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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has recorded an 81 per cent newly qualified (NQ) retention rate for autumn 2013, a drop from previous years.
Of the 48 trainees set to qualify in September, 40 were offered NQ positions, with 39 choosing to accept.
The result is a drop from the magic circle firm’s autumn 2012 qualifying round, when it kept on 41 out of 46 qualifying trainees, an 89 per cent retention rate (3 August 2012).
Freshfields’ turnoverincreased for the first time in four years this year. It posted a 7.2 per cent increase on revenue while net profit inched up by 2.4 per cent. Previously, turnover had been static for three years. The firm has historically managed to retain relatively high numbers of trainees.
In spring 2013, it retained 39 of 46 trainees, resulting in an 85 per cent rate (24 January 2013). Spring 2012 also saw an 85 per cent retention rate, with the firm giving NQ jobs to 41 of 48 trainees (24 January 2012). Two years ago, in autumn 2011, it kept on 48 of 50 trainees, giving it a 96 per cent rate (26 July 2011).
It is the first of the magic circle to announce its retention rate for this season. So far, Shearman & Sterling has announced it has offered 11 of its 13 trainees NQ positions and Kennedys has offered 95 per cent of its trainees NQ jobs.