International lawyers looking for work in the UK – can Ten Percent Legal help?
in Job Applications, Legal Profession

International lawyers looking for work in the UK – can Ten Percent Legal help?

No we can’t. It’s been virtually impossible in the last 23 years we have been trading to assist anyone who does not have UK experience.

At the moment we are fielding about five or six calls a day from lawyers with international qualifications, law students and graduates from around the world who want to know if we can help them find work. Partly because we write a number of articles to try to help them I guess!

The quick answer is that we are unable to. The longer answer is that we are unable to because law firms are looking for us to supply them with staff who have specific skills, and this usually includes staff who have specific experience, qualifications and skills from previous work in the UK.

International lawyers don’t tend to have that experience, and therefore we are not usually able to find them work. There have been a few notable exceptions to this, but on the whole we have not been able to find work for international lawyers in the UK.

So don’t be surprised if you telephone us to ask if we can find you work, for the quick answer to be, “No I’m afraid not but try one of our competitors”. There are recruitment agencies out there who have much stronger links to larger and international law firms who may well have roles that international lawyers are better suited for, for example there is quite a market around London for document review work, and quite often this is how internationally qualified lawyers and students and graduates get into the UK legal market.

Finding agencies who offer this type of work is fairly simple – simply type ‘document review’ or ‘paralegal in London’ into Google and see who comes up near the top.

So who do you help? We are specialist legal recruitment agents for just about every type of law firm in the UK, but specifically smaller and high street practices, Legal 500 and niche commercial firms, as well as in-house legal departments. We tend to recruit solicitors and qualified staff, or at least those with a reasonable amount of experience into roles where firms require experience rather than just a pair of hands.

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