Freshfields retains 96 per cent of NQs

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s newly qualified lawyer (NQ) retention rate has trumped that of its magic circle rivals.

The Fleet Street-based firm confirmed that it offered 49 out of 50 autumn 2011 qualifiers an NQ position. Of these 48 accepted positions, giving Freshfields a retention rate of 96 per cent. This is a boost from both its spring 2011 and autumn 2010 results, when the firm recorded retention rates of 89 per cent.

Graduate recruitment partner Simon Johnson (pictured) said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer so many of our trainees an NQ position. This is one of our highest retention rates in years and reflects both the high calibre of our trainees and strong demand from the practice groups and offices.”

The news follows magic circle firm Clifford Chance posting an 83 per cent retention figure after it held onto 43 out of 52 Autumn 2011 qualifiers, while Allen & Overy is only keeping 72 per cent (read more).

Elsewhere, DLA Piper has also announced better results confirming a 90 per cent retention rate after holding onto 69 out of 77 NQs. This is a massive boost on last year’s results when the firm, which has one intake of trainee solicitors per year, retained just 68 out of its 96 qualifiers, giving it a retention rate of 71 per cent.

Further down the pecking order Bird & Bird is keeping 13 out of 16 September qualifying trainees resulting in an 81 per cent retention rate. This is a drop from last year’s figures when the firm confirmed it was retaining 84 per cent of NQ, holding onto 16 out of 19 final seat trainees.

Meanwhile, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has confirmed that it is keeping all 13 of its NQs.