Ashurst posts 87 per cent retention rate as raft of firms publish results

Ashurst’s latest newly qualified (NQ) lawyer retention rates have shown a dramatic improvement on last year’s results – further suggesting that prospects for junior lawyers are looking rosier.

The firm, which was ranked at number 11 on The Lawyer’s UK 200 survey 2009, managed to keep on 27 of the 31 NQs due to qualify in September 2010. This gives it a retention rate of 87 per cent, much higher than last year’s rate of 73 per cent.

Real estate partner David Jones said: “We feel the retention rate this year really reflects the high quality trainees we’re recruiting into the firm. Almost all got their first choice of department which is a great reflection on the firm and its strong market position.”

Meanwhile, Norton Rose has reported a retention rate of 83 per cent after offering jobs to 24 out of 29 NQs. This is exactly level with last year’s result.

Newly merged Hogan Lovells has managed a 73 per cent retention rate after keeping on 30 of its 41-strong cohort. Last September legacy firm Lovells kept on 69 per cent.

A Hogan Lovells spokesperson said: “In the current economic climate, it’s great to be able to retain the majority of our trainees in this intake.”

US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, meanwhile, has kept on 6 out of the 8 NQs due to qualify this September, giving it a 70 per cent retention rate. Last year the US firm offered 85 per cent of its newly qualified lawyers jobs.

Elsewhere, SJ Berwin has managed to keep hold of 29 out of the 37 trainees due to qualify this autumn, giving it a rate of 78 per cent. Last year the firm managed a retention rate of 71 per cent.

Clyde & Co has also posted a retention rate of 88 per cent after it kept on 23 candidates from its 26-strong cohort, which will be qualifying this autumn.