Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Large Company buys up loads of law firms, attempts to take over the high street law market - and fails. Quelle surprise?

Hmm. Slater & Gordon are struggling - job losses, share value dropping, company turnover plummeting.. Our local radio station seems to have stopped playing adverts mentioning the local law firm brand aged 100 years+ with the added catchphrase "part of Slater & Gordon".

Is this going to be a new competition? Guess how long the new legal market entrant is going to last?

When are large multinationals and organisations going to realise that high street law is profitable to a certain degree but seemingly very dependent on a relatively small scale operation?

Anyone remember the bulk conveyancing operations of the 1990s and 2000s? Barnetts in Southport is a good example. The senior partner there seemed to be the Law Society Gazette favourite whenever a quote was needed on modernising the way high street law firms worked. He was forever commenting on how profitable everyone could be if only they looked to the future. Now look at them - RIchard Barnett was struck off for using a loan to pay off his firm's overdraft in a desperate effort to stay afloat.

So many worries about Tescos Law - Quality Solicitors setting up in WH Smiths, the Cooperative Legal Services division expanding, the AA and even Stobarts trucking have all had a go. Have they been lured in by very inaccurate media reports of fat cat solicitors raking it in from legal aid and volume conveyancing/personal injury operations?

Who is going to be next - perhaps Sainsburys could take over a large regional law firm and attempt to conquer the world?

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. 

Independent Schools, Solicitors and Manipulated Statistics?

The Sutton Trust, a foundation with the aim of encouraging more state educated school children to attend better quality universities and reach the higher echelons of society, has published a report in the last few days. It has concluded that 74% of judges, 71% of barristers and 51% of solicitors went to independent schools, with 78% of barristers and 55% of solicitors going to Oxbridge.

I have to pick fault with this research - when you look at the sources of information used by the Sutton Trust to determine these figures they have basically been through the Chambers Directory. Great. The report seems to have been penned by an academic, but the selective nature of the report makes wonderful headlines but is almost certainly inaccurate to a wide extreme. Damned lies and statistics and all that.

There are over 110,000 solicitors in the UK. How many of these are in the Chambers Directory? Does Chambers really list the elite solicitors in the profession? I remember being in practice and our firm being listed. This seemed to consist of a researcher calling round firms in the local area and those firms expressing an opinion on who the best firm was for a particular field of law. If they had asked me this I would have almost certainly given the name of the firm most unlikely to affect my business interests!

The real motivation behind the report seems to be to maintain funding for The Sutton Trust's projects at getting more students from disadvantaged backgrounds into larger sized solicitors firms... However these firms traditionally select students on a range of criteria concentrating mainly on extremely high academic achievement plus a good mix of extra curricular activities/sports. Chances are that if you are likely to achieve strong academic grades you are going to be at a good university like Oxford/Cambridge and not at the Polytechnic of Westmoreland...
 
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.