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Trainee retention: Pinsent Masons posts ‘disappointing’ 50% rate as Norton Rose, Ashurst release figures

In the latest run of trainee retention rate releases, Pinsent Masons has recorded a ‘disappointing’ rate of 50% of its spring qualifiers, with just five of its 10-strong cohort accepting offers within the firm. Elsewhere, Norton Rose Fulbirght has kept on 96% of its 23-strong cohort as Ashurst retained 79%.

From an original group of ten, three Pinsents trainees opted out, leaving seven applications. Of these six were offered a place at the firm and five accepted roles. Another applicant opted to join the firm’s flexible working service Vario. At 50%, the retention rate is worse than spring last year when the firm secured 15 of its initial class of 19, giving it an overall rate of 79%.

Pinsents head of graduate development Deborah McCormack said: ‘naturally, it’s disappointing that retention is not as high as it has been in previous years. We’re supportive of those who opt to take an alternative path and Vario provides another career option for lawyers to the benefit of our clients. It’s a competitive market currently and we’re focused on offering an attractive environment for retaining the great new talent that we have entering the firm.’

Meanwhile, Norton Rose has managed an impressive retention rate, keeping 96% of its 23 strong cohort. Of the 22 offers made, all accepted newly-qualified positions within the firm.

The numbers are up on the spring before when it logged 81% retention of its trainees. Of the 26 trainees, 21 accepted positions within the firm.

Norton Rose has been more successful than City rival Ashurst, which kept on 79% of trainees. From a group of 19, Ashurst offered 17 positions, with 15 trainees staying on.

Other firms to announce trainee retention figures include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which posted a reduced figure, keeping on 82% of trainees this spring, as Linklaters posted an 83% rate and Allen & Overy kept on 39 of 43 or 91% of trainees. Clifford Chance retained 80% of its March trainees, with 43 out of a cohort of 54 accepting positions at the Magic Circle firm.

Our sister website The Lex 100 has created a retention rate table which will be updated as more figures are announced.