Legal Job Market Report July 2020
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report July 2020

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

Permanent Recruitment – Quiet
Remaining pretty much non-existent, but with signs of more partners sitting at home and deciding that it is time to retire and recruit permanent members of staff to replace them. However the same partners almost always want new replacements to have their own following of clients, which is a little like finding the Holy Grail. Fee share positions showing signs of increasing again… Salaried roles few and far between. No sign yet of an improvement in conveyancing and surprisingly not a lot of wills & probate work round yet.

Locum Recruitment – Quiet
Not busy but a steady trickle – we are getting assignments in but mostly for ad hoc work rather than set hours or annual leave cover, which of course is the bread and butter work for professional locums.

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
No distressed sales happening at the moment and not many buyers getting in touch to ask about bargains, but we do have one buyer who will purchase law firms north of the Watford Gap for £1. Please get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this..
For details of current law firms for sale please click here to view our list.

Permanent Jobs – Candidate Advice
Our advice to candidates looking for new permanent roles is to register and apply for jobs wherever you see them as you would normally, but don’t expect a response from law firms or agencies for some time to come. However you never know who may be in need of staff and when the market reactivates itself so it is still worth going through the motions.

Locum Jobs – Candidate Advice
Be prepared to compete for work, which means drop your prices, and if you want the work drop them substantially. Instead of getting 1-2 locums expressing an interest in covering each assignment we are getting 5-40 each time.


General Statistics for June 2020 (comparison is with June 2019)
New permanent vacancies added: 11 (69)
New locum vacancies added: 15 (28)
New candidates registering: 110 (85)

KPMG & REC UK Jobs Report

We contribute to this report – a survey of 100s of UK recruitment businesses large and small – every month. June findings below:

Softer, but still steep, falls in permanent placements and temp billings
Quickest rise in staff supply since start of 2009
Starting pay continues to fall as vacancies decline further

KPMG Vice Chair James Stewart said:
“Despite an inevitable further drop in hiring activity for permanent and temporary staff, it is encouraging to see they both fell at softer rates than seen in April and May. However, the air of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic will linger – and rebuilding confidence in the UK jobs market will take time.”

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