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Trainee retention: Eversheds, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Simmons reveal rates

The number of training contracts being offered by City firms may have dropped by over 20% but the recently revealed retention rates of Eversheds, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Maclay Murray & Spens remain high, although Simmons & Simmons has slid to 71%.

Eversheds, which yesterday (10 September) posted an 87% retention rate, offered 40 out of 45 newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers a permanent role at the firm, which 38 accepted. The figures mirror last autumn’s retention round, when the same number of NQs were kept on.

Angus McGregor, HR director at Eversheds, congratulated the successful NQs, commenting: ‘Our training contract is designed to extend the experience and skill sets of junior lawyers across multiple industries and sectors, preparing them for the modern legal world.’

Elsewhere, 1081-lawyer Clyde & Co has reported that it will retain 95% of its trainees, with 36 out of 37 trainees accepting a job at the firm. This follows an equally high retention rate of 94% this time last year.

Meanwhile, top ten LB100 firm CMS Cameron McKenna has announced it will hold onto 28 out of 34 NQs this September, equating to a retention rate of 82%. Of those retained, 23 will join the City office, while two will move to the insolvency and recovery group in Bristol. The others bolster the firm’s practice in Scotland, with one joining the real estate and finance practice in Edinburgh, a further lawyer heading to the Edinburgh office’s disputes department, and the last joining the employment team in Aberdeen. CMS unveiled a similar result last year of 84%.

However, Simmons & Simmons has revealed a retention rate of 71%, a drop on last year’s figure of 89%. The firm offered 17 out of a total of 24 trainees a position, with the vast majority taking on roles in the City.

Outside of the City firms, Weil Gotshal & Manges’ London arm has offered jobs to four out of six NQs, a retention result of 67%. This marks a slide on last year’s figure of 73%.

The beleaguered Scottish market has also seen Maclay Murray & Spens (MMS) offer 15 out of 19 NQ positions this year across its London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices.

MMS chief executive Chris Smylie said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to offer so many opportunities to newly qualified lawyers. It signals our confidence in the future, as we further build our strategy for growth, following last year’s root and branch review. This follows on from our recruitment of three lateral hires at partner level in August and the promotion of two partners from associate in June.’

However, at Dundas & Wilson, out of 21 trainees who applied for positions with the firm, 14 have accepted offers to stay after they qualify.