Retention exceeds 90 per cent at Twobirds, Travers and Norton Rose

Three City firms have revealed retention rates in excess of 90 per cent for their autumn 2013 qualifying round.

Recently-merged Norton Rose Fulbright has announced that 92 per cent of its qualifying trainees will remain at the firm in newly-qualified (NQ) roles, while Bird & Bird will retaining 94 per cent and Travers Smith will keep 95 per cent.

Following Norton Rose Fulbright’s transition from a six-seat to a four-seat training contract, the firm offered January, May and September qualification rounds this year. It will run May and September qualification rounds in 2014 before reverting to the more usual March and September qualifications in subsequent years. 

For the September 2013 round, 24 of the 26 qualifying trainees will be staying on, ending a good year for retention at Norton Rose Fulbright.

In the January qualification period, 13 of 17 qualifying trainees were retained, while 17 of 19 were kept on in May, meaning that a total of 54 of 62 qualifiers, or 87 per cent, were retained in the 2013 calendar year.

In addition, the firm has raised its NQ salary from £61,500 to £63,000. First and second-year trainee salaries will remain constant at £38,000 and £43,000 respectively.

The firm’s London head of HR Sarah Kelly commented: “These are our first retention figures since our US combination went live, and we are really pleased with the rise to a 92% retention rate.”

Bird & Bird recorded 94 per cent retention, offering all 16 of its qualifiers NQ jobs and seeing 15 accept. One trainee is leaving to return to university. Partner Christian Bartsch said: “[The trainees] have worked very hard and demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to the firm. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome them as associates within their respective practice groups.”

Four of the trainees will qualify into intellectual property, with a further four entering the commercial department. Three more will join to dispute resolution, with the remainder going to corporate, aviation finance, employment and real estate.

Finally, Travers Smith has also revealed strong retention, holding on to 19 of its 20 qualifying trainees.