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Damned statistics: BLP and Ashurst report higher trainee retention rates from smaller intakes

Firms have kick-started the year reporting high trainee retention rates with Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Ashurst retaining the vast majority of their newly qualified (NQ) trainees, although total intake numbers at the firms were noticeably lower than last time around.

BLP confirmed 89% of its spring 2014 qualifiers will remain at the firm, rising slightly from 86% of the autumn 2013 qualifiers, but maintaining its recovery from its March 2013 results when the firm offered positions to just 64% of trainees or 14 from a total of 22.

This year, the firm took on fewer trainees – 18 – and made offers to 17, of which 16 accepted roles. From the pack, one will transfer to Singapore while the rest will remain in the UK.

Training principal at BLP Anthony Lennox said: ‘I am delighted we have achieved such a high retention rate, which reinforces the fact that the calibre of trainees BLP has is fantastic and shows their commitment to the firm, and ours to them.’

Ashurst reported an even higher retention rate of 96% – increasing for the third intake running – with 23 trainees from a smaller group of 24 taking up roles this year, making the actual number of trainees retained lower than last September’s levels when 24 (or 80%), of its 30 trainees stayed on at the firm. However, this is up from its spring 2013 intake when 19 of 27, or 70%, of NQs were retained.

This year, one trainee will work in the firm’s energy, resources, real estate and infrastructure group based in Abu Dhabi while the remainder will stay in the London.

The news follows other firms also announcing favourable retention rates with Olswang revealing last week (10 January) it will keep 100% of all of its trainees. From a total of eight, seven will remain in the London branch, while one will be qualifying in the firm’s Thames Valley office. This is two more trainees kept on than in the autumn, when the firm retained 6 of its 11 trainees, giving it a retention rate of 54%.

Nabarro also revealed a 100% retention rate early this year (7 January), with all eight of its trainees having accepted positions at the firm’s London offices. This follows a 96% retention rate from a much bigger intake last September, when 25 from a total of 26 trainees were kept on.