Retention 2017: Mixed fortunes for DWF, Addleshaws and Cleary trainees

More law firms have revealed their retention figures for this autumn, with mixed results.

US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has kept on all nine of its qualifiers, with eight staying in London and one relocating to Abu Dhabi

They join the dispute resolution, tax, M&A, regulatory, competition, IP, capital markets, finance and restructuring teams.

Meanwhile, Addleshaw Goddard held on to 38 of 47 qualifiers (81 per cent). Two are on fixed-term contracts.

DWF fared worse, retaining 33 out of 50 qualifiers (66 per cent). The firm’s training partner Carl Graham said: “As we undergo significant growth there is naturally a period of adjustment as we determine how to balance our training scheme against the needs of our changing business. While of course we always aim to retain as many of our talented trainees as possible, this year we had an exceptionally large intake and could not meet demand in our most popular practice areas. We are thrilled with the strong talent we have retained this year and look forward to seeing them develop their careers with us.”

It is DWF’s largest-ever intake: the firm has suffered in the retention stakes ever since the massive increase in the size of the trainee cohort following a spate of mergers.

Elsewhere, HFW retained eight of 10 (80 per cent) and Charles Russell Speechlys 17 of 24 (71 per cent).

With over 50 firms now having revealed their retention stats and only a handful of large firms left to do so, this is shaping up to be a slightly worse round than usual.

So far, exactly 80 per cent of 1,415 trainees across 54 firms have stayed on at the firm that trained them.

This is down two percentage points on the autumn 2016 round, when 82 per cent of trainees were kept on, and three points down on 2015.