Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Legal Recruitment News November 2018

How To Avoid Paying Recruitment Agency Fees - Guide to Worst Practice

TP Legal Recruitment and Interim Lawyers have been operating in the UK and overseas for almost 20 years, and here is our list of top methods for avoiding paying recruitment agency fees, as personally experienced:

Tell the recruitment agency to sue you and don't pay.

Fairly simple to do, simply use the recruitment agency to recruit a candidate, go through the motions of the recruitment, thank the recruitment agency for their sterling service and then inform them that you have no plans to pay them and tell them to sue you.

In our experience of the recruitment industry we think about 50% of recruitment consultants at this point will simply write off your debt. The other 50% will take great pleasure in suing you for the fee due plus commercial costs and interest. Why do 50% of agencies not bother suing? Simple economics really; if you have been through the county court system in the UK you will probably know that it is fairly complex and cumbersome to an extreme. As most lay people struggle to comprehend the technical terms used to commence and progress proceedings, justice was removed for most small businesses when legal costs were removed from claims of £10,000 or less. This means that unless you have a good grasp of what are known as the CPR Rules (the Civil Procedure Rules), you will find it very hard indeed to utilize the courts to recover your money, and as most recruitment consultants are not solicitors, they are very hesitant to go down this route for a smaller sized fee.

* Risk factor - 50%
* Chances of success - 50%
* Damage to your moral integrity - 75%.

Advise the recruitment agency that the candidate they have introduced has in fact cost you considerable amounts of money and that if they think they're getting paid they have another thing coming.

Fairly effective, particularly when considering that at least half of all recruitment agencies simply won't bother suing you. You will of course need to make up some spurious allegations of malpractice, incompetence or negligence on the part of the candidates you have taken on and seek to scare the recruitment agency sufficiently that they will not seek to take any action against you.

This may be harder than it looks because the recruitment agency will know the candidate is still working for your company and therefore will also know that they're obviously not as bad as you are making out. So the risk on this one is a little bit higher, but again, perfectly possible unless you meet a recruitment agency prepared to litigate against you.

Risk factor - 50%
Chances of success - 66%
Damage to your moral integrity - 65%.

Take the initiative and threaten to sue the recruitment agency for negligence, breach of contract or incompetence, even before they have asked you for any money

Easy option this one, simply write to the recruitment agency, advise them that you have been thoroughly dissatisfied with their service, and regardless of what their terms say in terms of limiting liability (most recruitment agencies have such a clause) you threaten to sue them for £100,000 or to countersue them for the same amounts if they so much as breathe near a county court. This will involve making up a load of spurious allegations against the candidate or against the recruitment consultants, but it is probably quite an effective method for avoiding paying any recruitment agency fees, as a good number of recruitment agencies will read your letter, immediately panic, think of their dwindling bank balance and dismiss any thoughts of claiming a fee from you or your business. Of course, some will relish the challenge and you could end up with a great court bill, but we estimate that again quite a large number of recruitment agencies will avoid any action at all and simply move onto their next contract.

Risk factor - 40%
Chances of success - 75%
Damage to your moral integrity - 80%.

Go bust.

Quite an extreme technique for avoiding paying a recruitment agency, but if you think about it, fairly effective to get out of one fairly sizeable fee in most cases, simply by closing down or transferring all your assets out of the business into something else and starting over again. Particularly good if you had a very senior member of staff join you, or you have taken multiple staff on from the agency in question. Even more useful if you have already got another company set up ready to carry on trading and you simply move everybody across to it.
Closing down a limited company is fairly easy to do, doesn't take much effort and is a very useful tool these days for avoiding your creditors. Partly because the HMRC and Companies House investigators lack any resources to investigate circumstances where this happens and so many directors seem to get away with it.

Risk factor - 60%
Chances of success - 100%
Damage to your moral integrity - 25%.

Commit Fraud

Fairly simple to do - simply pretend that a candidate has not joined your firm and that you have not hired them. Or, alternatively claim you dismissed them after 24 hours because they weren't very good and then make them a partner of your law firm. Alternatively, you could claim that the candidate is working at your firm, but in reality they are not being paid anything and therefore no fee is due to the recruitment agency.

* Risk Factor - 100%
* Chances of success - 10% (most agencies are good at tracking candidates)
* Risk of getting struck off - 10% (when we have reported the incidents above to the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and in one case to the government Modern Slavery Unit no action was taken).
* Damage to your moral integrity - 100%.


In the 20 years we have been in recruitment we have seen all of these techniques used by employers, with varying degrees of success. It is very often much simpler simply to pay the agency fee rather than try to avoid it, as some dodgy clients over the years have found out when they have finished up with a charging order on their house, block of flats or business, together with a hefty bill in addition to the agency fees.

Is it morally acceptable to try avoiding paying a recruitment agency or, for that matter, any professional once you have had the service from them? We would suggest that it is definitely not. If you have taken the benefits of a service, knowing that a fee is going to be due and knowing what that fee is going to be then it is your hard luck if you have entered that agreement and then decided that it is not for you or it is inequitable. So pay your fees when they're due, sleep well at night and develop a reputation as being a morally decent, nice and happy business to work with and for.

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.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Legal Recruitment News October 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Charity Donations 2018 - Decisions by the Ten Percent Foundation

Ten Percent Foundations - Charity Donations 1 2018

Our trustees met a few weeks ago and we have decided to make the following donations:

First Steps - £2,500
Centre 63 - £2,500
Kilimatinde Trust - £2,200
British Stammering Association - £2,000.

Full article to follow next month on the decisions made, but we have realised our charitable donations are going to drop dramatically as of next month due to the changes to the tax structures of companies (the Dividend Tax in particular) and as such our profit levels are going to be considerably lower. This has meant that in the current round of donations we have not been able to support the nominated charities from candidates and clients, but instead make our payments committed already - the four projects are all on 5 year terms ending next year. The charity still retains about £8,000 and we will revisit the donations in the summer to see if we can free up some more money to additionally donate. Thank you to all those who nominated charities to us.

To see our policy on donations please visit: [](

We actively campaign against high pay in the charity sector and also encourage other businesses to donate a percentage of their profits to charity.

 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.

Unpaid Internships, Trial Periods and the Modern Slavery Unit - a recent experience

We have been involved in two cases recently where we queried status and issues with the Modern Slavery Unit, which I understand is a charity operating a helpline on behalf of the National Crime Agency.

1. The first situation was where we had concerns about a disabled solicitor being exploited by a solicitors firm. Payment made to this lawyer for his services was less than £5k for 2 years.

2. We had a request from a law firm to advertise unpaid trial periods to staff for 4 weeks before a paid permanent job was offered.

I rang the Modern Slavery Unit to get advice on these two situations. What powers did they have and whether these two issues came within their remit?

The advisor informed me that the unit was able to only investigate in scenario 1 if the disabled solicitor in question referred themselves to the unit. At that point they would be able to investigate and assist if necessary.

So far as the second scenario is concerned employers are perfectly able to offer unpaid trial periods to employees and it is up to the employees to decide not to accept the jobs. However if there are obvious signs of repetition of unpaid trial periods over time then the Modern Slavery Unit can investigate.

I include this information by way of observation only and in case it assists anyone else. The Unit number is 08000 121 700. We were surprised to find out that victims of trafficking or exploitation have to refer themselves to the unit in order to get investigated (although the adviser did say that if we spotted any suspicious activity at a hand car wash we should give them a ring). It seems a very unusual way of working!
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.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

How Correct was a Top UK Psychic for his 2017 predictions?

Predictions for 2017 - how correct was a top UK Psychic (as seen on TV)?


Craig Hamilton-Parker is our company's favourite psychic. Every year he produces a list of predictions for the coming year and we note them and check up 12 months later to see how well he has done. He does not give up and we admire him for this, although we do sense he is a fervent Brexiteer and Trump supporter!
Mr Hamilton-Parker's predictions for 2017:
1. Hillary Clinton will resign from politics because of the release of documents that reveal financial corruption and falsification of government documents. (0/10 - she's still there!).
2. Denmark and Italy pull out of EU as Euro crashes. 2017 sees Italy in serious economic problems. (0/10)
3. Economic chaos in Europe (and America) with riots in many European capital and big cities (Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Prague) In these places many people are suffering serious poverty and food shortages due to the failure of the EU. (0/10)
4. Famous building in flames as right-wing riots in Germany spark memories of the burning of the Reichstag.(0/10)
5. Britain escapes the worst of the international economic troubles and is seen as a safe economic haven. Britain, India and Australia form an economic alliance. (0/10)
6. America becomes politically divided between East and West. Riots and gun fights in America over election results and turmoil throughout 2017. Friendly, neutral troops from Canada are called in to quell unrest. (0/10)
7. USA experiences a serious drought during the summer of 2017 while Europe has floods. (2/10, although statistcally I suspect there has to be a flood in Europe somewhere every year - there was one in front of my house in Wales so I guess that counts)
8. Large fire at the UK Houses of Parliament (0/10 - not yet, although likely if reports of dodgy wiring are correct).
9. New War spills into Afghanistan as revolution erupts in Uzbekistan (0/10)
10. Ancient Giant Squid makes the news – found frozen in ice. (0/10)
11. Volcanic eruption in Iceland causes toxic gas cloud over Norway (0/10)
12. Conflicts between China and USA as satellite computers are hacked. (0/10)
13. Japan initiates an arms race in the Far East after provocation from China and North Korea. (0/10)
14. Kim Jong-un will be fall from power later in the year – maybe December 2017 or January 2018 (0/10 - Craig is still predicting this in 2018)
15. Serious threat of escalating conflict between China and India over northern border of Kashmir. (0/10)
16. Sample of Shakespeare’s bones exhumed and show that he was poisoned. Clues to a new play found in his grave. (0/10)
17. August 21, 2017 eclipse over America coincides with huge stock market fall and long-term inflation. (0/10)
18. Assassination and kidnap attempt on the pope at the Vatican. Swiss guards killed. (0/10)
Total score - 2/18. Suspect this defies the monkeys average...
Predictions for 2018
1. Assassination attempt at Balmoral - doesn't say who on, so I guess it could be a deer? Or a corgi if it gets too old and the Queen wants to save on vets' bills..
2. Terrorist attack on British motorway.
3. A new political party will be formed (repeat prediction from 2016 - could Craig have foreseen the delay?).
4. There will be a hard Brexit but trade deal allowed at last minute. Juncker will retire. Britain does separate deal with Ireland.
5. Theresa May will stay in power.
6. Jeremy Corbyn will urge lots of strikes and lose support.
7. An attempt will be made to impeach Donald Trump - and fail.
8. Donald Trump will initiate a massive trade deal with teh UK.
9. Explosion causes US warship to sink.
10. Melania Trump and Trump grandchildren release a song.
11. US will rent nuclear weapons to Japan.
12. Riots in the EU as steep economic decline takes hold.
13. Italian banking crisis will occur.
14. US strikes North Korea with missiles.
You can speak to Craig about his psychic abilities and get your own personalised predictions at You can see how well he has done every year since 2010 by reading the back issues of Legal Recruitment News -

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.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Should Law Graduates Pay for Careers Advice?

Recently (a legal blog) ran a series of articles discussing whether graduates should consider paying for training contract advice after the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) strongly advised against it. Although we no longer provide careers advice ourselves, we were approached for comment as we still sell training contract advice packs via one of our websites. This was the comment we added:
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provided legal career coaching services from 2001 to 2014 and worked with a very wide range of clients from paralegals and entrants into the legal profession through to senior barristers, solicitors, partners and people looking at judicial appointments. We dealt with bullying, career progression, getting out of law, finding training contracts, entering the legal profession, getting out of the city, getting into the city and lots more besides. I offered the service personally because I enjoyed helping people and recruitment can be a bit office based and quite dry. When I started out in recruitment I missed the advice element of being a solicitor (I have been non-practising for about 15 years now). We now refer people on to an external consultant (a former barrister/solicitor who very selectively takes clients on) and we take no financial benefit of any kind from the referral.
When we did offer it, our paid legal career coaching prices started at about £450 plus VAT and went upwards depending on the client and complexity although all of them included a 2 hour consultation. We have also provided career coaching to unemployed graduates free of charge via our charitable trust from time to time. Testimonials on all our services can be found here:
Our company still sells CV Writing Packs, Interview Training Guides and Interview Video Packs, together with a Training Contract Pack, via our website If you want to see any of these please let me know and I’ll send you over complimentary copies. There are a couple of free guides on the site as well.
I think anyone who claimed to guarantee a training contract when paying for advice would have to be insane. How on earth can anyone decide the inner workings of a senior partner’s mind when deciding who to recruit? Certainly something we have never offered and after 17 years in the recruitment business I can say that it is virtually impossible to predict! There is so much anyone can do though to improve their chances of success.
So far as paying for training contract advice is concerned it is only like paying for extra tuition to get a good grade at A Level or GCSE etc.. I note from your website that there have been some pretty toxic comments about people who want money for advice on getting a training contract, and I have to ask the question – why not pay? If you want a training contract and someone has good quality advice to give – why not invest some money in your future and get some decent advice to improve your chances? Is it fair? Quite possibly not. But is it fair that some people go to Eton and Harrow and have better life chances than others?
We still offer 100s of pages of free advice on our website and also answer legal careers questions at no cost via our monthly newsletter - – but I certainly wouldn’t ever have been able to spend 2 hours coaching someone or writing their CV or reviewing a covering letter without being paid. However when we used to offer legal career coaching a lot of people would have very specific circumstances they were looking for assistance with. For example someone with a 3rd class degree wanting to know how to break into law, someone coming from another jurisdiction, or retraining as a solicitor after a career in something completely different. Not things you can often surf the web to get advice on. The Junior Lawyers Division doesn’t have time to sit down with anyone for hours on end drafting CVs, providing specialist advice etc.. so not really going to be able to assist unless they have now started offering this service and have a source of funding in place for it.
I used to find that the careers service at most universities was woefully lacking and some terrible advice was being given, although difficult to comment now as we don’t provide career coaching and haven’t for some time. Some years ago I lectured on legal careers as a guest speaker at a university in Yorkshire and the information on how to write an application form or prepare a CV was virtually non-existent from the university and where it was given the advice was often clearly incorrect.
So to get an advantage to start a legal career I can see why someone would be prepared to pay and if someone who has been through the experience or has specialist knowledge is able to offer the advice at a cost – why not pay for it? After all the career most law graduates are going to have is all about making money and having a comfortable existence (unless you are a crime solicitor or plan to work for a charity). Not many people enter the legal profession out of philanthropic intent.
The original article can be found here:

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.

Relocating to Ireland – What’s the Craic?

A number of PR companies have identified Ten Percent Legal Recruitment as being a news provider. With this in mind we get regular press releases from law firms, universities, companies, government departments and lots more besides. Most of this is probably about as interesting as our newsletters, but occasionally it is possible to spot a trend.
The recent trend has been ‘relocating to Ireland’ to do legal work and Irish solicitors firms offering UK clients their services for future work in the EU. With reports of some larger solicitors firms recruiting large numbers of staff in Dublin, it looks likely that some movement of business over to Ireland from the UK is going to occur. I very much doubt there is a lot of Irish legal work to compete for but relocating to Ireland and then servicing UK clients seems to be the idea. Whether the whole relocation thing has any longer term effect once the whole EU departure thing is completed is another matter entirely.
So relocating to Ireland – how easy is it to open a company, get a postal address and get going in Ireland?
To become a lawyer in Ireland the following three facts are fairly key:
1. The Law Society of Ireland do not require you to apply for prior authorisation.
2. You send a few details to the LSI as follows: your business name and address, date you ceased previous employment, your financial year, professional indemnity insurance information and details of an approved accountant. Once you have this, you do not need approval to commence practice – see
3. The cost of a practising certificate in Ireland is (gulp) 2,550 Euros.
You can requalify in Ireland for 300 Euros if you have 3 years PQE or more by providing the following to the LSI (Law Society of Ireland):
1. Copy of qualification and degree certificates, copy of good standing certificate from the Law Society.
2. Three character references including 2 from 5 year PQE solicitors.
3. Affidavit to say you have never been bankrupt.
4. Certified copy of passport.
It is not clear what will happen after the UK leaves the EU – there are all sorts of visa applications that may or may not be involved. Here’s hoping the politicians manage to keep these out of the equation as they look to be a complete nightmare. Apparently (according to this “would leave UK solicitors with the right to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, which is open to all professionals who are not on an ineligible profession list and who earn more than 60,000 Euros a year. At present it looks like solicitors are not on the ineligible profession list, but of course that could change if large numbers of UK solicitors bail to Ireland”.
To set up a company in Ireland is fairly easy as well! A useful guide is here (no link or benefit to our company):
1. You can have an Irish bank account without being resident.
2. You can open a limited company in Ireland once you have an address.
3. A registered office address can be bought in Dublin for £55 a year –
4. You can open the company with the Company Registration Office – takes about 3 days.
5. Registering for corporation tax, social insurance and VAT in Ireland is done via the Revenue Commissioners.
6. Once the UK leaves the EU it is possible that you will have to apply for a specialist visa to open a business in Ireland, unless an agreement is to avoid this is made between the UK and EU. Specialist visas usually have strings attached such as a requirement to invest 400,000 Euros and upwards or be an entrepreneur looking to make 1 million Euros of sales and employ 10 staff within 4 years.     

Property is both astronomically expensive and extremely cheap depending on where you plan to relocate to. Rural areas away from Dublin are very cheap, housing within commuting distance of Dublin is astronomical.
Corporation tax is currently 12.5% and council tax equivalent in Ireland are c.100 Euros per residential household per year (bin emptying not included).
I suspect that apart from Dublin being the other side of the Irish Sea the other drawback of living in Ireland is the weather. Watch the forecast for Ireland over a period of 6 months and be amazed at how wet the place is. TP Legal Recruitment are located in North Wales so we know a thing or two about rain, but my goodness Ireland seems to be one great big magnet for rain clouds.
Would it be possible to run the head office of a law firm (or indeed any other business) from Ireland and retain your UK operations? Would the continued EU membership of Ireland benefit any UK business if their main geographical area was the UK? Is there any point relocating to Ireland other than to pursue business opportunities there – are there any? 5 years ago at least 20% of the housing stock in Ireland was unoccupied due to the recession. It it hard to say what benefits there would be, other than a low tax rate, although Google and LinkedIn seem to do well by operating in the UK from Ireland..