in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report July 2017

Legal Job Market Report

Key points from 7th June to 12th July 2017 are as follows:
▪     Permanent recruitment has increased.
▪     Locum recruitment has drastically increased. Hourly rates have inevitably increased!
▪     Commercial and In House roles are picking up slightly.
▪     Wills and Probate is quieter but locum and permanent candidates remain very much in demand.
▪     Conveyancing is busy – both locum and permanent. High seasonal demand for conveyancing locums. Permanent vacancies remain unfilled for long periods of time due to severe shortage of candidates.
▪     Litigation is quiet.
▪     Family law is quiet.
▪     London market is still quiet.


June has been one of the busiest months we have ever experienced. However whilst the number of vacancies has increased, the number of available and interested candidates has decreased. Every year June and July tend to be the months when partners get time on their hands to think about future recruitment, but unfortunately the candidates they want to speak to will invariably be thinking about their holidays rather than finding a new job! Locum hourly rates have increased – see below. There is a serious shortage of conveyancing locums now for most areas of the country for any assignments longer than a week or two.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation Report on Jobs for June 2017

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation Report on Jobs for June has shown the following key points:
▪     Permanent placements and temp billings continue to rise markedly
▪     Availability of candidates continues to decline sharply
▪     Starting salaries increase at quickest pace for just over a year-and-a-half

Commenting on the latest survey results, Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy says: “With fewer people currently looking for jobs, employers are having to increase starting salaries to secure the talent they need. This is creating great opportunities for people with in-demand skills who are prepared to change jobs, but it’s also putting unsustainable pressure on many businesses. Existing skills shortages are being exacerbated by Brexit….Policies which make it more difficult to recruit and retain these people will put business growth at risk. The government needs to outline a five-year roadmap for post-Brexit immigration policy to enable businesses to plan effectively, and so the UK economy can flourish”.


Out of the 63 new vacancies posted in June, 9 of them were in London and 22 were in Greater London and the South East. 8 were Wills & Probate roles, 32 were in conveyancing and 14 were company commercial, commercial litigation and commercial property roles.

A summary of work we did in June is below (May figures in brackets).
June 2017 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* London vacancies: 148 (144)
* South East: 354 (341)
* South West: 90 (85)
* Midlands: 49 (48)
* North West: 85 (81)
* North East: 45 (42)
* Wales: 19 (18)

Market outlook – vacancies have increased slightly which is typically the annual recruitment cycle. July is already a busy month so we anticipate the cycle continuing as normal.

Statistics (June in brackets)
Current live vacancies: 792 (760)
New permanent vacancies added in June: 43 (43)
New locum vacancies added in June: 44 (42)
New candidates registering: 60 (64)
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies: 4 (Very Good)

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 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.
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