At least eight in 10 trainees are being kept on at the magic circle this autumn, with most firms posting higher retention rates than in 2015.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer led the way, posting a 95% retention rate after offering contracts to 40 of 42 trainees. Last year the firm kept on 83% of its cohort, offering 43 jobs from 48 places.

After leading the magic circle last year with a 96% retention rate, Clifford Chance retained 82% this year, with 40 out of 49 trainees staying on.

Excluding five resignations, Linklaters offered jobs to all of its 56 trainees this year. Overall, the retention rate was 91%. Last year it made offers to 46 of its 55 trainees (84%).

Linklaters training principal Nick Rumsby said: ‘We are very pleased to announce such an impressive retention rate for our September qualification round. We are again fortunate to have a large group of talented junior lawyers qualifying with us—retaining 91% of the cohort is excellent news for Linklaters.’

Allen & Overy matched last year’s figures, posting an 86% retention rate for its 42-strong cohort – 39 applied for a role, 38 offers were made and 36 offers were accepted.

James Partridge, partner and training principal at Allen & Overy, said: ‘The retention rate is pleasing and in line with what we would expect.

‘It demonstrates our long-term commitment to recruiting and retaining our talented young lawyers.’

Slaughter and May has yet to reveal its figures.

International firm Hogan Lovells, meanwhile, reported an 80% retention rate. From 30 trainees, 29 applied for a role, of whom 25 were successful. Of those 25, 24 accepted a contract.

Professional services firm RPC announced that it is keeping on 70% of its intake, offering roles to 14 out of 20 trainees.