Freshfields autumn trainee retention slumps

Freshfields has posted trainee retention of 66 per cent for this autumn.

The magic circle firm is keeping on just 27 of its 41 qualifiers this September, having made offers to 29.

Trainee development partner Farah Ispahani said: “Our retention rates across each intake vary as we balance a number of different factors when determining the offers that we make to individuals. We are committed to our existing level of training contracts in London and we expect our medium-term average for retention rates to be upheld.”

The firm pointed out that its five-year retention rate average is 82 per cent. Last autumn the firm posted its best retention results since 2011.

Retention of under 70 per cent is unusual among the magic circle firm. It is only the second time in the last eight years it has happened, the first being Clifford Chance’s 67 per cent retention earlier this year.

The other magic circle firm to have announced for this autumn, Allen & Overy, has kept on 85 per cent of its qualifiers.

Meanwhile, US firm Latham & Watkins has retained 95 per cent of its trainees, keeping on 21 out of the 22 reaching qualification. Last year, the firm retained 17 of 20.