A&O exceeds NQ retention rate expectations as Slaughters and Herbies also post results

Allen & Overy (A&O) has come forward as the first magic circle firm to confirm its newly qualified (NQ) retention rates for March 2010.

The law firm has reported a retention rate of 87 per cent after offering jobs to 55 out of the 63 trainees who applied for positions upon qualification. However, if the three trainees that dropped out of the qualification process are included then A&O’s retention rate is a less healthy 83 per cent.

A&O managed to keep on more NQs than first expected after it warned trainee solicitors last year that it would only be keeping on around 70 per cent of its March 2010 qualifiers.

But 83 per cent is a far cry from Spring 2009’s results when A&O boasted a 91 per cent retention rate, with 51 out of 57 trainees being offered newly qualified positions.

Slaughter and May, meanwhile, confirmed an 87.5 per cent retention rate for March 2010 qualifiers, offering 21 out of 24 trainees jobs with the firm. In March 2009 it retained a healthier 96 per cent.

Elsewhere, Herbert Smith has managed a 82 per cent retention rate with 26 out of 32 trainees being offered jobs. This is slightly down on March 2009 when it achieved an 86 per cent retention rate.

The first firm to come forward with its March retention rates was Baker & McKenzie, offering jobs to 93 per cent of its trainees.

The global law firm handed jobs to 14 out of 15 of its March 2010 qualifiers. The result beats the firm’s March 2009 NQ retention rate when it only achieved 80 per cent.