Legal Business Blogs

Trainee retention: BLP keeps on 55% as Clifford Chance’s rate also slips

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has revealed the weakest trainee retention rates for spring so far, with the firm holding on to just 55% of its trainee cohort. Only 11 out of 20 trainees are to join BLP as newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers, after 70% were kept on in spring 2016, 61% in 2015 and 89% in 2014.

The lower rate comes after in 2015 it was widely reported that BLP attempted to manipulate the figures for its spring intake, trying to portray its 61% rate at 70% as three of its initial trainees left on qualification.

BLP partner and training principal Anthony Lennox said: ‘We’d like to have been announcing a higher proportion of qualifiers. However, our NQs will continue to be a huge asset to our firm, across the teams that they will shortly qualifying into.’

Meanwhile, Clifford Chance (CC) announced the next lowest retention figures this spring, keeping only 31 of 46 trainees, which shows 67% of its cohort will join the firm. CC had 43 out of 46 apply for a contract, it made 33 offers and retained 31. Comparatively, CC retained 91% of its trainees in spring 2015, and 80% in spring 2016.

Slaughter and May and Mayer Brown retained 100% of their trainees, with Slaughters keeping all 25 trainees due to qualify in March 2017. Mayer Brown kept on four of four.

A spokesman at Slaughters said: ‘Our consistently high retention rates demonstrate that the long-term future of the firm, as well as its distinctive culture and ethos, is in good hands.’

A round-up of retention rates so far:

Berwin Leighton Paisner: 11 out of 20 (55%)

Clifford Chance: 31 out of 46 (67%)

White & Case: 15 out of 17 (88%)

Trowers & Hamlins: 11 out of 12 (92%)

Slaughter and May: 25 out of 25 (100%)

Mayer Brown: 4 out of 4 (100%)