DWF has retained 62 per cent of its qualifiers this autumn.

The firm had 47 final-seat trainees, with 29 staying on as newly qualified (NQ) solicitors.

DWF was formerly known for its excellent retention, but following in merger-fuelled growth its results have been significantly less impressive in recent years (see chart, below). It kept on 74 per cent of its qualifiers in 2015.

DWF retention 2016

Kate Hasluck, emerging talent manager at DWF, said: “This year many of our trainees were committed to securing roles in particular practice areas and unfortunately we weren’t able to accommodate all of these.”

“This is certainly a lower number of trainees than we’d hoped to retain, but we remain as committed as ever to investing in our trainees and giving them valuable career opportunities including client secondments and international experience.

“We are extremely pleased with the progress and achievements of our NQs and look forward to continuing to support them as they develop their careers at DWF.”

Ten of the trainees took on NQ jobs in London, with eight in Manchester, three each in Liverpool and Leeds, two in Newcastle and one apiece in Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Twelve NQs joined the corporate and banking practice – eight fewer than last year. Nine went to litigation, six to real estate and two to insurance.

Ashurst is now the only large firm that has yet to release its autumn 2016 figures.

Autumn 2016 retention
DWF NQ destinations