Withers and Macfarlanes release retention figures

Withers has retained ten out of its 14 qualifiers this autumn, equating to a 71 per cent retention rate. 

Two of the newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors have taken up positions in the firm’s commercial litigation department, while another two went to private client. The commercial property, employment, corporate and charities departments have all taken one NQ each, and the final two retained trainees have qualified into Withers’ Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, Macfarlanes has retained 18 of its 24 qualifiers this autumn, a rate of 75 per cent. The firm made 19 offers in total, while two trainees did not apply for a NQ role.

Macfarlanes’ senior partner Charles Martin said: The drop in our figures this year is the result of a number of factors. The preferences of those qualifying do not always match the specific opportunities that we have. We do all we can to avoid this happening, but we do not have unlimited capacity in all areas of the firm. Growth must follow client demand and strategic priorities. Some choose to go elsewhere whether we make them an offer or not. Some leave the profession.

”Recruiting, training and retaining the very best legal talent is fundamental to giving our clients the excellence which they expect of us. Graduate recruitment is the cornerstone of the firm. Unlike others, we have not reduced our trainee numbers materially nor do we intend to do so.

We are always very mindful of our wider responsibilities when we recruit for our trainee scheme. We aim for as high a level of retention as possible. The investment that is made on both sides also creates a strong incentive to make this work. Poor retention is bad business.”