Herbert Smith will retain 80 per cent of its autumn qualifiers, a drop of 10 percentage points in comparison to its spring results.
The top 10 law firm will be retaining 44 of its 55 qualifying trainee solicitors. This represents a drop from its spring 2011 retention rate, when the firm kept on 43 out of 48 qualifiers, the equivalent of 90 per cent.
Last autumn the firm retained 75 per cent of its qualifiers.
Elsewhere, White & Case has announced it will retain 15 out of 16 of its London qualifying trainees in September 2011, revealing a 94 per cent retention rate.
This is in line with other US firms, which in general have confirmed rosier retention rates when compared to UK firms. Sidley Austin and Shearman & Sterling confirmed 100 per cent and 91.5 per cent respectively.
Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis also revealed a 100 per cent retention and announced that it is going to double its trainee intake.
Meanwhile, SNR Denton revealed a 56 per cent retention rate, while magic circle firm Allen & Overy’s newly qualified retention rate fell to 72 per cent.