The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
As Lawyer2B’s editor jetted off on her summer holiday, the team holding the fort at L2B has been focused on gathering the final data on firms’ autumn retention rates.
Despite the sun shining brightly (well, sometimes), the unveiling of retention rates from the top 20 law firm stragglers has not been quite as glorious as we first hoped following the spring retention rates, with SNR Denton’s figure dropping from 79 per cent to 56 per cent for autumn (see story).
Rates of 36 per cent apiece from Mills & Reeves and Dickinson Dees did little to brighten our spirits (see story), although there has been some air-punching among the law firm elite.
The picture wasn’t quite as bright over at Allen & Overy, which reported its lowest retention rate for more than three years at 72 per cent (see story).
But what do retention rates actually mean in the grand scheme of things? You only need to look through the L2B archives to see that retention only reveals a very small part of the big picture, particularly if you bear in mind that only five years ago we reported that the now-defunct Halliwells kept on 100 per cent of its NQs (see story).
The Manchester-based outfit’s demise was partly a result of the financial crisis that saw many other firms defer trainee start dates, but we’re not completely over that yet: this year Olswang cancelled training contracts and deferred trainees (see story).
So what should you be doing with your last few weeks of the summer holiday - aside from enjoying some well-earned rest, of course? It’s certainly worth taking a look at this year’s retention rate stories, but remember to read them in the context of several years’ worth of results. And now would be a good time to embark on some fresh research to consolidate the pros and cons in preparation for vac scheme and training contract applications.
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