Hogan Lovells blames practice area mismatch for nosedive in retention

Hogan Lovells will retain just 21 of 32 trainees in newly-qualified (NQ) positions this spring, giving it a 66 per cent retention rate.

The transatlantic giant received 30 NQ role applications from its 32-strong cohort. It offered roles to 26 of those trainees, 21 of whom have accepted. One of those has been employed on a three-month contract.

Training principal David Moss said: “Our retention rate for those who qualified in March is not as high as we had hoped. 

“We offered more places than people qualifying, but the roles on this occasion were not always in areas that our people wanted.  The majority of those leaving us did so to work in practice areas where we were not hiring.”

He added: “Our current growth in corporate and finance is set to continue in 2015. Trainees currently in the firm and joining us can expect to spend the majority of their time in these practice areas, which are growing following significant partner promotions and strategic hires in these areas. It is likely that most of our qualification vacancies will continue to be in these core areas of our business.”

The firm did not provide a practice area breakdown. All 21 NQ roles are on a permanent basis.

Hogan Lovells usually posts retention rates between 70 and 80 per cent: consistently lower than the average for the wider market. This season’s result may yet improve to as much as 72 per cent if its international offers are accepted.

Update – 10 March 2015: Since the original publication of this article, two trainees who had outstanding offers have accepted them, meaning that 23 of 32 NQs will stay at Hogan Lovells, giving a final retention rate of 72 per cent.

Hogan Lovells retention
Hogan Lovells NQ destinations