Slaughters unveils rise in spring trainee retention rate

Slaughter and May has become the first UK firm to reveal its spring 2016 retention rate, with the firm retaining 95% of its trainees compared to 88% in spring 2015.

The firm confirmed today that out of the 40 trainees eligible to qualify in March that 38 had accepted offers to be kept on as newly-qualified solicitors.

Slaughters declined to comment on the practice areas the trainees would qualify into.

The retention rate for spring 2016 marks a significant rise compared to last year’s rates. In spring 2015, the firm retained 88% from the overall pool, or 37 out of 42. In autumn 2015, the firm kept on 89% of the cohort, or 33 out of 37.

The news come after Slaughters revealed last month its top performing associates would take home bonuses of up to 16% of their annual salaries.

The firm’s annual associate bonuses for those judged to be “good” or “exceptional” this year ranged from 9% to 16%, compared with 7.5% to 15% last year.

The increase marks the third year in a row that the firm has bumped up bonuses following two years of cuts in 2011 and 2012.

The increase in the firm’s trainee retention rate comes as news that Slaughters and Freshfields are expected to pocket the bulk of the fees incurred by Shell and BG Group on their merger deal.

According to official documents, the total legal fees incurred by the two companies during their merger are set to amount to $59.2m (£40m).

As Shell’s main legal adviser, Slaughters is expected to rake in the bulk of the fees incurred by the company, estimated at between $32m and $35m (£21.7m to £23.8m).