Two magic circle firms revealed higher autumn retention rates in a week of upbeat City announcements.

Slaughter and May is taking on 37 of its 40 trainees (92.5%), up on last year’s figure of 86%. Some 39 trainees put themselves forward, one was rejected and one chose not accept an offer.

Linklaters is taking on 49 of 54 trainees qualifying this autumn, a retention rate of 91%. This is significantly higher than last year, when 73% of trainees went on to become newly qualified associates. From the qualifying cohort, four trainees resigned and one was rejected.

Richard Hodgson, trainee development partner at Linklaters, said: ‘We are pleased once again to retain a high number of quality lawyers from our September qualifiers. Attracting, developing and retaining the best people is crucial to our success.’

Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are yet to report.

This season’s high retention rate coincides with a bullish set of financial results. National firm Shoosmiths announced a rise in net profit and profit per equity partner (PEP) last week, despite a ‘challenging’ market. In the financial year 2018/19, net profit grew by 6% to £37.9m and PEP 2% to £441,000. Revenue was £137.6m, a 7% increase.

Meanwhile, the listed Gordon Dadds Group reported increases in profits and revenue. For the 12 months to 31 March, Gordon Dadds saw revenue rise 69% to £52.6m and adjusted profit before tax climb 141% to £5.9m. 

However, the company spent £14.3m on its acquisition of international firm Ince & Co. It now has net borrowings of £2.9m, compared with net cash of £8.4m the previous year.