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Trainee Retention: Hogan Lovells, Travers and RPC reveal numbers

The trainee retention rates rollercoaster continues to bring with it good news and bad as today firms including Hogan Lovells, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) and Travers Smith are on something of a high.

Top 50 UK firm Travers Smith has posted a 95% retention rate while at transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells – where out of a total of 33 trainees, 28 offers were made and 25 were accepted – the firm achieved a retention rate of 76%.

City firm RPC also today unveiled an 80% retention rate after offering 13 out of its 16 trainees a newly-qualified (NQ) position. RPC’s managing partner Jonathan Watmough (pictured) said the results are a ‘testament to the rigour of both our recruitment process and the quality of our trainee programme that we’re consistently able to retain a high percentage of our intake each year.’

Watmough added: ‘Given the massive over-supply of aspiring lawyers in the market simply getting a training contract these days is far harder than it was a decade ago, and the bar for qualification is rising year-on-year. We invest a lot of time and energy into our trainees – having spent time with them, I can say with confidence that this represents a key investment in the future success of our firm.’

These developments follow a more variable picture last week, when Osborne Clarke attained a 100% retention rate but Shoosmiths only 41%.

Osborne Clarke took on all eight of its trainees who qualify next month. This group of trainees is the first to qualify under the Q3D programme, which maintains regular assessment of junior lawyers once they have qualified by testing them in specialist areas. The programme is run in conjunction with BPP Law School.

‘Qualification is a massive milestone in a lawyer’s career, and I would like to congratulate each of these impressive NQs on achieving positions within the firm. At Osborne Clarke we see education and training of our people as a key and ongoing priority – both during their training contracts and also beyond, as seen in our education and development programme Q3D,’ said Nick Johnson, training principle at the firm.

The NQs will be spread across the firm’s offices, with three in London, four in Bristol and one in Reading.

Last week also saw Stephenson Harwood announce it is to retain 80% of its trainees, offering positions to eight out of ten. Three are going into the commercial litigation group, one apiece in finance, corporate, real estate, marine and international strategy, while the eighth trainee is to work in the firm’s Singapore office.

These retention rates are in stark contrast to Shoosmiths, where only nine of its 22 trainees achieved a NQ position, giving it a retention rate of just 41%.