Clifford Chance to slash 2015 trainee intake

Clifford Chance has confirmed that it will be cutting its trainee intake for 2015 from up to 120 to a maximum of 100.

The firm said the decision reflected the number of lawyers it expected to need in the UK in the coming years, and follows a redundancy round for London associates earlier this year resulting from a low attrition rate among newly qualified lawyers (NQs) (23 March 2012).

A Clifford Chance spokesperson said in a statement: “The new target will be to recruit up to 100 a year. This follows more accurately the number of English-qualified lawyers we anticipate needing for our English law practice in the UK and the rest of the world in a few years’ time.”

The move also sees the firm put back its announcement of NQ appointments for trainees from December to January next year.

The spokesperson added: “There’s no particular reason other than that we’re making sure that the timings for various things works together. The run-up to the end of the calendar year is usually very busy for us, and this year is no exception, and it makes more sense to make final decisions on NQs when we can give it appropriate partner time and attention.”

Clifford Chance’s NQ retention rate for September 2012 qualifiers was 77 per cent, with 50 jobs offered to 62 qualifying trainees (24 July 2012).