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Hogan Lovells’ retention rate for London-based trainees due to qualify next spring is on course to tumble to around 66 per cent.
Only 16 final seat trainee solicitors have been offered jobs when they qualify in February 2011, leaving 20 trainees to compete over the last eight jobs, according to legal website RollOnFriday.
Director of legal resourcing Clare Harris told The Lawyer: “It’s a little too early to confirm our final retention figures for those qualifying in February 2011. We’ve undertaken the first phase of the process, but between now and qualification it’s possible that the figures may increase.
“At the moment our focus is, as always, on trying to retain as many people as we can.”
The new figures have plummeted from previous qualification rounds at the top ten law firm, with 71 per cent of its NQs (Newly Qualified) being retained in September and 81 per cent last March.
CMS Cameron McKenna was the first firm to reveal its spring 2011 qualifier statistics, (Lawyer2B.com, 26 November 2010) and also revealed a drop in its NQ retention rate for London-based trainees at just over 60 per cent, with 30 trainees competing for just 19 jobs.
This arrives despite previous announcements in August and September showing improved results from most firms, with magic circle firms Allen & Overy and Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer, for instance, reporting NQ retention rates of 80 per cent and 89 per cent respectively.
Other firms boasted over 90 per cent, including White & Case, Baker & McKenzie, Slaughter and May and Shearman & Sterling.