Latham & Watkins is retaining 96% of its trainees this autumn - while Freshfields refuses to say how many of its qualifiers are going to be kept at the firm on fixed term contracts. 

As trainees across the land continue to WFH, here's the latest round-up of which firms are keeping theirs.

Latham & Watkins is retaining 23 out of 24 of its qualifying trainees in the UK. As well as posting a pandemic-proof score, the US firm is also holding its NQ salary at USD190,000 (around £145k), during a time when many City and Magic Circle firms have cut NQ salary.

White & Case is retaining 19 out of 24 of its qualifying trainees this Autumn, at a retention rate of 79%. An additional two trainees have accepted fixed term contract roles (which RollOnFriday doesn't count when calculating retention rate percentages). Like its fellow US firm, White & Case hasn't changed its NQ salary, so they'll still receive a six-figure salary of £105,000.

“The quality of the training, coupled with a highly competitive salary and benefits package, positions White & Case as the go-to firm for talented and ambitious trainee lawyers," said Melissa Butler, White & Case Office Executive Partner in London. 

trainee retention round-up

Slaughter & May made offers to 38 out of 41 of its qualifying trainees, all of which accepted - a retention score of 93%. “This strong showing bodes well for the long-term future of the firm," said a spokeswoman for the Magic Circle firm. The NQs will be paid £87,000 after the firm, like others in the City, announced it was reducing salary having bumped its NQ pay package to six figures last summer.

Mayer Brown is retaining six out of ten of its qualifying trainees, a retention score of 60%. An additional qualifying trainee has accepted a position in the firm's employment team on a fixed term contract. The Chicago-headquartered firm has maintained its NQ pay at £90k.

“Our retention record reflects our ability to attract and retain the very best talent, and we are delighted that six of our qualifiers have accepted a permanent role at the firm,” said Stuart Pickford, training principal at Mayer Brown.

US firm Akin Gump is retaining 83% of its qualifying trainees in the UK as five out of the cohort of six will be kept on. “Akin Gump is delighted to welcome an exceptional group of newly qualified solicitors into the firm this year," said Vance Chapman, partner and London training principal. "We are very pleased to have been able to retain nearly all our trainees on qualification since the start of the Akin Gump trainee programme in 2014." Akin Gump is holding its NQ salary at £150,000, further highlighting the gulf in pay between US firms and other City firms. 


The NQ showed his appreciation

Baker McKenzie is retaining 14 out of 17 of its qualifying trainees, a retention rate of 82%, with an additional two being kept on a fixed term contract basis. The NQs will be paid £87,500 after the firm reduced their salary from £95k in July. 

“This Autumn’s retention rate remains high at 82% and represents our ongoing commitment in attracting and retaining the very best talent to help grow our business in the future,"  said Arron Slocombe, Baker McKenzie's Training Principal. "We wish them every success in what, we hope, will be a long and fulfilling career.” 

Trowers & Hamlins announced earlier this month that it was retaining 11 out of 13 of its qualifying trainees. However, it has confirmed that two of the roles will be on a fixed term contract basis. The firm therefore gets a retention score from ROF this Autumn of 69%, rather than the rating of 85% mentioned elsewhere.

Freshfields is retaining 32 out of 38 of its qualifying trainees, which would have meant a retention rating of 84%. However, the Magic Circle firm has refused to say how many will be on fixed term contracts. Given the unknown number of permanent positions, RollOnFriday can only give Freshies a mysterious retention score of "?". It said in June that it would hold its NQ salary of £100,000 (although there is some mystery surrounding the exact salary figure, as well).

Tip Off ROF


Phwoar 14 August 20 10:42

Akin Gump, more like Akin Pump.

£150k as NQ, don't give two f*cks about COVID, unstoppable powerhouse

boris 14 August 20 15:16





exclamation: phwoar

  1. used to express sexual desire.


1980s: imitative.

Anonymous 14 August 20 16:55

Any firms with over 90% deserve credit. A good retention rate during any time, let alone with Covid-19.

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