Simmons & Simmons have released disappointing retention rates for autumn qualifiers after keeping on just 50 per cent of trainees. Of the 24 trainees that started two years previous, only 17 applied for newly-qualified (NQ) positions, of which 13 received offers and 12 accepted. Simmons’ retention rates are notoriously inconsistent, reaching highs of 95 per cent for autumn 2014, and hitting lows of less than 60 per cent five times since autumn 2010. Training principal Alan Gar attributed the recent Brexit result as a factor in the firm’s inability to retain new talent stipulating, “We think that had an impact on the round, but would not pretend that was the only factor. It is not always possible to match a trainee’s first choice with internal demand, and in the usual way, there were a number of factors outside of our control as well, with trainees opting to leave.”
Travers Smith’s retention rate tells a much different story, having retained 94 per cent of qualifiers. 17 of the 18 trainees have accepted NQ positions with six qualifying into private equity, two into commercial and two into dispute resolution while finance, real estate, pensions, tax, corporate finance, funds and financial services and markets each received one. Clifford Chance posted an 82 per cent retention rate after offering jobs to 41 of 49 final-seat trainees with only one declining. This is only a slight improvement on the 80 per cent retention rate that the firm posted for its spring qualifiers.