Legal Job Market Report December 9th 2020
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report December 9th 2020

Here is our summary of the current state of the legal job market:

Permanent Recruitment – Quiet
It remains quiet on the permanent side. We have had a few phone calls from partners to say that they are being inundated with CVs for permanent candidates from recruitment agencies so clearly the market is really busy. I suspect the reality may be that the recruitment agencies don’t have a lot of work on so have the time to bombard law firms with CVs for candidates they have had on the books for a long time..

Locum Recruitment – Busy
Locum recruitment has been much busier than usual in November. We have seen a shortage of conveyancing locums prepared to travel to offices to work in the last few weeks and have struggled to fill office-based assignments as far apart as the East Midlands, Greater Manchester and the South Coast. Still pre-Xmas remote availability for conveyancing. New Year assignments – plenty of availability in all areas of law. Family locums are in short supply at the moment, but all other areas have plenty of locums looking for work in the New Year.

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
Law firm buyers remain active. In a nutshell sellers seek buyers with lots of cash, buyers seek sellers looking to hand over their firms for nothing. Our job as brokers remains to bring the two sides back to reality (I generalise of course!). Still a busy market with plenty of genuine buyers coming through for the right deals. New to market – a PI/Property firm in Lancashire. Drastically reduced sale price on a Bristol firm looking to sell up quickly by merging. Family legal aid firm in London wanting to sell before 31st December or close down.

REC/KPMG UK Job Market Report (we are members of the panel contributing to this report)
Key Findings
Modest reduction in permanent placements……but temp billings continue to rise sharply. Redundancies lead to further marked rise in candidate numbers.

KPMG Vice Chair Comment:
“The continual reluctance to recruit permanent staff and a further marked increase in
people available for work, leaves the UK jobs market teetering on a precipice. However, looking ahead, there is reason for optimism with the welcome vaccine news, although challenges remain as the recent lockdown, new tier system and impending Brexit means it will be a long road back to the UK jobs market seen pre-Covid..”

Ten Percent Legal Recruitment Statistics – November 2020

General Statistics for November 2020 (comparison is with November 2019)
New permanent vacancies added: 25 (19)
New locum vacancies added: 20 (10)
New candidates registering: 63 (72)

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