Linklaters reveals flat retention rate following year of alliances

Linklaters has revealed an 83 per cent retention rate for its March qualifying trainees.

The magic circle firm offered 52 of its 59 trainees newly qualified (NQ) positions. Of those 52 trainees, 49 accepted the firm’s offer.

Last August the firm revealed a rate of 78 per cent, with 51 trainees accepting a job offer and 14 leaving the firm. This time last year Linklaters announced an 86 per cent rate, keeping 49 of a cohort of 57 trainees.

Revenue at Linklaters stagnated in the last financial year with the firm making £1.207bn globally in 2011/12, compared to the previous financial year during which revenue was £1.2bn.

In the last year the firm has completed two major alliances. This month marked the launch of its tie-up with South African firm Webber Wentzel, giving Linklaters its first presence on the ground in Africa and access to the Africa Legal Network, which operates in Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The firm’s other notable tie-up of 2012 was with Australian firm Allens for an Asian joint venture. The firms declined a full merger but from May have provided an integrated service for clients. The firms’ Asia-focused energy, resources, and infrastructure lawyers will maintain separate profit pools but share revenue on a matter-by-matter basis.

Retention rates from other magic circle firms include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s 85 per cent rate, with 39 out of 46 trainees accepting a job at the firm. Just one trainee offered a position at the firm turned down the offer.

Allen & Overy’s retention rate dipped to 70 per cent, with the firm offering 38 places to a cohort of 53 trainees, with one candidate refusing an NQ position.

Clifford Chance is yet to announce its March retention rate.