in Employers

Improving Conditions to Retain Staff

“I want to move because my current office is affecting my health – damp on the walls, mould on the ceiling, and freezing cold. No pay rise for anyone at the firm in 5 years.”

Another firm yet to wake up to the realities of modern day living – being nice to your legal staff and giving them heating of some sort!

This entry was included in a candidate’s registration form for legal jobs on our website. His salary was not particularly brilliant, and probably would not even result in being able to purchase 1 bedroomed flat in most areas of the UK. I suspect the firm have a very high staff turnover rate.

We find some firms seem to consider that when they rent premises they do not need to do any work on the surroundings that may make things too comfortable for their staff. Perhaps it is the worry that lawyers go to sleep when it gets too warm, or may not be so productive. It doesnt take much to get a can of paint, a new carpet, some decent blinds and some new desks from somewhere like IKEA to really smarten up an office. One of the main things that scares me as a client at law firms is when I walk in and find them looking like a bomb site.

Heating doesn’t need to cost the earth – portable floor heaters from Argos for £12.00 or similar will keep any freezing feet warm in listed buildings without double glazing, and if you are sat for long periods of time it is quite easy to get frostbite!

A private area is always beneficial to all staff – even if it is to discharge various functions that other staff are probably best not being in the room for (vegetarian lawyers particularly thought of at this point!).

All in all, think about your working environment, how comfortable you find it, and then consider your employees and what you would make of theirs.

Author: Jonathan Fagan MIRP MAC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) – Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment ( – save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us!  Jonathan Fagan is a specialist legal recruitment consultant, author of the Complete Guide to Writing a Legal CV and the Guide to Interviews for Lawyers. He has recruited for law firms across the UK and overseas in all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions that we have not covered above, please email us at

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at