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Exclusive: Simmons & Simmons shamed for tweaking retention figures
01 April 2016
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5

Simmons & Simmons has refused to respond to a claim that it issued a misleading press release in an attempt to obscure the fact that only 54% of its trainee intake have qualified with the firm.

The firm issued a gung-ho statement this week saying that "89% of its trainees have been offered a position to stay on at the firm as of February 2016. The firm is pleased to confirm that 88% of these trainees have formally accepted... 9 trainees went through this round’s qualification process ending February 2016. 8 offers were made. 7 offers were accepted."

But RollOnFriday has been told that there were actually 13 trainees in the intake, not nine. So it seems that four of them had already decided to leave the firm, and Simmons decided to erase them from history to help make their figures look better. And a 77% retention rate certainly looks a lot better than 54%.

    A Simmons & Simmons partner yesterday

When BLP pulled a similar stunt it was exposed and pilloried by the press. Simmons really should have known better, and in any event anything other than complete transparency on trainee statistics is pretty shabby as students rely on retention figures when applying to firms.



A spokeswoman, who had nothing at all to hide, refused to confirm how many trainees had started off in the cohort.
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SumoKing
01/04/2016 08:45
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16
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[i]anything other than complete transparency on trainee statistics is pretty shabby as students rely on retention figures when applying to firms.[/i]

I sincerely doubt this is true. Students might rely on these when deciding between two offers from similar firms but when applying it's carpet bombing.
anonymous user
01/04/2016 09:31
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-4
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Also - lets be honest, if 4 people applied to Simmons thinking working for a City law firm is all rainbows and sunshine and decide that they actually don't like being in the office at 1am drafting the 56th set of board minutes to document a single transaction and so decide to leave for a life less corporate I don't think its necessarily the firms fault.

Often people don't apply at qualification because the firm they are at doesn't actually do very much of the work that said trainee actually wants to do. A good example is the TMT, Comm & Tech and Media type departments that are generally popular but, in many full service City firms, are not the core of the business - unsurprisingly if that's what you want to do then you've applied to the wrong place and conned the firm at interview... its a bit like training and Slaughter's and then leaving because you want to do human rights law, you probably weren't in the right place to begin with.

Also agree with SumoKing - definitely more of a carpet bombing approach for the majority and to be frank, anyone who will make the cut at Simmons should be smart enough to realise that there are any number of variables to retention and that choosing where to apply because you think they are more likely to have a job for you in 4/5 years time is pretty dumb - many a business has gone tits up in a far shorter period of time.
anonymous user
01/04/2016 10:08
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Anon @ 9:31 - It may not be the firm's fault, but lack of full disclosure doesn't reflect well on the possibility that it may have had something to do with the firm. Why not be honest and let studes make up their own minds.
anonymous user
01/04/2016 10:37
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Indeed. Retention rates mean bugger all in reality, so there is little reason to be coy about the figures. The fact that S&S are being shady says more to me than a 54% retention rate does.
anonymous user
01/04/2016 10:47
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The point surely is that a large, international law firm has intentionally misrepresented its figures.

Officers of the court, anyone?

Fifth rate behaviour by a fifth rate firm.
anonymous user
01/04/2016 14:06
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7
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I remember when I qualified and my firm announced its retention figures by saying that "77% of applicants had been offered jobs". Which neatly cut out people who didn't bother applying for qualification jobs after being told not to (most of the intake), and misleadingly included one guy who was offered a temporary job instead, and quite reasonably told them where to shove it.
  

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