Reed Smith records 86% retention as training contract applications double

Reed Smith is retaining 12 of its 14 qualifiers, giving it retention of 86 per cent. The firm had previously retained 10 of 13 qualifiers in the spring.

Three NQs will join the firm’s commercial disputes group while corporate will take two qualifiers. The remaining seven will join: energy and natural resources; the financial industry group; shipping; entertainment and media; real estate; employment; and intellectual property.

Reed Smith training principal Samantha Roberts said: “We are pleased to maintain a strong trainee retention rate this autumn as 86 per cent of our qualifiers will be staying on to progress their careers with us, including trainees who joined us from KWM in January. This represents a 19 per cent increase on last year’s autumn retention rate.” The firm retained 10 of 13 qualifiers in spring 2017. It took on

Roberts added: “We continue to see an increase in applications for our training contracts and this year the numbers have almost doubled, reflecting the firm’s reputation and the attractiveness of the experience on offer.”

The firm rescued three trainees from King & Wood Mallesons when it collapsed at the start of the year, two of whom will reach qualification this September. It subsequently boosted first-year trainee pay by 4 per cent to £40,000, cancelling out a pay discrepancy that previously existed, where the three ex-KWM trainees were being paid more than the rest of the cohort.

Elsewhere, Herbert Smith Freehills will retain 80 per cent of its trainees this September.

The firm had 35 qualifying trainees, with 31 applying for newly-qualified (NQ) postions with the firm. Of those, 28 were offered jobs with all accepting.

Four NQs will qualify overseas: two in Paris, one in Singapore and one in Dubai. Training partner James Baily said: “We are very pleased that four of our London trainees in this round are qualifying into overseas offices, which demonstrates the global opportunities that are available for our trainee solicitors.”

Meanwhile, Stephenson Harwood has kept on nine out of 10 qualifiers, having held on to four of seven in the spring.

Training partner Neil Noble, said: “As we look to achieve our ambitious growth strategy, and to build on the success of recent years, developing a strong pipeline of talent is more important than ever. We aim to attract and retain the very best lawyers and these figures reflect the firm’s ability to provide a supportive environment in which they can thrive in their legal careers.”