Herbies’ UK arm retains 75 per cent of March qualifiers

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is retaining 75 per cent of its spring 2013 newly qualified (NQ) solicitors, down from 88 per cent the previous year.

HSF had a pool of 32 trainees, of which 24 accepted offers from the firm to stay on after they qualify in March. None of the trainees refused a job offer. The retention rate is down from 2012’s figure of 88 per cent, when legacy Herbert Smith kept on 35 out of 40 trainees.

HSF would not go into detail about which practice areas the NQs will sit in, but a spokesperson for the firm said: “Corporate and disputes have broadly similar numbers and likewise for real estate and finance, which is in line with our business structure.”

This trainee programme only covers the firm’s UK business. The Australia business, formerly Freehills, has a separate trainee programme.

Clifford Chance revealed a spring 2013 NQ retention rate of 82 per cent earlier this month, after 54 of its pool of 66 trainees accepted jobs. Eleven were not offered an NQ position, while one refused the job offer (13 February 2013).

Similarly, Linklaters kept on 83 per cent of its trainees (12 February 2013), which was slightly up on last year. US firm Jones Day also posted a retention rate of 83 per cent (20 February 2013). The firm kept on all five of its London trainees that applied for NQ jobs, but one trainee did not apply to stay on as an NQ.