Magic circle firms announce NQ retention rates

Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have both announced their spring 2012 retention rates, keeping 89 per cent and 85 per cent respectively.

A&O has revealed that 51 of its 57 trainee solicitors have accepted newly qualified (NQ) roles, after the firm made 52 offers. Freshfields is keeping 41 out of 48 trainees, after making 42 offers to the 46 trainees that applied for NQ roles.

Both sets of results are steady on previous qualification rounds for this point in 2011.

For spring 2011 A&O achieved 88 per cent, holding onto 56 out of the 64 final seat trainee solicitors (13 January 2011).

However, for the summer 2011 the firm reported its lowest figures in more than three years, keeping only 39 out of 53 final seat trainee solicitors, giving it a rate of 72 per cent (5 July 2011).

Meanwhile, Freshfields posted 89 per cent for March 2011, retaining 40 of its 45-strong cohort (28 January 2011). This was boosted to an impressive 96 per cent retention rate for autumn 2011 qualifiers, with 48 out of 50 trainees accepting positions at the firm.

The latter figure trumped that of its magic circle rivals, with Clifford Chance and Linklaters achieving 83 per cent and 93 per cent respectively for summer 2011(26 July 2011).

The news follows top ten firm Norton Rose announcing it is keeping 78 per cent of its March qualifiers, holding onto 18 out of 23, which revealed a slight fall from previous qualification rounds (23 January 2011).