Magic circle trainees kept on despite recession

Magic circle firms are continuing to take on a high proportion of trainees despite the economic turmoil and redundancies, The Lawyer can reveal.

Linklaters, which was revealed last week to be trimming its partnership by up to 70 (see story), is set to keep on 84 per cent of trainee solicitors due to qualify in March, excluding those who resigned before the qualification process started. If those trainees are included then the number drops to 79 per cent or 59 out of 75.

Clifford Chance has announced it will retain 85 per cent of spring qualifiers, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringeris keeping 42 of its 49 trainees, a ratio of 86 per cent.

Allen & Overy, meanwhile, boasted a 91 per cent retention rate with 51 out of 56 trainees being offered newly qualified positions. One trainee decided not to apply for a newly qualified position.

Elsewhere, Addleshaw Goddard has announced it is to take on five of its six trainees, or 83 per cent, it revealed today.

HR manager Nicky Lawson said only one of the six had not been given a role in his or her first choice department, adding: “To be honest everyone is being quite pragmatic about where they go. One trainee has ended up in a place he initially didn’t think he’d go into, but is happy with it.”

The latest announcements push the average retention rate further above 80 per cent, as reported in The Lawyer earlier in the month (see story, 12 January).

Slaughter and May and Norton Rose are leading the way, keeping hold of 96 and 90 per cent of their trainees respectively.

The lowest rates were at SJ Berwin, with 62 per cent, and Simmons & Simmons, with 66 per cent.

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