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Lovells’ retention rate for trainee solicitors due qualify in the autumn has dropped to 69 per cent.
The firm’s retention rate for September 2008 was 74 per cent.
The top ten law firm has confirmed that it is holding onto 25 out of its 36 newly qualified (NQ) lawyers.
Associate director of legal resourcing Clare Harris said: “It’s really hard to say goodbye to great trainees who’ve been with the firm for a couple of years. But we’re offering an outplacement service and one has already secured a job.
“The partners are also grouping together to ask clients and contacts about possible openings.”
The news comes after the firm asked its autumn 2009, spring 2010 and autumn 2010 intakes to defer for either 12 or six months. It offered a £5,000 cash payment to those who delay their start dates by 12 months and £2,500 for any who decide to defer for six months.
Lovells’ retention rate compares reasonably well with other City firms. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is keeping 70 per cent of its autumn qualifiers and Norton Rose is retaining 83 per cent, the equivalent of 20 out of 24.
Elsewhere, Allen & Overy has offered jobs to 48 out of the 62 trainees who are due to qualify next month (September) giving the magic circle firm a retention rate of 77 per cent. Meanwhile, Berwin Leighton Paisner has posted retention rate of 68 per cent after deciding to retain 15 out of its 22 newly qualified lawyers.
LG is keeping on just nine of its 21 September qualifiers, which translates to 43 per cent.
A handful of firms have also reported 100 per cent retention rates, including Bird & Bird and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.