Herbies’ NQ retention rates plummet

Herbert Smith’s retention rates for trainee solicitors due to qualify in the autumn has dropped to 74 per cent. .

The top ten law firm has confirmed that it is holding onto 48 out of 65 of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers. In contrast Herbert Smith’s retention rate for September 2008 and Spring 2009 qualifiers was 89 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.

A growing number of firms have reported plummeting retention rates as a result of the recession including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which is only keeping 70 per cent of its autumn qualifiers. Fellow magic circle firm Allen & Overy is also expecting a similar retention rate.

Elsewhere, LG is keeping on just nine of its 21 September qualifiers while Norton Rose is retaining 83 per cent or 20 out of 24 of its NQs.

However, a handful of firms have also reported 100 per cent retention rates including Bird & Bird and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.