Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Monday, October 30, 2006

The November 2006 Legal Recruitment Job Market Report

Report dated October 30th 2006, covering the present condition of the legal recruitment job market in the UK.

next report due - November 28th 2006

Prepared by Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of ten-percent.co.uk limited; specialist legal recruitment consultants for solicitors and legal executives seeking legal jobs and law firms seeking staff in the UK. Click here to visit our online vacancy database
This report is based on our recruitment activities in the legal job market for the past month, and is updated on a regular basis. It is divided into commercial and high street areas. Before viewing this information, please click here to read our disclaimer.

October - legal job market remaining fairly buoyant but recruitment slowing down for Xmas Shopping!
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is made up of a number of different websites and you can register to improve your prospects via any of our sites. Our sites simply offer law jobs, and we are totally committed to legal recruitment - we operate http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/, our main site, http://www.jonathanfagan.co.uk/ (property, wills, probate, litigation), http://www.conveyancing-jobs.co.uk/, http://www.crime-solicitor.co.uk/ (crime - duty solicitors, police station accredited reps and NQ), http://www.eastmidlandslegal.co.uk/, http://www.yorkshire-legal-recruitment.co.uk/, http://www.hampshirelegal.co.uk/, http://www.homecountieslegal.co.uk/ and http://www.chancerylane.co.uk/ (UK corporate and commercial solicitor recruitment by email). All our sites are an integral part of our legal recruitment group. We also offer a locum service for assignments of more than 1 month.

We remain at the forefront of online recruitment, and currently feature fairly prominently on Google, Yahoo and MSN Search in the top 5 at most times. We retain our commitment to donate 10% of our annual net profits to charity.

We have finally slowed down, after a very hectic summer, and although vacancies are continuing to come in on most fronts, the locum posts have slowed, and interviews are minimal. I think firms suddenly find their workload picks up at this time, and recruitment moves towards the back burner in time for Christmas. We are still adding vacancies at a fairly rapid speed.
We are still finding that a larger number of employers are registering legal job posts with us at present, and sometimes this can be as many as 10 a day. Locum posts have slowed down now after the summer break and will not pick up again until after Christmas I suspect. One thing we have noticed since opening www.ten-percent.co.uk/locum.htm is that some employers will give us a long term assignment that when actually discussed with the candidate turns out to be a couple of weeks. Frustrating, but something to bear in mind when looking at our job adverts.

In June we had a stall at Law 2006 at the NEC in Birmingham, and took the opportunity to meet some candidates and employers who we had spoken to on a number of occasions but not never been able to put a face to a name. Nice to do this and meet you all! The feedback we got from the exhibition was that firms want an alternative to the standard recruitment service, and that Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment was quite well known - a lot of people approaching us had heard of the company and viewed the website.

The fields of law have again been shifting, and we are finding more non-Legal Services Commission funded posts are beginning to take precedence on the high street. Increasing numbers of medium sized practices are still ditching the publicly funded work as they find it harder to justify continuing when the returns are so meagre. Carter seems to be scaring family and crime departments at present.

TP Locums - www.ten-percent.co.uk/locum.htm - is our new locum service for assignments of over 1 month. we have found already that there are a large number of assignments out there, particularly in conveyancing.

It remains the same as before at NQ level - just not getting the vacancies into us in the same quantity, which is still unusual as at one point we did a lot of business in introducing recently qualified solicitors. Conveyancing outside London is an exception - some firms specifically asking for assistant solicitors who need to be supervised, which of course means NQ salary levels! More and more of our recruitment is now focused more on experience rather than qualification. Commercial litigation remains a barren wasteland, and we have not had an NQ post for commercial litigation in since 2004. Commercial property seems to be expanding at all levels, and a large number of posts have come in for the field.

Age Discrimination and Newly Qualified Solicitors
Things have not changed very much at all - just have a look in the back of the Law Society Gazette for adverts containing the 2-4 years PQE, and 0-2 years etc.. There was a lot of talk that anyone doing this would be liable for all sorts of things under the new Age Discrimination regulations. It doesnt seem to have scared off that many recruiters yet, with legal jobs just stating the PQE. I noticed that some recruiters have removed the PQE however. Our sites give the PQE as an indication. Clearly if a firm is wanting someone to supervise or manage, an NQ solicitor is not going to be permitted to do this under the Law Society regulations (3 years PQE or more in most circumstances), so there is some justification on that front. Salary levels will indicate exactly who will be suitable for the post on the whole. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment has always aimed to be an equal opportunity agency, and never discriminates on the grounds of anything. I have not come across any law firms who have done so, although QLTT lawyers without relevant UK experience may be an interesting conundrum for firms in the future...
Conveyancing - this has now picked up, and we are getting requests for CVs at all levels, although still not the mad mayhem it was a few years ago. The market is still improving for conveyancing - we have recently had a run on Central and Greater London firms, but salary levels on the whole are down on previous years.
Click here for advice for NQ solicitors

Crime work is another area where we are not entirely sure what is going on at present. In years gone by every duty solicitor who registered with us would get plenty of interviews, but in London for example we are hitting a lot of brickwalls at present. Duty solicitors elsewhere are OK. There are some of the larger firms recruiting at present in large numbers in the hope of picking up lucrative contracts if the Carter report does kick into play, but others have shut their doors to see what happens. Not sure in part however whether this is due to the oversupply of duty solicitors for general crime work, or whether the firms are all starting to look towards cutting back somewhat on crime work. I expect it to pick up soon as the pattern tends to be in a wave motion and we are coming off the foot of it at present! Police station accredited reps are still in demand in most areas. Freelancers seem to be getting posts frequently. I suspect that recruitment will be poor in crime for a good time now, as firms realise the harsh realities of Carter, and that crime really is not going to pay very much. As a former crime solicitor I sympathise, particularly with the comments by Carter about solicitors not going out to the police station at night! I don't remember many ex police officers doing my callouts at 2am!

This year the key fields of law on the high street side so far remain family (in some areas), crime (outside London), wills & probate, conveyancing and commercial property. Commercial litigation and personal injury remain extremely difficult to source work for on the NQ front and in fact we still get many litigators contacting us about each litigation post coming up in London.

Litigation posts as a whole appear to be coming back into fashion after a few years of nothing arising. We have picked up a few in the last month or so.

In terms of geographical areas, we remain very strong in Hampshire, the South Coast, Kent, East Anglia, Essex, the South West, East & West Midlands, North Wales, the North West including Manchester, Chester, Liverpool, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

We are finding it harder these days to source work in Bristol and Leeds. Birmingham not good either. These areas appear to be completely saturated with candidates and agencies. In Leeds for example it is next to impossible to source good litigation posts.

Conveyancing
Conveyancing jobs are increasing dramatically as the property market carries on at pace. The Law Society Gazette has had a number of firms across the UK advertising recently, and we have noticed a continued marked increase in responses to our updates to firms for conveyancing lawyers with experience and also at NQ level. We have struggled to find conveyancing locums for example, when opportunities are plentiful on the whole.
Most other areas apart from London remain unaffected for anyone with 1 year PQE upwards, and interviews have been arranged across the UK for conveyancers with 2 years PQE upwards with no alterations to the norm at this time of year.

Crime
Crime firms still remain wary on the recruitment front, and a few have again started to close or merge, which tends to happen whenever any large change is being spoken about at the LSC. We have continued to find NQ-1 year PQE posts in short supply, but we continue to assist duty solicitors across the UK find local posts and relocation positions to and from the North and South, and we have a good knowledge of working conditions at quite a large number of firms across the UK. Our specialist site http://www.crime-solicitor.co.uk/ caters for police station reps and solicitors. Accredited police station qualifications work a treat - there are very few firms out there now who will look at non-accredited crime solicitors unless the salary levels compensate for this (ie 18k or thereabouts). Carter and his review are going to have an effect in months to come I think.

Wills & Probate
Wills & Probate has been an interesting field. Large number of firms looking as they have seen the potential in dealing with IHT work and trusts, which is inevitable following recent house price boom. Quite a lot of vacancies have also come into us from other areas in this field, although the North West remains fairly poor in terms of work quality and salaries paid to solicitors to do this work. East Anglia and the Home Counties are doing well at present, together with the South Coast, and the East Midlands is resurgent on this front. London posts remain few and far between. Try visiting http://www.jonathanfagan.co.k/ if interested in receiving further details for private client posts.

Commercial Property
There remain posts in almost every town for commercial property solicitors from NQ upwards. Firms have almost taken the collective decision that this is going to be the next boom area, and it is time to increase the size of their departments. Commercial property solicitors are in demand for recruitment in every area, and it seems even smaller practices are trying to get in on the action. After the last mini property blip a few years ago, a similar occurrence happened in the legal job market - the commercial property sector boomed. Commercial property solicitors outside of London can contact us (NQ still awkward in some areas) and we would be confident of securing a number of interviews in most areas of the UK, with plenty of the medium to large regional practices looking to take on staff.

Family Law
Mad as always outside London - anything above 3 years PQE and if possible panel applications in already is going to result in interviews. East side of London currently poor. This remains a poor area to be looking at NQ level though - if you are a panel member outside the North East (which historically has been very poor for family law recruitment), we would be confident of securing a good number of legal job interviews for you - the south west is a particular hotspot - Plymouth firms in particular. In June we have had over 40 newly qualified family solicitors register for the London area alone, which leads us to believe that a) salary levels are going down, b) LSC work is being ditched, c) departments are closing and redundancies being made. All of the above makes it a bad time to be hunting for a family post at NQ level on the whole! This has stayed the same in October. LSC work is vanishing at a rate of knots!

Company Commercial and other Commercial fields
March 2006 saw the rebranding of our Chancery Lane Legal Recruitment website - the site specialises in recruitment for corporate and commercial solicitors looking for a service without the bombardment by telephone of calls usually associated with recruiters asking how the weather is or how you are doing. The site simply offers introductions, and you can get details at http://www.chancerylane.co.uk/. The site specialises in the range of commercial fields usually associate with regional practices - corporate commercial, mergers & acquisitions, shipping (OK not usually that regional!), competition, tax, banking, corporate finance, IT and IP, commercial property and construction. We hope to be expanding rapidly, and as this happens we will increase the amount of information we include in this section.

Most areas have vacancies which have gone unfilled for a long time for senior and mid level company commercial solicitors not expecting London City firm salaries. Company commercial in the home counties quite popular as usual (3 years PQE upwards). Register with http://www.homecountieslegal.co.uk/ to stay up to date.

The Ten-Percent site attracts solicitors and legal executives from across the UK, who register both with us and our specialist sites for our legal recruitment services. Although we deal with most legal jobs, including a subsidiary site for permanent legal secretaries (http://www.tp-secretaries.co.uk/) most of our posts are for solicitors and ILEX candidates.

Our sister sites http://www.crime-solicitor.co.uk/, and http://www.homecountieslegal.co.uk/ are usually fairly busy (the latter dealing with conveyancing and private client recruitment). Particular hotspots are detailed below.

Contact for Work
Contact Ten-Percent and register for our jobfinder service . You can contact Jonathan Fagan directly on 0845 644 3923 or at jbfagan@tenpercent.co.uk if you would like to discuss career opportunities. We can provide you with regular updates of vacancies and firms across our entire family of websites. http://www.jonathanfagan.co.uk/ for 1-5 year PQEs in conveyancing, litigation or private client legal recruitment, commercial work at http://www.chancerylane.co.uk/ or try our other regional sites http://www.yorkshire-legal-recruitment.co.uk/ or http://www.homecountieslegal.co.uk/, www.eastmidlandslegal.co.uk

You can also view our selection site at http://www.lawyer-recruitment.co.uk/
New legal job vacancies into us in the last few weeks are as follows: please click here for our full vacancy database
3024 Agency in Manchester looking for freelance solicitors to deal with Magistrates Court work and police stations. Good rates of pay. Manchester, North West Crime, Police Station
3023 Turks & Caicos Islands firm seek a senior lawyer to join their team and deal with conveyancing and company commercial matters. High value work, good pay. Turks & Caicos Islands Conveyancing, Company Commercial
3022 Conveyancing executive sought to manage branch office of licensed conveyancers. Godalming, Surrey, South East Conveyancing
3021 Conveyancing fee earner sought at executive level or below to join a department. Full time post with access to bonus schemes available. Godalming, Surrey, South East Conveyancing
3020 Family solicitor or FILEX required to run a Kidderminster department, dealing with privately funded work. Small department, and will be required to manage it. Kidderminster, Worcestershire, West Midlands Family
3019 Private client solicitor or executive sought by rural Hampshire practice to develop the department. Can do some residential conveyancing as well to make it full time, or work part time. Eastleigh, Hampshire, South Coast Wills & Probate
3018 Leading Eastbourne firm seek a duty solicitor to join them. Well known practice. Eastbourne, Sussex, South Coast Crime
3017 Wills & Probate solicitor sought by probate management company to work in house. Will give training to someone keen to go into this field. Will also consider an executive. Birmingham, West Midlands Wills & Probate
3016 Conveyancing solicitor or executive sought (to work without supervision), and a second conveyancer sought as an assistant under supervision. Firm based in Stoke on Trent - and branch office of large North East practice. Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, West Midlands Conveyancing
3015 Conveyancing solicitor sought to supervise and lead a department in Harlow - looking for someone to develop and manage a small department. Conveyancing paralegal also sought for the same office. Harlow, Essex, South East Conveyancing
3014 Duty solicitor sought by well known North London practice (Enfield) who usually offer good salaries. North London, Enfield, Middlesex Crime
3013 Conveyancing solicitor with Law Society supervisory status required by larger sized East London practice. East London Conveyancing
3012 Commercial property solicitor sought by Farnham firm. Will consider all levels. Farnham, Surrey, South East Commercial Property
3011 Commercial property and company commercial solicitor sought by Reading practice of medium size. Will be dealing with a wide range of work. Full details available. Reading, Berkshire, South East Commercial Property, Company Commercial
3010 Conveyancing solicitor or fee earner sought by central Reading practice of smaller size. Reading, Berkshire, South East Conveyancing
3009 Residential conveyancing solicitor sought by South West London firm looking at assistant level. Salary reflective. South London Conveyancing
3008 Crime solicitor ideally at duty solicitor level but at least police station accredited sought by Twickenham firm. Twickenham, Middlesex, South East Crime
3007 Conveyancing solicitor or fee earner sought by firm in central London. Assistant level. Salary reflective. Central London Conveyancing
3006 A conveyancing executive, solicitor or licensed conveyancer sought for Crawley office of Sussex firm. Same firm also seek a head of private client for their Ewell office- will be heading up a small department of 3 fee earners. Ewell, Surrey, Crawley, Sussex, South East Conveyancing, Wills & Probate
3005 Crime solicitor, family solicitor and conveyancing lawyer sought by Cumbrian practice with coastal and Carlisle offices. Medium size practice. Carlisle, Workington, Whitehaven, Carlisle, North West Crime, Conveyancing Family
3004 Family solicitor sought by Newark firm to join a medium size practice in the town. Newark, Lincolnshire, East Midlands Family
3003 Family solicitor sought at supervisor level to join a branch office in Bagshot of a firm with over 5 offices across the Surrey area. Surrey, South East Family
3002 Private client solicitor sought by small practice on the Hampshire/Surrey border to take on and develop the private client side of the business. They are aiming to build up a substantial department, and would like someone on board to do this. Surrey, Hampshire, South East Wills & Probate
3001 Civil litigation solicitor sought to develop the civil litigation department of a litigation firm in Exeter. Rapidly expanding, you will need to have supervisory status. Potential future equity stake available. Exeter, Devon, South West Employment
3000 Employment solicitor sought at assistant level to join and assist a partner with her caseload. This is a Legal 500 firm of good standing. The work is a mix of contentious and non-contentious with a fairly even mix between employer and employee clients. Central London Employment
2999 Police station rep sought by East Kent practice of smaller size. Kent, South East Police Station, Crime
2998 Medium sized practice in South West London seek conveyancing lawyers for residential work. Will be working at assistant level (as opposed to managerial). South London Conveyancing
2997 2 solicitors sought by Harrow practice - the first to deal with a mixed caseload of work including conveyancing and family law. Currently dealing with some LSC funded work, but trying to cut back. Also looking for a wills & probate solicitor on a contract basis - covering say 5-10 hours per week to start. Harrow, Middlesex, South East Conveyancing, Family, Wills & Probate
2996 Conveyancing solicitor or executive sought by North Manchester practice. Particularly interested in someone with business lease experience. Manchester, Lancashire, North West Conveyancing
2995 Conveyancing executive or fee earner sought by Manchester firm to set up and run a residential plot sales team. Large firm. Manchester, North West Conveyancing
2994 2 posts in Birmingham with a smaller sized firm. Looking for a civil litigation solicitor to run a department, and a commercial property solicitor to join a small department Birmingham, West Midlands Commercial Property, Civil Litigation
2993 Rapidly expanding property firm seek conveyancing solicitors to join their new office in the West End of London. Ideally will need to be able to satisfy Law Society regulations for supervisory status. Central London Conveyancing
2992 Crime and family post with a Legal 500 Harrogate practice, dealing primarily with crime, but also some family as required. Will be assisting a partner dealing with corporate crime, general crime and family work. Harrogate, North Yorkshire Crime, Family
2991 Litigation post with a Farnham firm requiring someone with experience in commercial contracts, together with commercial landlord & tenant, boundary disputes, contentious probate, employment and partnership disputes. Full job spec available. Farnham, Surrey, South East Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation
2990 Leading crime firm in the East Midlands seek 2 paralegals with experience to join their business defence team in Nottingham, and a duty solicitor and accredited rep to join their team in Leicester. Leicester, Nottingham, East Midlands Crime, Police Station
2989 Employment solicitor sought by Exeter firm with LSC contract as well as private clients. Exeter, Devon, South West Employment
2988 Residential conveyancing solicitor sought by central Oxford firm of small-medium size. Oxford, Oxfordshire, South East Conveyancing
2987 Commercial property solicitor sought by Northwich firm to join small department. Northwich, Cheshire, North West Commercial Property
2986 Residential and commercial conveyancing solicitor sought, possibly with wills & probate as well by Chelmsford firm. Chelmsford, Essex, South East Conveyancing
2985 Conveyancing solicitor or executive sought by Didcot firm. Didcot, Oxfordshire, South East Conveyancing
2984 Duty solicitor sought by Croydon firm, with LSC contract, and looking to expand. Croydon, Surrey, South East Crime
2983 Conveyancing solicitor or executive sought by Bishops Stortford firm of small-medium size. Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, South East Conveyancing
2982 Stourbridge firm seek a solicitor or FILEX for ideally a mix of wills & probate and conveyancing or just one of these. Full or part time considered. Stourbridge, West Midlands Conveyancing, Wills & Probate
2981 Conveyancing solicitor, executive or licensed conveyancer sought by Hull firm of medium size to deal with residential work. Hull, East Yorkshire Conveyancing
2980 Family solicitor sought by leading Wrexham practice of medium size.q Wrexham, Flintshire, North Wales Family
2979 privately funded family department seek a family solicitor to join at supervisory status level ideally. Hertford, Hertfordshire, South East Family
2978 Small Hull practice with clinical negligence panel membership, looking for a personal injury lawyer to join as a partner. Hull, East Yorkshire Personal Injury
2977 Crime (duty solicitor level only), Residential Conveyancing and Wills & Probate solicitors sought by Liverpool firm. Medium size practice, well known. Liverpool, Merseyside, North West Crime, Conveyancing, Wills & Probate
2976 Private client and conveyancing solicitors sought by Bristol firm of medium size. Bristol, South West Conveyancing, Wills & Probate
2975 Crime solicitor and police station accredited rep sought by Peterborough firm. Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, East Midlands, East Anglia Crime
2974 Family solicitor sought by Worthing firm of small-medium size. Privately funded work only. Worthing, Sussex, South Coast Family
2973 Conveyancing solicitor sought by Southampton firm together with an experienced paralegal. Southampton, Hampshire, South Coast Conveyancing
2972 Private client solicitor sought to join wills & probate department of firm in Hastings. Will need to have a reasonable working knowledge of conveyancing as well. Medium size firm. Hastings, Sussex, South Coast Wills & Probate
2971 Conveyancing fee earner sought by Harlow firm, with 12 months experience and the need to be self sufficient for the whole transaction. Harlow, Essex, South East Conveyancing
2970 Employment fee earner (salary will be low to reflect level), residential conveyancing and corporate commercial lawyers sought by leading Truro firm. Truro, Cornwall, South West Conveyancing, Employment, Corporate Commercial
2969 Conveyancing lawyer sought by Hereford firm of medium size, together with a wills & probate lawyer. Hereford, Herefordshire, West Midlands Conveyancing, Wills & Probate
2968 Conveyancing and wills & probate solicitor sought by central Birkenhead practice. Need to have sufficient level of experience to manage files and comply with law society supervision requirements. Birkenhead, Wirral, Liverpool, North West Conveyancing, Wills & Probate
2967 Conveyancing solicitor sought by medium sized Harrow firm. Harrow, Middlesex, South East, North London Conveyancing
2966 Investment firm seek an assistant solicitor to assist the lead counsel with a range of work including reviewing documentation, company secretarial assistance, hedge funds assistance, general legal assistance and providing support to the General Counsel. Also coordinating policies etc.. With the US office of the company. Central London Company commercial
2965 Medium sized Hull firm seek a residential conveyancing solicitor/executive, a commercial/residential conveyancing lawyer and a crime solicitor. Hull, East Yorkshire Conveyancing, Commercial Property, Crime
2964 Immigration LSC Level 2 accredited advisor sought by Doncaster firm. Doncaster, South Yorkshire Immigration
2963 Duty solicitor sought by central Reading firm of larger size with good reputation. Pension as benefit. Reading, Berkshire South East Crime
2962 Private client solicitor sought to build up long established department for a well known Legal 500 Leeds practice. Leeds, West Yorkshire Wills & Probate
2961 Commercial property solicitor with supervisory status, and an employment solicitor who is looking for a post as an assistant, sought by Bournemouth firm. Bournemouth, Dorset, South Coast Commercial Property, Employment


If any of the above posts look to be of interest, please email us as jobs@tenpercent.co.uk with the reference number(s).
We look forward to being able to assist you. If you would like to know about salary levels, get in touch. You can view full careers advice by clicking this link, including negotiating salary, attending interviews, considering changing career or field of law. We also offer CV Writing Services to lawyers who do not want to use our recruitment services. Click here to view details.
Jonathan Fagan, MREC Cert RP LLM Managing Director & Solicitor (non-practising), Ten-Percent.co.uk Limited
Disclaimer
This information is provided strictly on an informing basis. ten-percent.co.uk limited does not supply this for viewers to rely on in any way, and the company accepts no liability for anyone doing so. The above is copyright, and should not be reproduced without ten-percent.co.uk limited's express permission.

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