Legal Job Market Report November 2021
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report November 2021

Legal Job Market Report – November 10th 2021

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

Locum Recruitment – Busy
The locum market remains busier for this time of year than ever before, although it has quietened down now that we are into November. We still have the problem of office based assignments – a number of locums still want to avoid travelling to work and some have got very used to remote work during lockdown and don’t want to go back… However we are usually getting at least one locum available for each assignment sent through to us, which is a huge improvement on the summer season.

Conveyancing locums are available in most areas now. Other fields of law are generally not too bad at all, although family locums are a little scarce at the moment. Most corporate and commercial areas still attract a lot of interest, whether in private practice or in house. We are over 100% up on locum assignments for the same time last year (see figures below).

Locum assignment updates here:

Permanent Recruitment – Busy
For some firms locum and permanent roles are now becoming more blurred – with firms seeking to take either on to cover busy workloads as fee earners start to realise there is value in the market at the moment and it is a good time to move to obtain a pay rise.. We have also seen a bit of hesitancy still about moving as work levels start to drop back down to more normal levels and firms reassess their recruitment needs if roles were expansion positions. As we approach Christmas and work slows down the market will hopefully get back to a bit more normality.. We have seen a 100% increase on vacancy numbers for October 2021 compared with October 2020. At the same time we have seen a 100% decrease in the numbers of candidates registering.

Vacancies can be viewed here:

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
A lot of enquiries are coming through at the moment and in the last month we have had a couple of new large buyers register looking to take over multiple firms. This doesn’t always happen – some of the supposed larger buyers can turn into terrible timewasters (possibly fishing around for good areas to open a branch office!?) – but generally it is busy and busier than we would expect.

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

Ten Percent Legal Recruitment Statistics

General Statistics for October 2021 (bracketed number is for October 2020)
New permanent vacancies added: 36 (17)
New locum vacancies added: 41 (16)
New candidates registering: 40 (88)

REC/KPMG UK Job Market Report

(we are members of the panel contributing to this report)
Key Findings
Recruitment activity slows slightly, hampered by candidate shortages
Starting salaries and temp pay both increase at record rates
Vacancy growth remains robust, but softens since September

Comment from KPMG:
“While it’s encouraging to see hiring activity increase in October, the recovery was at the softest rate recorded in six months due to the ongoing deterioration of candidate availability. Employees are hesitant to switch roles and sectors, which could impact the bounce-back recruiters have experienced since the easing of pandemic restrictions. Unsurprisingly, with the ongoing pressures on our health and care services, demand for temporary nursing and care staff tops this month’s rankings. More broadly, companies are still offering higher salaries to attract and secure talent – with starting pay inflation reaching another record high this month – but we know this isn’t the answer to boosting productivity.”

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