Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Charity Nominations for 2017

Charities Nominated for Donations 2017
So far this year we have had the following charities nominated for donations by candidates and clients. To see our policy on donations please visit: https://www.ten-percent.co.uk/charitable-trust/

Bloodwise
Greenwich Housing Rights
Howard League
The Parent House
Daisey Garland Charity
PVNH Support
Helping Older People (New Forest)
We expect to continue our support of LawCare, Ace of Clubs, Reprieve and Unlock.
If anyone else wants to nominate a charity for a donation, please let me know. Our main policy is that we will not donate to charities who pay any staff more than £75k per annum.
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

A Psychic's 2016 New Year Predictions Revisited

A Psychic's 2016 New Year Predictions Revisited

Every year we carry an article in our January Newsletter about predictions for the previous year by an "expert" online psychic, Craig Hamilton-Parker (from www.psychics.co.uk). Mr Hamilton-Parker charges £1.50 per minute for his services via telephone consultations. We have also included Mr Hamilton-Parker's 2017 predictions below to see how he does when we revisit in 2018. In 2014 Mr Hamilton-Parker scored 1 out of 16 but managed to get 5 out of 16 in 2015.

Online Psychic Craig Hamilton-Parker's Predictions and Results for 2016
1. Massive earthquake in Himalayas causes dam to burst (wrong).
2. Japanese island sinks beneath the sea (wrong).
3. Unprecedented rainfall disrupts some of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (wrong, although there was a bright green swimming pool).
4. A comet/asteroid is missed by most astronomical observatories and comes close to Earth (wrong).
5. EU referendum brought forward and leaves EU (presumably this relates to the UK) - wrong and right!
6. Large fire in historic Dutch building sees many masterpieces destroyed (wrong).
7. Extensive flooding in UK during winter with tidal surge causing extensive damage in Southern England. Dates to watch 11th and 29th November and February 23rd. (Wrong - no major floods in 2016).
8. New refugee wave from Ukraine and Georgia as Russia tightens its grip on dissidents (wrong refugees).
9. Rise of right-wing politics in Spain, France and Italy sees rioting on streets and mosques burnt (wrong).
10. Turkey will invade Kurdish areas of Syria (partly correct).
11. Massive increase in use of drones in Syria quell ISIS. Britain puts some troops on the ground (wrong).
12. New form of nanotechnology used to track terrorists (wrong).
13. Commonly used food additive is conclusively proven as a cause of cancer (wrong).
14. Prince Phillip is taken seriously ill and has major life and death operation (wrong).
15. There is an attempted behind-the-scenes coup in China as Chinese currency collapses (wrong).
16. An alleged naked picture of Kim Jong-un causes a political row (wrong).
17. Donald Trump’s bid for the White House is thwarted by illness. The last battle is neck and neck between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. The republicans win after a sudden last minute change of republican candidate (wrong).
18. British Labour Party splits in two with one section joining the Liberals. British Labour Party make big gains in Scotland (wrong).
19. India’s economy surges forward. New deals made between UK and India (sort of right)
Total score for 2016 predictions - 2 out of 19.
Mr Hamilton-Parker's predictions for 2017:
1. Hillary Clinton will resign from politics because of the release of documents that reveal financial corruption and falsification of government documents.
2. Denmark and Italy pull out of EU as Euro crashes. 2017 sees Italy in serious economic problems.
3. Economic chaos in Europe (and America) with riots in many European capital and big cities (Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Prague) In these places many people are suffering serious poverty and food shortages due to the failure of the EU.
4. Famous building in flames as right-wing riots in Germany spark memories of the burning of the Reichstag.
5. Britain escapes the worst of the international economic troubles and is seen as a safe economic haven. Britain, India and Australia form an economic alliance.
6. America becomes politically divided between East and West. Riots and gun fights in America over election results and turmoil throughout 2017. Friendly, neutral troops from Canada are called in to quell unrest.
7. USA experiences a serious drought during the summer of 2017 while Europe has floods.
8. Large fire at the UK Houses of Parliament
9. New War spills into Afghanistan as revolution erupts in Uzbekistan
10. Ancient Giant Squid makes the news – found frozen in ice.
11. Volcanic eruption in Iceland causes toxic gas cloud over Norway
12. Conflicts between China and USA as satellite computers are hacked.
13. Japan initiates an arms race in the Far East after provocation from China and North Korea.
14. Kim Jong-un will be fall from power later in the year – maybe December 2017 or January 2018
15. Serious threat of escalating conflict between China and India over northern border of Kashmir.
16. Sample of Shakespeare’s bones exhumed and show that he was poisoned. Clues to a new play found in his grave.
17. August 21, 2017 eclipse over America coincides with huge stock market fall and long-term inflation.
18. Assassination and kidnap attempt on the pope at the Vatican. Swiss guards killed.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Duty Solicitors - an update December 8th 2016

Duty Solicitors - an update We have had a few enquiries over the last week or so from new firms who have been awarded contracts for crime and on the lookout for duty solicitors and crime supervisors. There is a guide to the regulations regarding the employment of crime supervisors and duty solicitors included on our website at http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/crime-solicitor-contract-2017-extracts-relevant-to-duty-solicitors-and-supervisors/ and the points below relate to our intel so far on the situation:

1. There are reports of a large London firm requiring all their duty solicitors to become limited companies in order to work. Not sure whether the LAA have agreed this structure but it appears to us to be an effort to shift liability for tax and NI onto the duty solicitors. Not entirely sure what HMRC will make of it either!

2. No indication from any firm as to salary levels for duty solicitors or supervisors. Some have agreed that the range should be £30-40k with supervisors being at the £35-40k level.

3. If these contracts go in the same direction as family contracts did in 2011 it is likely the smaller firms will work out a way to take supervisors on zero hours contracts to do the bare minimum required. The LAA have actually managed to define how many hours and firms a supervisor can work for this time round..

4. No indication either on monthly retainer arrangements - these presumably are still valid because the LAA cannot regulate the relationship between the duty solicitor and the firm but have specified the minimum hours required. Neither has there been any indication on hourly rates etc..

5. The last round of rota slots saw rates of about £800-1200 per month for most retainer arrangements.

We believe that when the family contracts came out in 2011 quite a few law firms simply walked away from LAA funded work and the smaller practices picked up the work. We are not sure most continued with it after realising it was going to be extremely difficult to generate an income.. Crime is of course slightly different as still LAA funded unlike most areas of family law..

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Looking for work in December - a good idea?

Looking for work in December - a good idea?

No! 

This could have been one of the shortest articles I have ever written, but we'll pad it out a bit! These are our five reasons why:

1. Work levels in law firms tend to drop off as we approach Christmas. As a result, although you may send in a great CV full of promise and opportunity, the partners will be looking at their staff disappearing off shopping when they can and not showing high productivity levels and wondering whether they can afford you.

2. Interview arranging tends to be a total nightmare. One partner will be away (shopping), another will be off to their daughter's nativity play and getting them together to interview you at a time convenient will be virtually impossible.

3. Candidates start to think that their current firm are really nice and question their sanity for thinking about leaving. This happens fairly often just before Christmas, especially around the time when the senior partner starts to look human again when she announces the Christmas party!

4. CVs get overlooked as HR and partners are off Christmas shopping (or at least surfing Amazon).

5. Responses from firms and candidates can be sporadic to say the least. Communication can be difficult.

Applications in January are usually better received by employers - businesses are usually a bit quiet as work levels stay low and people have time on their hands. Similarly it is the time when candidates make New Years Resolutions to change jobs and start to look. If you think about it - if candidates make such decisions, it is very likely partners of law firms make similar decisions on recruitment as well and start looking around. The busy season each year is April to September, although 2016 has been a bit more random than usual. For most of the year there is never a particularly good or bad time to apply for jobs per se, but December is fraught with difficulties...


Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Overpaid Charity CEOs - Campaign to Address Excessive Charity Pay - sign our Houses of Parliament petition



Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and Trustee of the Ten-Percent Foundation, has launched a petition on the Houses of Parliament website.

"If we get 10,000 signatures the government will respond and if we get 100,000 signatures then Parliament will debate the issue."

Click this link to sign the petition:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173515/sponsors/79d4m6YKcpXSEsXLyGh


The petition is as follows:

Remove status from charities paying staff more than 3 times the average wage.

Charities in the UK should have their charitable status removed if they pay any of their staff more than three times the average wage. Why should a pensioner on less than £150 a week give £5 to a charity that pays a CEO £200k? In 2016-2017 three times the average wage is £82,500. Many [charity staff] get more.

By way of examples - Parkinson's UK has 10 staff earning between £60,000 and £130,000, The Royal British Legion has 26 staff earning between £60,000 and £160,000, Help for Heroes has 17 staff earning between £60,000 and £110,000 and Cancer Research UK has 219 staff earning between £60,000 and £250,000.

Houses of Parliament
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Legal Recruitment News November 2016 - Video Version


Legal Recruitment News November 10th 2016 - Video Version. Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment goes through the news with additional comment and analysis.

You can read the printed version at www.legal-recruitment.co.uk

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Education Law - a new growth area in the UK?


Education Law - a new growth area? 
 
A quick note simply to say that if you specialise in education law and would like details of new locum and permanent roles coming our way please let us know by emailing us - cv@ten-percent.co.uk. In the last 2 weeks we have seen a number of firms register education law vacancies with us. There seems to be a growth spurt particularly around Special Educational Needs matters. Vacancies have included requirements for advocates in particular - the firms seem to be looking for solicitors to represent clients at LA & school meetings and tribunal hearings and also providing advice on statutory assessments & reviews. Similarly we have had reports of a requirement for judicial review experience. Not sure why these vacancies are suddenly coming through. In fact I would say we have had more requests in the last 2-3 weeks than in the previous 10 years! Does anyone know something we don't?

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Brexit and the effect on Legal Recruitment in the UK



The effect of Brexit on legal recruitment - have there been any changes in 2016? Listen and watch Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment as he wanders around a field in North Wales discussing the effects.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Google, Pandas and Penguins - Updates in September 2016

Google, Pandas and Penguins - recent updates in Google listings

On September 23rd 2016 Google announced a major update to the way they list their natural rankings. Some years ago Google basically upended the entire Search Engine Marketing industry by bringing in new elements to their algorithm which were called Panda and Penguin (the names sound quite cuddly but the results were positively terrifying for some businesses!). The new update is called Penguin 4.0. This part of the algorithm has now gone real time, which means that it is continually refreshed. Penguin now devalues anything that looks to be "the thing that rhymes with ham" and adjusts the page ranking rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site.” This means that if a solicitors firm 'stuffs' a page on their website with loads of keywords to try and encourage Google to rank them higher in the organic listings then Google will not necessarily devalue the rest of the site. So anyone planning on filling a page with the words "conveyancing", "solicitors" and "Brighton" in the hope of increasing their business, may not be risking the status of their website overall.

SEO or SEM (search engine marketing) has again become important since Google changed the way adverts were shown. Not a lot of people know this, but Google now only show 2-3 adverts at the top of the search results, and none are now visible down the sides. This has reduced the opportunities for smaller companies to compete with big business when paying for advertising on Google. As a quick example, if I now want to advertise for "Conveyancing Locum" across the UK I am looking at paying over £4 a click. Something I would rather not do!

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Cheapskate Law Firm? A Witty (but deadly accurate) Job Application by a Receptionist


We recently received the following job application from an online job board:

"Dear Jonathan,  
You have received a reply to your ad: "Law Firm Receptionist" posted in Reception & Switchboard Jobs in [a greater London area].  
From: Anna
To offer £16,000 p/a you must be either very greedy or not performing well as a company.
I believe that London's living wage is £9.40 p/h. In fact- cleaners earn more in these days.
If I accepted your salary - I would have to choose between either paying my London rent -or buying food. And because I would not be afford to use a public transport to get to work ,- to your office I would fly on a magic carpet. By the way- Would you survive on 16k in London?" 


   
Hello Anna – many thanks for your application, which we agree with completely!! I have written the following response and posted your application and my response onto the Legal Recruitment Blog (your email address has been removed).

We know of a number of solicitors firms in and around London who seem to think that people go to work simply to help the partners keep ailing businesses afloat or maintain a luxury lifestyle they probably can’t afford.

It doesn’t matter how many times we break the news to some clients that Queen Victoria died in 1901 they still act as if she is on the throne. I suppose there is an option to save money by sleeping rough on the streets during the week and then walk home at the weekend, but I guess you don’t fancy pushing things to that extreme.

The Living Wage is £9.40 per hour. If you assume someone on a salary works full time for 7.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 48 weeks of the year, this equates to £16,920. Season tickets for travelling in zones 1-6 appear to cost £227 a month.

So yes you are absolutely right – this firm are potentially advertising a role at less than the Living Wage and it would be very hard to work and be able to enjoy any of the income you earned. We had another firm recently doing the same type of thing - offering £14k - but dangling training contract carrots in front of potential paralegals.

In defence of some of the employers – the hourly rate for legally aided work has not gone up a lot since 1991 and in fact for crime has been reduced by 17.5% as crime solicitors are quite clearly earning too much at £53.84 for complex advocacy in the Magistrates Court. Their hourly rates now equate to a lot less than most garages charge per hour for a qualified mechanic to look at a car.

Other areas of law though not dependent on legal aid have no similar excuse – and if a business is undertaking an uneconomical area of work they ought to be seriously considering their own commercial acumen, not trying to get staff to work for next to nothing.

Sometimes we advertise vacancies that offer unbelievably poor salaries to potential candidates but we are bound to do so by the terms of our contracts with our clients. We can express individual opinions on salary levels, but at the end of the day it is up to jobseekers to vote with their feet and avoid vacancies.

We are considering as an agency refusing to advertise anything that is less than the National Living Wage, or indicating that the National Living Wage is not being met on particular vacancies. Your email has provoked us into further thought on this issue so many thanks.

Solicitors firms fall into 3 categories. The first is the city and commercial sector – these firms pay very high salaries in comparison with their counterparts but why not – they earn it and their staff work amazingly long hours. The second is the decent high street sector- firms generating solid profits based on firm foundations with salaries to ensure longevity and loyalty. The third is the not so decent high street sector where staff are a very temporary commodity with no effort made at all to recruit at a level someone can actually afford to work at.

So thanks for taking the time to apply – we like your wit and hope you go far!

Best wishes

Jonathan Fagan
Managing Director
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.