International firm Eversheds Sutherland is taking on 86% of its trainees this September, as firms continue to invest in junior talent despite coronavirus concerns.

Some 43 of the firm’s 50 trainees will be retained as associates this autumn across its UK and Hong Kong offices, filling roles in its company commercial, litigation & dispute management, real estate and human resources practice groups.

Last year the firm reported a retention rate of 80%.

Lorraine Kilborn, international HR director at Eversheds Sutherland, said: ‘We are delighted to be welcoming a large majority of our newly-qualified group as associates in September and would like to congratulate them all on securing permanent roles within the firm.

‘The climb to 86% is a clear message to other trainees and the wider legal market that we are still investing in the growth of the firm despite the challenges that Covid-19 has presented, as we secure the long-term future of the firm by continuing to commit to a strong pool of junior talent.’

Trainee retention rates have been high across the City so far, allaying fears that coronavirus would cause firms to scale back junior recruitment. Magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is keeping 32 of its 36 trainees (89%), while Allen & Overy is taking on 38 NQs out of a cohort of 41 (93%).