retention rates pointed to the "extraordinary times", overall the latest batch of results indicate confidence in the survival of workstreams for junior lawyers.
Walker Morris provided a glimpse of its NQs on a zoom call, which is going to be the rather gloomy reality of law firm socials for the foreseeable future. Graduate Partner Duncan Lole emphasised how "proud" the firm was to have found solicitor roles for 17 out of 18 of the trainees, "especially during the pandemic".
Not that WM's NQs would have a lot of disposable income to throw around even if they could meet up - as revealed by RollOnFriday in July, Walker Morris is keeping them on their £29k trainee wage to combat Covid's impact on business. It intends to hold salary reviews in November.
In the City, Ashurst has kept on 90% of its Autumn qualifiers. And of Linklaters' large 53-strong intake, 46 have taken jobs at the firm, albeit one on a fixed term contract, giving the firm a decent 85% retention rate.
The figures project confidence in an uncertain market. As Stephenson Harwood partner and trainee principal Lisa Marks put it, "These are extraordinary times, and the world continues to reel from the impact of the global pandemic”.
Reflecting that outlook, while her firm is retaining 11 of its 12 qualifying trainees, three will be employed on FTCs. RollOnFriday does not include FTCs in the retention rate, which gives SH a low score of 67%.
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