in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report dated 7th November 2018


As ever we undertake a comparison between the last calendar month and the same time period in 2017 to see if there has been any difference, particularly with the current political uncertainty. In October 2018 we saw an increase of 47% in the number of new solicitors registering compared with October 2017. This is good news in a sense that candidates are coming onto the market to look for work in times of uncertainty, but whether this has been a positive decision by lawyers to search out new opportunities or it is indicative of a slow down in work is another matter. The number of new vacancies fell by over 30% during the same time frame. Only time will tell if the new candidate numbers are a positive or negative – we would consider them positive if solicitors are deciding it is time to make a move and don’t consider the political uncertainty to be an issue. Naturally they would be a negative if firms are starting to make redundancies as they did back in 2008.


October 2018 – Summary (job numbers):
* London vacancies: 176 (-4%)
* South East: 444 (-0.5%)
* South West: 90 (-3%)
* Midlands: 69 (-3%)
* North West: 103 (-4.5%)
* North East: 70 (-1.5%)
* Wales: 25 (no change)

Statistics for October 2018 (comparison is to October 2017)
Current live vacancies: 976
New permanent vacancies added: 28 (45)
New locum vacancies added: 11 (12)
New candidates registering: 65 (44)
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies: 3.5 (OK)

We have 25 law firms and legal businesses for sale at the moment – and increase of about 30%, although quite a lot of this can be put down to increased marketing as we seek to expand this side of our business.

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, in house legal departments 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, or offering low salaries and/or poor conditions.
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

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