Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, May 22, 2008

June Newsletter 2008 for Law Firms

"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns." Don Corleone, The Godfather

"Welcome to the June Newsletter for Law Firms and Companies. I hope you find it of interest." Jonathan Fagan LLM Solicitor (non-practising), MREC, CertRP, Managing Director Limited.

Equal Rights for Agency Workers

The government has announced this morning that agency workers will have the same employment rights as permanent staff after 12 weeks. This means that in some cases, locums not only get the benefit of good working conditions (ie being able to leave when they realise the senior partner is completely mad), but also gain equal pay to permanent staff. Tom Hadley, Director of External Relations for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation said: “ regulations will impact on the viability of temp and contract work in the UK, especially at such a delicate time in the UK labour market. It is also a frustration for recruiters that the debate on agency work regulation has not been based on real evidence." In reality this is not going to impact at all on the work of locums and solicitors working on a contractual basis. This is because most if not all such contractors actually get paid more than the permanent staff at the same firm.. I wonder whether in the weeks to come a permanent member of staff is going to put in a claim to get the same conditions that a temporary worker enjoys in the legal profession...

Enter the The Ten-Percent Law FIrm Website of the Year Awards 2008

Nominate your firm's website and win Business Consultancy Services worth up to £4,500! Ten-Percent would like firms to nominate themselves for the Ten-Percent Best Law Firm Website 2008 award, and get the opportunity to win Business Improvement Services valued at up to £4,500. We are looking for the websites that really stand out - whether by advertising a service, offering an online service, or simply looking very good as a source of information. In a nutshell we want to award the prize to a website that does what it says on the tin! - follow the link in the top right hand corner..

"The Firm looked more like a brothel" - the recent experiences of a candidate

This week we have experienced a phenomenon that I haven’t seen in place for quite some time. A law firm in the Midlands requested CVs for a number of candidates and it appeared they were selecting on a fairly tight set of criteria. Ten Percent Legal Recruitment booked the interviews which were to be held over three days and the candidates duly proceeded to attend.

We suspected something was not quite right with the firm after the first candidate had been and telephoned us to say that the law firm offices were above a kebab shop, looked like the entrance to a brothel, wasn’t quite sure how the person interviewing had passed themselves off as a solicitor as they certainly didn’t seem like one and gave the candidate a lecture for 20 minutes on why the firm couldn’t employ them. He explained that the law firm had then offered him a job paying £14,000 a year, that showed great opportunity and potential for him, but that he’d be expected to work the first three months free of charge. What’s more, he wanted the candidate’s mobile number so that he could avoid telling the agency (i.e. us) that the law firm had recruited the candidate. Fortunately the candidate found it all very amusing, and an interesting experience, but as a recruitment agency we were very embarrassed by this. The law firm have yet to comment on their actions and behaviour, or to explain why they were trying to interview and recruit candidates looking for considerably more than the measly amount they were offering as well as the free trial period.

How do you avoid such firms? Well, this is the first law firm I have come across since 2002 who have tried this out, and the last time a firm did something like this, they took three candidates, none of which we were aware of until we saw them on the Law Society Directory, and eventually we had to send bailiffs in to receive payment. The law firm was subsequently intervened, closed down and the principal struck off about a year later.

I suppose that this is one of the pitfalls of being a low cost operator in the recruitment world, and never meeting our clients except in exceptional circumstances. We do try and avoid such incidents from occurring, and get the facts from law firms before we send anyone for interview at the practices.

I must say that this sort of incident is about as interesting as the recruitment industry gets, as working as a recruitment consultant is never something that brings up many topics of conversation at the dinner table. I have to look back fondly on my days as a criminal defence solicitor when I could be discussing a murder over the table with my wife as we ate our dinner, and the various implications of it and any press involvement etc. These days I have to content myself with discussing business issues, and how many interviews I have arranged in a day.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment . Ten Percent are specialist legal recruitment consultants covering the whole of the legal job market nationally and internationally including Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. You can contact Jonathan at or call him on 0845 644 3923.

The Credit Control article has moved to a new blog entry..

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Ten-Percent handle a wide range of assignments, from finding a newly qualified solicitor for a post in September through to assisting a partner with a following move from one firm to another. The company also deals with the whole spectrum of legal jobs, from support staff, paralegals, office managers and cashiers, through to NQ solicitors, FILEX executives and senior solicitors.

You can email us at
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment
2nd Floor
145-157 St John Street
Tel: 0207 127 4343

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