Legal Job Market Report May 2021
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report May 2021

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

Locum Recruitment – Very Busy
The locum market is incredibly busy, possibly the busiest it has been since we started our company back in 2000. Residential Conveyancing locums appear to have vanished off the face of the earth. To give you an idea of the scale of the shortage at the moment in residential conveyancing in particular; at the moment we have 395 conveyancing locums registered with us as well as 1,436 conveyancers who will consider locum work. Yesterday I took five new locum residential conveyancing roles from firms across the UK. I sent these out to all our conveyancers and had just one response to one of the vacancies. No other availability.

To put this into perspective, usually at this time of year we get a couple of new assignments a day and for each new assignment we would expect to have at least 2-3 locums interested and pitching for the work. For roles around London we often get 5-10 locums pitching for each assignment.

We keep saying it, and we know how difficult it is for some firms to consider it as a practical solution, but remote working is pretty much the only option for a lot of assignments at the moment. I am getting indications from some locums that they have availability coming up for July onwards, but I suspect this will get booked up as well as time goes on as lawyers delay their annual leave until after June and then all seek to get away as quickly as possible.

Other fields are not so bad – we will still get 1-2 enquiries for each family or private client role coming in. Commercial contracts and corporate commercial locums still seem to be fairly plentiful, although price can be a factor here. Litigation – has remained steady and not particularly busy.

Locum assignment updates here:

Permanent Recruitment – Busy
Permanent recruitment has been ridiculously busy in recent weeks, but has dropped off again as firms start to work flat out in May. Recruitment waves often coincide with work levels at firms, so when firms are busy they have better things to do than look to take on new staff. This may not sound logical, but it is certainly true!

Vacancies can be viewed here:

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
The same has applied for law firm sales. The market has been boiling away now for a few months, but has dropped off a little bit over the last few weeks.

Full list at For a confidential discussion please ring 01824 780937 and speak to Jonathan Fagan or email

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