Latham & Watkins and Ropes & Gray expand trainee intakes and reveal high retention

The London offices of Latham & Watkins and Ropes & Gray have reported plans to increase their trainee intakes amid revelations of high trainee retention.

The American-headquartered firms both posted high retention for their autumn 2013 qualifying trainees. Latham announced a rate of 93 per cent today, stating that it would keep on 13 of 14 trainees in newly-qualified (NQ) positions. The NQs will work across the finance, corporate and litgation departments of the firm.

Latham training principal Catherine Drinnan said: “We invest a lot of time into our trainee programme because it is critical to the future success of our business. Our retention rate highlights the quality of the trainees we recruit, the type of the work they’re exposed to, and the firm’s inclusive and collaborative culture.”

Ropes & Gray’s London outpost will keep all five of its trainee cohort on as NQ solicitors. The cohort is the first intake to qualify as NQs at the office and includes ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf trainees, left on the market when the firm collapsed in May 2012 (29 May 2012). The firm is looking to recruit six trainees in 2014. This number will then rise to between eight and 10 after three years.

Latham’s trainee intake has doubled since 2008, when the London office took on ten trainees. In 2013, it will recruit 21 trainees.

The news contrasts with the recent picture from the Magic Circle, with Allen & Overy trimming its trainee intake earlier this month (15 August 2013) and Clifford Chance announcing last December that it would cut its trainee numbers from 2015 (4 December 2012).