Berwin Leighton Paisner
is retaining just 11 out of 20 trainees this March.
Only 55% of the trainees in its spring 2015 cohort are joining the firm as newly-qualified solicitors. One left midway through the training contract to become a teacher. The disappointing score places the firm at the bottom of the table so far.
While it's surprising that a firm of BLP's considerable stature should perform poorly, it has form. In fact, it has not posted a decent retention rate since 2014, when both its spring and autumn intake sizes were smaller than usual - 18 rather than 20+.
In the last five intakes BLP has failed to retain more than 71% of trainees, and the rate has now fallen over three consecutive intakes, from 70% to 65% to 55%. The stats suggest that it has not been adequately forecasting what its NQ requirements will be two years down the pipe. Whatever the cause, it's unfortunate that the firm is still struggling to get it right.
Anthony Lennox, BLP partner and Training Principal, told RollOnFriday, “We’d like to have been announcing a higher proportion of qualifiers. However, our NQs will continue to be a huge asset to our Firm, across the teams that they will shortly qualifying into. Our qualifiers have shown an exemplary ability and attitude during their training contract, embodying BLP’s culture of personal client service. We look forward to helping them develop their careers at our Firm in the coming years