Simmons & Simmons has retained 12 of its 15 trainees due to qualify this spring, giving it a retention rate of 80 per cent. A total of 14 of the trainees applied for newly-qualified (NQ) jobs, with all 12 that were offered positions accepting.

The result is an uplift on the last three rounds, in which the firm has posted mediocre figures, including 50 per cent retention last time round.

The firm has recently shaken up its offering for trainee solicitors, phasing out its compulsory MBA in favour of a ‘Trainee Skills Academy’ for its new joiners. It also changed its trainee recruitment system last year, placing less emphasis on candidates’ past achievements.

Simmons’ graduate recruitment partner Devarshi Saksena said: “We are pleased with the March 2017 results and I’d like to congratulate everyone on their qualification. Trainee development is an important part of the strategy of the firm and we’re receiving great feedback on our new Skills Academy. I wish all our trainees the very best for the future.”

Simmons retention 2017

Meanwhile, Macfarlanes has retained all of its six qualifying trainees this spring, matching the numbers from this time last year. Last autumn, 18 of its 21 qualifiers stayed on, resulting in 85 per cent retention.

Macfarlanes partner and head of graduate recruitment Sean Lavin said: “It is always our aim to find roles for all our trainees upon qualification and we are obviously delighted to have been able to offer 100 per cent retention for our March 2017 intake.”

The firm did not disclose which practices the NQs were joining.

Macfarlanes currently takes on 25 trainees per year, but from 2018 it will be looking to hire up to 30.

Macfarlanes retention