SNR Denton retention rates slump to 52 per cent

SNR Denton has announced another woeful newly qualified lawyer (NQ) retention rate despite encouraging signs earlier this year for a turnaround in figures.

Jeremy Cape
Jeremy Cape

The firm has offered jobs to just 12 out of its 23 Autumn 2011 qualifiers giving it a provisional retention rate of 56 per cent – the lowest Autumn 2011 figure reported by any top 20 practice to date.

Graduate recruitment partner Jeremy Cape said: “We’re planning for significantly stronger profitability across the firm in this financial year and unfortunately we’ve needed to take a number of tough decisions. 

“I’m heartened that the vast majority of the NQs who will not be staying with us on qualification have found jobs elsewhere, and we’re delighted to have provided them with the training to succeed in their legal careers.”

The firm revealed that its average profit per equity partner (PEP) at Denton’s UK LLP has plummeted by 35.6 per cent in the last financial year, dropping from £360,000 to £232,000. Turnover for the UK LLP meanwhile dropped 8 per cent to £154.4m from £167.5m and net profit stood at £19.8m compared to £31.4m for Dentons during the previous financial year (read story).

In 2010, legacy firm Denton Wilde Sapte shed 86 per cent of its spring qualifiers, keeping one trainee out of a cohort of seven (read story). However, its spring 2011 retention rate increased significantly to 79 per cent after it kept 11 out of 14 qualifying trainees. 

Dentons’ disappointing retention rates follow the revelation that the firm’s graduate recruitment programme has contracted by almost 43 per cent in the last three years (read more).

Elsewhere, Nabarro’s final seat trainees have had better luck as they approach qualification with all 20 being offered an NQ position. However, one trainee turned down their offer giving the firm a 95 per cent retention rate.

Meanwhile, Macfarlanes has offered 22 of its 24 trainees a job (92 per cent), while Barlow Lyde & Gilbert has posted a retention rate of 80 per cent after seeing all eight of its offers accepted from the firm’s 10 trainees qualifing this September.