Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Conveyancing in the current job market

We have written articles before on the state of the conveyancing market at present, but I thought a quick update on the current position may help (although the news is not particularly optimistic).

In 2007 nearly every single week, we received a new conveyancing job, if not two, three or even five to ten on some occasions. At the start of this year, we had almost 700 conveyancing posts registered with us and pretty much all of them were live (some firms fill the posts and do not tell us or alternatively put them on hold).

We have gone from 700 vacancies down to ten, if that. No-one is currently recruiting for conveyancing. The market is dead in the water, and it is not clear how long it will take before it picks up again. Almost every firm in the UK with more than two or three solicitors has made redundancies and while some of these are clearly attempts to get rid of dead wood or cut salaries, there is certainly an underlying trend going through that the markets are changing and conveyancing is going on the back burner for a lot of firms.

The sheer number of lawyers looking for conveyancing work means that it is unlikely that agencies will be inundated with new conveyancing jobs for quite some considerable time.

There are still some opportunities out there, but usually for solicitors with a following or alternatively those who are prepared to work on a commission only basis.

For example, in the second week of September we took a new post in from a Leicester firm who were quite interested in talking to conveyancing solicitors either with a following or prepared to work on a commission only basis. It is a different form of legal recruitment, namely going back to almost a sales base if you are working on a commission only basis, but it is certainly something to consider if there is nothing else out there and you want to stop in the field.

In summary, the conveyancing market is not good, and it is not anticipated to improve for at least the next three to six months. The recent survey on this blog found that most people found it would pick up within six months.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment and can be contacted at or telephone 0207 127 4343.

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