in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report 3rd September 2015 from Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and Interim Lawyers Locums

Legal Job Market Update
August has been fairly predictable – plenty of locum roles coming in, a few permanent positions starting to be registered (this will pick up in September) and still a busy legal job market. It has been very difficult to source conveyancers for immediate starts over the summer, but we have availability immediately now with a few of our regular locums.

Salaries remain at levels that haven’t yet moved but we remain optimistic that things will change shortly if the economy stays strong.

Conveyancing – still busy. Some firms seem to have given up even trying to recruit, although in other areas we are seeing a trickle of new conveyancing candidates looking for permanent work.

Wills & Probate has picked up a bit in August – still difficult to recruit for on the permanent side – and locum roles are now difficult to fill at the usual rates – a number of candidates are now commanding hourly rates that are usually beyond the budgets of most smaller firms.

Commercial Property remains very difficult. There still remains a gap between the salaries applicants seek and salaries being offered by law firms. Very little locum availability.

Family Law has picked up a bit but remains fairly quiet for permanent roles. Locum work has been busier this year than last.

Litigation – both civil and commercial still quiet. The same applies for corporate commercial although locum commercial roles have increased a bit. In House roles have picked up but there seems to be a fairly high level of uncertainty with jobs being posted but then changing or being withdrawn.

August 2015 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* Conveyancing vacancies busy
* Commercial Property vacancies busy
* Wills & Probate vacancies busy
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – few
* Family vacancies – up
* Market outlook – stable.

Current live vacancies: 512
New permanent vacancies added in August: 40
New locum vacancies added in August: 70
New candidates registering: 50
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies August: 3.6 (OK)

Ten-Percent 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. Traditionally our clients have been high street law firms and smaller niche 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 usually also involves contacting recruitment agencies in the hope that they have candidates with their own following and not looking for a 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.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes for the Ten-Percent website and the Legal Recruitment blog, an award-winning selection of articles and features on legal recruitment and the legal profession. You can contact Jonathan at or visit one of our websites.

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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