UK trainees avoid crunch fallout as top firms’ retention soars above 90%

January 17, 2008 Trainee retention rates across the UK’s elite legal profession have remained steadfast, with many firms keeping hold of more than 90% of their intake despite a sharp dip in City lawyers’ overall business confidence. Retention across the magic circle remains high, with only Allen & Overy retaining less than 90% of its trainees. Slaughter and May made offers to 100% of its 29 qualifying trainees, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer offered places to 45 trainees out of an intake of 47. Clifford Chance’s figure rose to 91% this March, compared with 86% a year ago. he picture for the chasing pack and mid-tier also remains positive, with overall retention rates marginally lower than the magic circle. SJ Berwin, Norton Rose, Nabarro and Herbert Smith are among the firms retaining their entire intake, while Lovells, Herbert Smith and Ashurst have all taken on more than 90%.

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