Rocketing salaries fail to boost trainee retention

Trainee retention rates have dipped significantly since 2005, despite the massive salary increases seen in the legal profession in recent years.

A survey of the UK’s top 50 firms carried out by The Lawyer’s sister publication Lawyer 2B revealed that retention has dropped by 2.7 percentage points since 2005, down from 85.2 per cent to 82.5 per cent.

Retention rates have increased by just 1.3 precentage points on last year’s 81.2 per cent. By contrast, trainee and associate salaries have rocketed in recent years.

For example, magic circle firm Clifford Chance currently pays one year post-qualified lawyers a salary of £66,000, while US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker pays London newly-qualifieds £90,000.