Olswang’s retention plummets to 54 per cent

Olswang will retain 6 of its 11 trainees this autumn, giving it a retention rate of 54 per cent.

The top 50 firm offered 7 of 11 trainees a role; one trainee chose not to accept its offer. The six newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers who did accept offers will join a variety of departments. Two NQs will join the commercial team, one will go to the corporate team while a further three have been recruited by the real estate department.

Last autumn, the firm retained 64 per cent of its trainees, offering 10 positions to its 14-strong cohort with nine accepting roles after one trainee decided to relocate (19 July 2012).

In spring, Olswang revealed a retention rate of 78 per cent for its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors. The firm retained seven of its nine trainees, with five practice groups taking on NQs (6 February 2013).

Global director of human resources Ffion Griffith said: “We are naturally disappointed that our retention rates for the autumn aren’t as strong as last February. We have been working in the last couple of years to make sure that our graduate recruitment scheme is in line with the changing needs of the legal market and the firm’s adapting requirements.

“We have been reducing the size of our trainee intake, but have also included the MA in Law with Business in the programme, therefore giving trainees a strong understanding of the commercial backdrop to their legal training and to the industries in which our clients operate.”

She added: “We are conscious that the steps we have taken to reach an optimum retention rate will take time to show results, but we are working in a concerted way, in full communication with our trainees and our practice groups, to ensure that we are able to improve our ability to retain our trainee talent on qualification.”