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RPC to retain 82% of trainees to newly-qualified roles as firm performs in Asia

City-headquartered professional services firm RPC will retain 82% of its trainees this autumn, a 15% increase from last year’s intake, as the firm sees growth in its Asia business.

The firm said that 14 of its 17 London-based second-year trainees have secured newly-qualified (NQs) roles at the firm, the majority of which will work in its London office while of the remaining two, one will be based in Bristol and the other will permanently transfer to its Hong Kong office in January 2018.

Three of the NQs will join the firm’s insurance practice and three commercial disputes team. The corporate group, IP and technology and commercial contracts will each welcome two NQs. One qualifying trainee will join the media practice, one construction and projects.

RPC recently posted its global profits, which revealed an 8% fall to £26.4m this year from last year, due to a challenging year and investments the firm made. While growth in turnover also slowed, it reached £103m, a 2% rise on the previous year, with the Hong Kong and Singapore practices performing particularly well, according to managing partner James Miller.

Simon Hart, partner and training principal, said he was satisfied with ‘such a high number’. He added that the firm was not able to accommodate all of the trainees ‘due to certain departments being heavily over-subscribed with applicants’.

Although below the firm’s 100% retention rate in 2014, the rate remains healthier than than 2015, when RPC retained 79% of its final-year trainees and last year’s result, when two thirds of trainees secured NQ positions.

The firm is comprised of 79 all equity partners and more than 300 other lawyers and is known for its work with the insurance industry.

RPC appointed Miller as its new managing partner in January.

RPC branched out into management consultancy in 2015, focused on its core insurance clients. RPC Consulting has five partners and more than 40 other people including consultants and quant developers.

In 2016, RPC moved to target in-house lawyers with a secondmanagement consultancy business. Dubbed RPC Perform, the consultancy is headed by Julia Chain. It offers core services to in-house lawyers including strategic and operational efficiency, managing relationships with external law firms, and soft skills, including team, personal and leadership development.