Macfarlanes becomes latest firm to boost its trainee intake size

Macfarlanes is to increase its trainee intake size from 2018.

The firm currently takes on 25 trainees per year but in the next recruitment round will be looking to hire up to 30.

Seán Lavin, the firm’s head of graduate recruitment, told Lawyer 2B: “We have increased the number of trainees from 25 to between 27 and 30 trainees for future generations in order to meet demand for trainees from within the firm. The increase in trainee numbers does not alter our ambition to retain all our trainees on qualification where possible.”

Macfarlanes is following in the footsteps of a number of firms that are recruiting more trainees. Like Macfarlanes, Burges Salmon is looking to recruit “up to 30” trainees, Trowers & Hamlins is upping its intake from 20 to 23, Clifford Chance’s London chief David Bickerton has said the firm wants to recruit ten more to cope with the increase in work the firm is experiencing, while several US firms, including Shearman & Sterling and Latham & Watkins, have announced they are boosting numbers.

Meanwhile, Macfarlanes has also announced its trainee retention result for this autumn. The firm had 19 qualifiers and offered 18 of them newly-qualified positions; however, only 14 accepted, giving a final retention figure of 74 per cent. Seán Lavin said: “It is always our ambition to retain 100 per cent of trainees on qualifying. However, it is not always possible to match up the individual expectations of every trainee with the opportunities we have at the firm on qualifying, and so that ambition is not always fulfilled.”


10 Aug 15: Trowers ups trainee intake size and ringfences training contract roles for its own paralegals 

6 Aug 15: Clifford Chance London head: “We need more trainees”

1 May 15: Burges Salmon unveils plans to grow trainee intake further

26 Sep 14: Shearman and K&L Gates latest US firms to boost trainee numbers

22 Aug 13: Latham & Watkins and Ropes & Gray expand trainee intakes