Work Experience 2011

I worked in a regional London-based firm with another small office elsewhere in the UK specialising in no win no fee compensation claims. The firm had many paralegals because Read more

When you are looking for a training contract, there are many factors that you should be looking for, like reputation of the firm, its location, size and many others. For me one of the most important factors is its retention rates of the trainees. Not only is it important to get this sought-aftertraining contract but also be relatively confident that you willhave a job after those two years. Here I am bringing to your attention an article dated 09/08/2010:

'Trainee retention rates at the U.K.'s leading law firms are recovering strongly this year as activity levels begin to pick up in the wake of the downturn.

The average retention rate for September intakes across the U.K. top 30 firms currently stands at 81 percent, an improvement of seven percentage points from September 2009, based on the number of qualifying trainees due to remain at their firm.

A handful of top 30 firms, including Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, have yet to confirm their retention rates, but of the 22 firms to disclose figures so far, 15 have announced rates of over 80 percent, while four have kept on more than 90 percent.

Firms to have recently released figures include Eversheds, which is due to retain 83 percent of September qualifiers, with 72 out of 87 remaining with the firm, while Ashurst is keeping on 27 out of 31, equating to a rate of 87 percent.

Meanwhile, Hogan Lovells is keeping on 71 percent of its UK intake for September, with 29 out of 41 qualifiers staying on at the newly-merged firm.

Outside the top 10, CMS Cameron McKenna will keep on 27 of 33 qualifiers (82 percent), although retention rates remained low at Pinsent Masons for the second year in a row, with just 55 percent of qualifiers kept on.

SJ Berwin was one of a number of firms to improve rates from last September, with 78 percent of 37 qualifiers kept on -- an increase of 7 percent over last year's figure of 71 percent.

SJ Berwin graduate recruitment and trainee development partner Bryan Pickup commented: "Like most people, we are feeling more positive than we were a year ago and that is reflected in our retention figure. A year ago things were looking pretty bleak but now there is a sense that the economy on the whole is on a slow upward track. Our preference is always to retain people and now there is a feeling of being a bit more confident about the future."

Macfarlanes has posted the highest retention rate among the U.K. top 30 so far this year with 94 percent, closely followed by Slaughter and May at 93 percent.'


So this is an important area to investigate while looking at the firms where you might be doing the training. Obviously, be aware of the fact that some firms can achieve high figures more easily than others due to the fact that they take on a lot less trainees than some bigger law firms who take on, say 40.

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