It has emerged that Orrick will retain none of the five trainees trainees qualifying at the firm this autumn.
The US-headquartered firm said that due to deferrals, three of the 2013 intake finished early, with two staying on, giving a total retention figure of 25% for the calendar year. The two second-years who have taken up newly-qualified positions at Orrick have joined the corporate and litigation departments.
This is the second year in a row that retention has failed to exceed 50% at Orrick, as it held on to five of 11 qualifiers in 2012. Due to deferrals, it had no qualifiers in 2011.
Training principal Simon Cockshutt attributed the low retention in 2013 to ongoing challenging market conditions, and said the firm would be recruiting smaller numbers of trainees in future, with intakes of four or five per year anticipated.
Orrick started its own trainee scheme in 2006, having taken on intakes from Coudert Brothers when that firm dissolved. However, it admitted to RollonFriday that the number of trainees it initially sought to recruit turned out in hindsight to be overly ambitious.