DWF announces autumn retention for its largest-ever qualifying cohort

DWF has revealed that it will retain 81 per cent of its October qualifiers.

Out of 48 trainees coming to the end of their training contracts, 39 will take up newly-qualified positions at the firm.

The Manchester office will take the most NQs with 13, followed by London, which will take six. Five will join the Liverpool office, Leeds and Birmingham will have four apiece, Glasgow will take three and Newcastle and Edinburgh two each.

In terms of practice areas, DWF’s insurance group will take the most NQs with six, while real estate and commercial have each provided jobs for five.

The other practice areas which will take NQs are construction, infrastructure and projects (3); banking (3); pensions (2); coco (2); family (2); employment (2); regulatory (2); commercial litigation (2); tax (1); corporate (1); private client (1); corporate recovery (1); and real estate litigation (1).

Training principal Carl Graham said: “We’re proud to have achieved such strong retention rates this year and these figures reflect our commitment to attracting, investing in and retaining the best talent.”

The retention result marks an improvement on last year, though it still doesn’t match up to DWF’s retention rates from prior years, which were historically among the best in the market.

In the ten years between 2002 and 2012 it lost only 11 trainees out of 131 upon qualification, and it posted 100 per cent retention in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2011.

However, following a series of mergers in which it more than doubled its trainee intake size, in autumn 2013 it only managed to retain 32 of 46 qualifiers (70 per cent). At the time, DWF graduate recruitment partner James Szerdy said that the firm would be able to support similar intakes in the future, and the 2014 qualifying cohort is the firm’s largest ever.

DWF’s London team is set to move into the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper on 1 September.

DWF retention

DWF recent retention

Year Trainees kept on Total no of qualifiers Percentage retained
Autumn 2002 7 7 100
Autumn 2003 7 8 88
Autumn 2004 8 8 100
Autumn 2005 5 6 83
Autumn 2006 6 7 86
Autumn 2007 8 9 89
Autumn 2008 14 15 93
Autumn 2009 16 16 100
Autumn 2010 17 19 89
Autumn 2011 16 16 100
Autumn 2012 16 20 80
Autumn 2013 32 46 70
Autumn 2014 39 48 81