CMS Cameron McKenna has posted a retention rate of 67 per cent for autumn 2014, following its merger with Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson, which nearly doubled its NQ intake size.
In autumn 2013, it retained 28 of 34 qualifying trainees, a rate of 82 per cent. This year, however, it offered 41 of 61 trainees an NQ role. All 41 accepted, although one trainee is on a six-month fixed-term contract.
Of the 41 NQs, 21 will join the London office and four will take up jobs in Bristol. In Scotland, ten will be based in Edinburgh, three will work in Glasgow and three will take up roles in the Aberdeen office.
Graduate recruitment partner Simon Pilcher said: “As a result of the combination with Dundas & Wilson, we have a significant increase in the number of trainees qualifying in August compared to last year. As a consequence, due to the volume of trainees the overall retention rate is regrettably lower than in previous years.
“However we are in a strong position as a firm post-merger and were therefore able to offer more NQ positions than last year.”
CMS’s retention has historically fluctuated quite dramatically: in the 12 qualification rounds since spring 2009 it has kept on as few as 63 per cent of qualifiers (in spring 2011) and as many as 89 per cent (in spring 2009).
Meanwhile, RPC will keep on 100 per cent of its 15 trainees qualifying this autumn, an increase on last year when it retained 13 of 16, or 81 per cent of trainees in newly-qualified NQ roles. Trainees will qualify into both the London and Bristol offices and will join a range of practice areas.
Managing partner Jonathan Watmough said: “We invest a lot of time and money in our trainee recruitment programme, and set the bar for qualification very high. It’s always particularly pleasing, therefore, when we get such an outstanding group who make the grade, and doubly gratifying when we are able to offer them all positions at the firm.”