Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Views on Local Authority Locum Solicitor Rates



Local Authority Rates for Locums - a view from a local authority locum

A locum with experience of the local authority market very kindly emailed us over an outline of their experience of the locum market during their career to date."I am responding to your request for feedback on locum rates. I worked as a locum employment solicitor for local authorities [for 10 years]. All roles were through an agency. I often worked on large employment tribunal cases and would be involved in recruiting other locum solicitors so I have some insight into their hiring processes.My initial roles (Northern England) were paid at £18 and £21 respectively although this was because the agencies concerned misled me about market rate. I found out that [one council] had initially taken me over other locums as I was so cheap!I then worked at [a West Midlands Council] for around £32 per hour, although I was able to negotiate a higher rate due to the need to live away from home.

I eventually ended up at a [North West Council] for around £40 an hour and then [a Yorkshire Council] for £45 per hour. The feedback from agencies was that I was at the top end of local authority rates for employment work.The bottom fell out the locum market (for employment solicitors anyway) around 2008. I had managed to negotiate the high rate at [a Yorkshire Council] as they knew my work but procurement took over the management of hiring locums and tried to force everyone onto setrates. I was offered £28 per hour which I refused. I then worked at [a West Midlands Council]. I was on £28 as a senior solicitor and a junior locum solicitor was paid £24. Most local authorities were offering similar rates at the time - this was the first time I had periods of no work since I'd first started working as a locum. I was offered a job at an [East Anglian Council] for £28 and I think I was offered a similar rate to return to [a West Midlands Council].My last locum assignment was in 2014 in [a Northern England Council] and I was paid around £32. At that point I decided to stop working as a locum because it was no longer lucrative.There had been some scandal where a local authority had paid one of their locums around £90 (allegedly!) as he was a friend with a senior officer at that council. It seemed to have some impacton scrutiny of local authority pay although in all honesty, the recession was the bigger factor in pushing pay downwards and those rates don't seem to have recovered.

Generally most local authorities had set rates after 2008 and there was less flexibility to push those rates for an exceptional candidate. One of the ironies of public sector work is that generally the legal teams are able to get the client teams to pay the cost of instructing counsel whereas the costs of a locum are met by the legal department which is working to a tight budget - therefore the legal team will get a locum as cheaply as possible in the knowledge that they can use counsel for more complex work."We would like other comments from current and former local authority locums - what hourly rates have you come across in local authority locum roles and in which general locations in the country? You can email us at jbfagan@ten-percent.co.uk. All correspondence received in strictest confidence by Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of Ten-Percent.co.uk Limited.
 

Family Solicitor Locum Rates - a view from a family law locum


A locum with experience of family law locuming in both private practice and local authority has kindly emailed us over an outline of their experience of the locum market during their career to date. This includes their local authority experience but also rates in the family law market.

"When I started 5 years ago I was charged at £28 per hour. This was through an agency. I qualified [over 20 years ago] and am an accredited mediator and children panel lawyer but also do finances and private law for which I also have accreditation . This carried on for about 3 years on different contacts at roughly the same rate .

I took on a local authority contract direct. This paid £40 per hour. They were a total nightmare. Didn’t pay on time. Wouldn’t pay if the IT wasn’t working and I couldn’t do matter related time. The worst employer ever. I did 10 months as it was local but I would never go back.

I’ve done numerous contracts since then all at £40-£45 per hour mainly for private client but some care. I have a different agent and feel that the rate reflects my many years of slog and getting accredited. I see my “ old “ agency is still offering roles for senior people at £24-28 per hour which makes my blood boil as they depress the rate for everyone. Transport and parking is so expensive these days rate that the first and sometimes second hour of my day represents my travel costs and parking for that day so I feel £40 is reasonable."

We would like other comments from current and former local authority locums - what hourly rates have you come across in local authority locum roles and in which general locations in the country? You can email us at jbfagan@ten-percent.co.uk. All correspondence received in strictest confidence by Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of Ten-Percent.co.uk Limited.


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.

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