Editor’s weekly: Left out in the cold

There may be increasing signs that the global economy is emerging out of recession. But try telling that to the newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at Denton Wilde Sapte.

As we reported earlier this week Dentons is shedding 86 per cent of the trainees who are due to qualify with the top 25 law firm next month after being able to offer just one of its NQs a job out of a cohort of seven (read story).

Thankfully, further up the pecking order the picture is much better than at Dentons but still lower than the retention rates firms achieved during the boom years.

Clifford Chance, for instance, is losing 30 per cent of its spring 2010 qualifiers, giving it one of the lowest NQ retention rates in the magic circle. The other magic circle firm with a retention rate in the 70s is Linklaters, which achieved 73 per cent.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, however, achieved an 80 per cent retention rate after it managed to hold onto 40 NQs out of a cohort of 50. Last year it managed a rate of 86 per cent.

At Lovells, meanwhile, 32 out of the 38 spring 2010 qualifiers applied for an NQ position. However, only 26 are staying with the firm thereby giving it a retention rate of 68 per cent.

If you’re interested in finding out more about retention rates then check out the Spring 2010 issue of Lawyer 2B magazine, which will hit the shelves next week.