Legal Job Market Report 7th April 2019
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report 7th April 2019

Summary – An Uncertain Market

Each month we run a comparison between the last calendar month and the same time period in 2018 to see if there has been any noticeable difference in view of the extreme political uncertainty. In February we saw a 50% increase in the number of new vacancies from 2018. Did March see any change?

In March 2019 we saw an increase of 60% in new permanent vacancies compared with March 2018. However we also saw a 37% decrease in locum roles, which we have noticed over the month. The locum market is very quiet at the moment and this continues a trend that has been evident since the start of the year.

Redundancies seem to have slowed down – we saw a trickle in January and February, but nothing much in March – probably as firms start to see work pick up as we move into the busy season for property work.


General Statistics for March 2019 (comparison is with March 2018)
Current live vacancies: 985
New permanent vacancies added: 48 (30)
New locum vacancies added: 10 (16)
New candidates registering: 54 (54)

March 2019 – Live Jobs (comparison with March 2018 in brackets):
* London vacancies: 171 (171)
* South East: 485 (474) (+2%)
* South West: 90 (88) (+2.25%)
* Midlands: 64 (71) (-10%)
* North West: 106 (108) (-2%)
* North East: 75 (75)
* Wales: 28 (28)

We have 46 law firms for sale at the moment.

KPMG and REC Report on Jobs

Permanent placements unchanged, but temp billings expand at quicker pace
Availability of staff continues to worsen
Vacancy growth at near two and a half year low

Response from James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG
“ 2019 Brexit uncertainty is having an opposite and chilling effect on the jobs market, with firms reassessing their level of risk. With a decision on Brexit now imminent we’re seeing companies freeze or slow the pace of new hires, whilst at the same time the number of people looking to enter the jobs market has declined further. With unemployment at its lowest level since 1975, widespread skills shortages are also cooling the jobs market.. This means candidates with the right skills are commanding ever higher premiums and pay growth is now at a 10-year high. This has seen pay outstripping living costs meaning people feel better off. Once a political decision is made on Brexit we expect a wave of pent-up investment to be released in parallel with a renewed focus on cost reduction. This should result in another busy time for the jobs market later this year.”


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