DWF has retained 35 out of 47 qualifying trainees in newly-qualified (NQ) positions this autumn, equating to 74 per cent.
The NQs take up roles predominantly in London and Manchester, but also in Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The majority of them are joining the firm’s corporate and banking practice, which takes 20. Six join the real estate team, five go to litigation and four NQs take up roles in the insurance team.
DWF emerging talent manager Kate Hasluck said: “Our aim is always to retain as many qualifying trainees as possible because we have invested so much in them so this figure is disappointing and doesn’t reflect our commitment to trainees. However, unfortunately in this instance we had a number of trainees who had their heart set on a particular practice area and we didn’t have sufficient roles to cater for demand, or trainees couldn’t stay with us due to personal reasons including relocation to another part of the UK where we don’t have an office.
”Our retention rates are normally very high as we look to give our trainees good exposure to clients and involve them in quality client matters and anonymous feedback from our trainee population supports this.”
Until 2011, DWF reguarly recorded some of the highest retention results of any firm; however a spate of mergers means its trainee intake has grown hugely, meaning the number retained on qualification is now much lower.
Meanwhile, South West-headquartered firm Thrings has kept four of seven qualifiers this year. Two NQs joined the Bristol office, with one each going into Swindon and London. Two will become company commercial solicitors, one will practise family law and one joins Thrings’ construction team.