Burges Salmon to increase trainee intake size, as it posts high retention

Bristol firm Burges Salmon has increased its trainee intake for this year, from 24 to 27, and hopes to recruit 30 trainees by 2017.

The decision goes against the grain, with several larger firms looking to downsize their intakes over the last few years. Most recently, US-headquartered Mayer Brown revealed that it was downsizing its London trainee intake (25 July 2013), while magic circle outfits Clifford Chance (4 December 2012) and Allen & Overy (15 August 2013) have both taken the same tactic.

Burges Salmon has also revealed its retention rate for autumn 2014. It will keep on 20 of 22 qualifying trainees, translating to 91 per cent retention.

Of the 20 staying on, six will qualify into the real estate department, five into dispute resolution, three into corporate, two into pensions and another two into commercial. One trainee will head to planning while another will qualify into employment.

The firm has maintained high retention over the last few years. It kept on 21 out of its 23 qualifying trainees, 91 per cent, in September 2013 (25 September 2013). Since 2008, retention at the Bristol firm has only dropped below 90 per cent once, with 85 per cent kept on in 2011. It kept on all of its 21 qualifiers in 2012 (27 July 2012).

In other retention news, Travers Smith has kept on 16 out of its 17 trainees, or 94 per cent. Five will qualify into corporate and two apiece into the dispute resolution, finance and tax groups. The remaining five will join the employment, funds, real estate, pensions and financial services teams.

Finally, US firm McDermott Will & Emery is to keep two of its three qualifiers this autumn.