Legal Business Blogs

Shearman and Mayer Brown retain fewer trainees than previous years’ newly-qualified solicitor intake

Shearman & Sterling and Mayer Brown have recorded lower retention rates for their trainees due to qualify this autumn, from full retention last year to 87% and 73% respectively. 

Shearman will retain 87% of its London trainees due to qualify in September 2017, as 13 out of 15 trainees were offered and accepted newly qualified (NQ) positions at the firm. This represents a drop from both its 2016 and 2015 retention rates, when all 13 of its September qualifiers accepted full-time positions at the firm’s London office. This year’s figure remains above its 2014 rates, however, when the firm retained 75% of its final-year trainees to NQ positions.  

The US firm’s September NQ lawyers join the mergers and acquisitions, finance, financial Institutions advisory and financial regulatory, project development and finance, and antitrust global practices. Three members of Shearman’s NQ intake this year will take up international secondments in Brussels, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. 

Meanwhile, Mayer Brown confirmed that it will retain eight of its 11 second year trainees who joined in September 2015, a 73% retention rate. This represents a fall in comparison to its 100% retention this March, when all of the firm’s four second year trainees qualified. Two of its March trainees qualified into the firm’s banking and finance team, and one each into the dispute resolution and insurance practices respectively.

The rate increased from 2016, when Mayer Brown announced a 67% September retention rate, recruiting six of the nine group into NQ roles. The firm recorded a 100% retention rate for its March qualifiers in 2016, however, with all four kept on in the corporate and securities, construction and engineering and antitrust and competition practice groups.

The Chicago-headquartered firm confirmed that of the 11 autumn NQ solicitors this year, ten second-year trainees applied, nine were offered jobs and eight accepted.

Of those eight, two will qualify into the litigation team, one into banking and finance, and one each into the corporate & securities, real estate, pensions, employment & benefits and intellectual property practices.

Mayer Brown training principal William Glassey said the firm is ‘delighted’ that eight trainees will be staying on in permanent positions. ‘They represent our investment in the future of the firm and we look forward to watching their continuing development as they build their careers,’ he said.

Other firms to have announced their retention rates for this autumn include Burges Salmon and Blake Morgan. Burges Salmon announced in April this year that it will retain 100% of its 28 trainees, while Blake Morgan will keep eight of nine trainees who will qualify this September.