The Magic Circle firm has announced that it will reduce the number of new trainees it takes on each year by 20 per cent from September 2018. The change will see Clifford Chance accept around 40 new trainees every six months, down from ‘up to 100’ every year. This is the second time in the last five years that Clifford Chance has cut its intake quota, having brought its annual limit down from 120 to 100 in 2012.
London managing partner David Bickerton was quick to emphasise that the decision to take on fewer trainees was made before Britain’s vote the leave the EU, and was not in direct response to the referendum result: ‘The deals that the UK strikes across the globe could change the priorities for the London practices of the leading international firms,’ he said. ‘Given the increased efficiencies we are seeing in the way in which we deliver client services, we decided well before the referendum to reduce the number of trainees we will be taking on in London in 2018, from about 100 to about 80.’