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London reveals 80%+ retention rates

City firms have begun to release retention rates for the autumn cohort of trainees, with many posting figures in excess of 80% – a significant indicator of health in the sector.

Slaughter and May leads the way in the magic circle so far. It has taken on 29 of 32 trainees (90%). Allen & Overy had 47 trainees and made offers to 41, of who 40 accepted (85%). Linklaters took on 47 of its 56-strong group (84%).

However, magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer offered contracts to only 29 of 41 trainees, with 27 (66%) accepting a role. It is in marked contrast to last September when the firm retained 95% of its 42 trainees.

As the Gazette went to press, Clifford Chance was the only magic circle firm yet to reveal retention figures.

Elsewhere, silver circle firm Ashurst took on 19 of 20 trainees (95%), while Bird & Bird retained 15 from 18 (83%). Hogan Lovells took on 24 out of 30 (80%)

International firm Pinsent Masons’ figures were not as high, though the firm had many more trainees than some of its rivals. Of 91 trainees, 84 applied and 67 were successful (73%). 

Things were far less positive for Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The US-headquartered firm – famous for its high pay rates for newly qualified solicitors – offered contracts to all of its 10 trainees but only five accepted

International firm Taylor Wessing also posted a fairly low score, retaining 62% of its 26-strong cohort, while litigation experts Stewarts Law took on just one out of four trainees.

pakistan strike

Pakistan lawyers strike in protest after Quetta attack

Lawyers across Pakistan are boycotting court to mourn the loss of some 70 people, many of them lawyers, killed in a bomb attack in Quetta.

In Balochistan – Quetta is the provincial capital – markets and schools have been closed.

The bomber targeted crowds who had gathered outside a hospital to mourn prominent lawyer Bilal Kasi who had been murdered earlier on Monday.

Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar says it was behind both the attack and murder.


The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) said its lawyers would be boycotting court proceedings, and observing a week of mourning.

Many lawyers are expected to take part in rallies across Pakistan on Tuesday.

“We [lawyers] have been targeted because we always raise our voice for people’s rights and for democracy,” SCBA President Ali Zafar told reporters in Lahore.

“Lawyers will not just protest this attack, but also prepare a long-term plan of action.”

Monday’s bombing targeted lawyers and journalists who had crammed into the emergency department of Quetta’s Civil Hospital where the body of Mr Kasi had been brought.

Former provincial bar president Baz Muhammad Kakar was one of at least 25 lawyers killed. TV news cameramen Shahzad Khan and Mehmood Khan were also among the dead.

At least 120 people were injured.

Bilal Kasi, who was head of the Balochistan province bar association, had earlier been shot while on his way to the court complex in Quetta.

He had strongly condemned the recent murders – including those of fellow lawyers – in Quetta in recent weeks, and had announced a two-day boycott of court sessions in protest at the killing of a colleague last week.