The first of the Magic Circle’s big four to announce its trainee retention rate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is set to see 40 newly-qualified lawyers walk through its door this autumn, from a trainee intake of 48.
Freshfields offered positions to 43 or 90% of total trainees, of which three rejected a place at the firm where a newly-qualified lawyer can earn between £67,500 and £77,500. The firm’s retention rate has remained between 80-85% in the last few rounds, having retained 85% in its spring intake earlier this year after 41 out of 48 trainees accepted offers.
This came after 82% or 38 qualifying trainees out of 45 confirmed places at Freshfields in August 2014, while in spring that same year, the firm kept on 80% of junior lawyers, totalling 35 out of 44.
Freshfields retention rate is lower than the only other Magic Circle firm to report so far, Slaughter and May, which last month [July] revealed it kept on 33 trainees, or 89%, out of a cohort of 37. The figure was unusually low for Slaughters which regularly posts rates of over 90%.
In comparison, Herbert Smith Freehills earlier this month announced that it will be keep 34 of its 37 trainees, posting a 92% retention rate – higher than both Freshfields and Slaughters – and marginally down from its spring 2015 intake. Out of a total 37 qualifying trainees, 34 were made offers of which all accepted.
Freshfields once again did not disclose in which offices and practice areas the trainees would be qualifying.