in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report dated 3rd September 2014

Job Market Update – September 3rd

Summer 2014 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* Conveyancing vacancies up, Commercial Property vacancies up
* Crime vacancies gone, Personal Injury vacancies disappearing
* Employment Law vacancies – non-existent
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – few here and there
* Family vacancies – up
* Further increase in proprerty vacancies attracting very few applications. Commercial property solicitors extremely difficult to source. Conveyancers difficult to find.
* Market outlook – still very buoyant. Salaries now rising.

Current live vacancies: 593
New permanent vacancies added in August 2014: 32
New candidates registering: 91
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies in May: 3.8
Increase/Decrease in new vacancies from previous month: -8%
Increase/Decrease in new candidates from previous month: -12%

Key points from the KPMG Job Market survey for August 2014:
▪ Stronger growth of permanent and temporary staff appointments
▪ Record decline in availability of permanent candidates
▪ Starting salary growth close to June’s survey-high

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said:
“For the first time in months we are witnessing churn in the labour market. It seems that employees are finally beginning to wake up to the opportunities available to them, with the rates of growth of both permanent and temporary placements accelerating simultaneously. Perhaps it’s true that ‘every person has their price’ because the movement in labour is coinciding with another rise in starting salaries. Just a few months ago employers couldn’t
tempt staff to switch roles, but indications are that employees’ caution over change is being replaced with hunger for something new.”

This review is undertaken by a market research company who contact 100s of recruitment agencies across the UK to undertake a monthly questionnaire. We are part of the panel and get exclusive access to the report. KPMG report that the Midlands is the place to be for candidates moving and employers paying good money to get them, but this is far from reality for the legal profession – the Midlands is not a prime area for recruitment and never has been!

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.

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