SJ Berwin and Hogan Lovells follow downward trend in retention rates

SJ Berwin and Hogan Lovells have announced their March retention rates, with both firms revealing lower rates than this time last year.

Hogan Lovells announced a 76 per cent rate, keeping on 26 of its 34 trainees. Last spring the firm revealed a rate of 83 per cent. Last autumn it posted a 73 per cent rate.

The firm did not post any revenue growth in 2011, the last financial year for which data is available, despite the 2010 merger of UK firm Lovells and US Hogan & Hartson making it one of the biggest firms globally.

That said, financial data on the firm, which showed a drop in global turonover from £1.08bn to £1.04bn, is crude as pre-merger and post-merger data was stitched together. The firm is expected to announce its 2012 financial results this week.

The firm’s intellectual property department is strong, due to the firm’s list of major corporate clients, which have been unaffected by the recession and it opened a Rio de Janeiro office late last year.

SJ Berwin has kept on 11 of 14 of its qualifying trainees, giving it a retention rate of 79 per cent. It offered 12 jobs to a cohort of 14, with one choosing not to take up a position.

This time last year, the firm kept on all eight of its newly qualified trainees. Last autumn it revealed a low rate of 64 per cent, keeping just 27 of its 42 trainees.

Last week, Herbert Smith also revealed a retention rate drop (22 February 2013).