Simmons reveals retention rate leap

Simmons and Simmons has revealed an 81 per cent retention rate for its March intake, keeping nine of a cohort of eleven trainees on at newly-qualified (NQ) level.

The top 20 firm offered ten trainees an NQ job; one did not accept an offer and another trainee chose not to go through the selection process.

That rate marks a huge improvement compared to last year’s March rate of 25 per cent, when just three of six trainees were offered jobs and just two accepted an NQ job. Last autumn, Simmons published an 89 per cent rate, holding onto 34 of its 38 trainees and making offers to 35. Trainees qualified into many practice areas across the firm.

Graduate recruitment partner Alex Brown said: “It really is a huge improvement. In September we had a huge intake and even so we got a great retention rate, The group following this time were feeling a bit nervous looking at last year’s rate, they thought there weren’t going to be any jobs. It just shows that we are hiring the right people, the quality is there and that we are getting busier.”

The firm did well in the last financial year of 2011-2012, being ranked as the fourteenth largest UK firm in global revenue terms with its average profit per equity partner jumping 15 per cent to £528,000 from £460,000. This jump was mainly down to managing costs although the firm brought in several lateral hires, including seven BLP partner hires.

It also made up ten partners, including eight in London. Finance is still the firm’s strongest practice, although litigation also had a particularly good year from April 2011 to April 2012. Continental Europe, especially the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, performed best during this time.

Last week both SJ Berwin and Hogan Lovells announced their March retention rates, with both firms revealing lower rates than this time last year (28 February 2013).