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