in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report 11th February 2018


January 2018 has been the busiest January on record for us since we started 18 years ago. All sectors have been busy – locum and permanent, qualified and non-qualified. There has been a surge in demand for solicitors in all areas of law, although we have heard from partners at London firms reporting that conveyancing lawyers are being peddled by the bucket load by a number of other recruitment agencies after large scale redundancies at a couple of volume operators in the capital. We haven’t heard this ourselves and I am not aware of any firms reducing headcount.


A summary of work we did in January is below.
January 2018 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* London vacancies: 154
* South East: 377
* South West: 101
* Midlands: 53
* North West: 90
* North East: 52
* Wales: 22

Statistics for January (December in brackets)
Current live vacancies: 852 (896) (*we have recently cleaned our database)
New permanent vacancies added in January: 79 (12)
New locum vacancies added in January: 33 (18)
New candidates registering: 48 (25)
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies: 3.6 (Good)

TP Legal Recruitment publishes the number of new vacancies, new candidates and indicate the increase or decrease from the previous month. We aim to assist the legal profession by showing the market from our perspective. Our clients tend to be high street law firms and smaller sized commercial practices.
The average job strength gives a good indication of the market because:
1. A poor Job Strength on vacancies indicates a struggling market. When trade is bad, employers seek options for increasing turnover which involve sourcing candidates with their own following and no salary.
2. A strong Job Strength on vacancies indicates a buoyant market, particularly if it is in connection with an increase in numbers of new vacancies.
Vacancies are each graded 1-5, with 5 being a very strong vacancy and 1 being a very weak vacancy.

Report from the REC (Recruitment and Employers Confederation)

Key points from the December survey:
* Permanent placements rise at quicker pace as temp billings continue to expand sharply
* Demand for staff moderates slightly but remains robust
* Further marked decline in staff availability contributes to steep increases in pay

Comments from Jonathan Fagan – MD TP Legal – I am not sure the legal sector correlates to this national picture. There have not been any steep increases in pay in any part of the legal profession as far as I know.

Comments from Kevin Green, CEO of the REC:
“The number of people finding jobs via recruiters is growing, even while the overall employment rate is plateauing. This suggests that more employers are turning to recruiters to help them fill vacancies as candidate availability continues to fall and recruiting good people becomes that much harder. Recruiters are reporting a vast number of job areas that employers are finding hard to fill including, welders, van drivers and, for the first time, baristas. Employers as a response to these candidate shortages are offering increased starting salaries to attract staff but while this has been the case for some time it isn’t translating into significant wage growth across the economy yet… employers are going to have to think carefully about how they can both retain existing capabilities and find the new hires they need as competition for people intensifies. Bosses should consider going to wider talent pools and to be inventive about how to improve their employer brand and make themselves an even more attractive place to work.”


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