in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report 11th January 2017

Legal Job Market Update – January 11th 2017

Key points for December as follows:
* The demand for staff generally has fallen in line with the seasonal norm.
* Permanent recruitment has dropped.
* Locum recruitment has fallen.
* Wills and Probate locum and permanent roles have stayed relatively busy and private client solicitors remain in demand.
* Commercial Property roles remain elusive.
* Litigation still quiet.
* We are still hearing of redundancies in larger commercial practices and in house.
* London market is still quiet.

December has been a quiet month generally as ever. Very little occurred. Everyone went Christmas shopping, law firms closed nice and early for Christmas lunches, and recruitment was as expected! The only busy sector was crime – duty solicitors considering their options in the post-salary world of uneconomic criminal law work…

Fixed fee recruitment enquiries remain fairly high (we offer a unique scheme for unlimited recruitment at a low monthly fee). In the time we have been operating the scheme we have found that membership increases when uncertainty in the market goes up – click here for further info – Ten Percent Unlimited.

A summary of work we did in December is below.
* Permanent vacancies down
* Locum assignments down
* Conveyancing vacancies – down
* Commercial Property vacancies – few
* Wills & Probate vacancies – some
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – some
* Corporate Commercial and In House vacancies – few
* Family vacancies – few
* Market outlook – vacancies continue to decline – this is the standard annual recruitment cycle.

Current live vacancies: 719
New permanent vacancies added in December: 9
New locum vacancies added in December: 17
New candidates registering: 18 (down)
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies December: 3 (Average)

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.

Key Points from the Report on Jobs in December 2016 and published on the 10th January 2017 – commissioned by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
* Slightly weaker rise in permanent placements.
* Temp billings increase at fastest rate since April
* Candidate availability declines at weakest pace for over three years
Commenting on the latest survey results, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:
“The jobs market continues to beat expectations as we begin the New Year. More people are finding jobs each month, and demand for staff is growing. We’ve seen two months of growth in London, which is particularly encouraging following a difficult period between the EU referendum and October. The big question for 2017 is about how employers will fill vacancies. The unemployment rate is at a record low and candidate availability for temporary jobs has been getting worse for the last three and a half years.”

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of TP Legal Recruitment and regularly writes for the Ten-Percent website and the Legal Recruitment blog, both containing an award-winning selection of articles and features on legal recruitment and the legal profession. You can contact Jonathan 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