Legal Job Market Report November 2022
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report November 2022

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

Locum Recruitment – Fairly Busy
The locum market has seen a decline in the number of conveyancing roles being registered with us following the interesting political manoeuvres of recent times, but it is very limited. Just looking through our list for October it is clear that over 50% of new roles in are residential conveyancing and commercial property cover, together with a bit of in house corporate, a few wills & probate posts, and the odd litigation role. We will inevitably see a decline in the number of locum roles generally as we go into the Christmas period, but there has not yet been a ‘fall off a cliff’ moment in new business. So far we have not seen any downward movement in locum hourly rates, although we anticipate this happening after Christmas (it is a seasonal norm for this to occur in any event).

Locum assignment updates here: https://www.interimlawyers.co.uk/category/locum-solicitor-updates/

Permanent Recruitment – Busy
Interestingly for permanent recruitment the market is very different. In recent months we have seen conveyancing roles coming by the bucketload, but in October 2022 we had just three new conveyancing roles register with us. We saw a mixed bag of wills & probate, crime, immigration, commercial litigation, corporate, commercial proeprty, family, claimant personal injury (a real rarity these days!), property litigation and legal support posts. I suspect the market for conveyancing staff is going to get quieter over the next 3 months; simply because the workloads are likely to decrease and firms will seek to cope with the staff team they already have.

Vacancies can be viewed here: https://ten-percent.co.uk/vacancies/

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
A recent and oft-repeated question over the last few weeks from sellers and potential sellers has been whether or not it is a good time to be on the market, and my often repeated response is that there is never a good or bad time. Law firm sales happen on their own and tend not to be too affected by market forces in the same way as other strands to our businesses. It is possible that predominantly conveyancing practices will see numbers of potentially interested buyers drop off, but I suspect this will be more about the value of offers than the actual interest declining. We have a number of firms potentially about to come to market and we anticipate interest from buyers remaining consistent, other than the usual 4-6 week break as it gets quiet before Christmas.

Full list of firms for sale at https://www.jonathanfagan.co.uk/law-accountancy-firms-for-sale/. For valuations, exit planning or a confidential discussion about a potential sale or acquisition generally please ring 01824 780937 and speak to Jonathan Fagan or email jf@jonathanfagan.co.uk

Ten Percent Group statistics for October 2022

New contract roles added – 16
New permanent roles added – 22
New candidates added – 42

KPMG & REC Report on Jobs UK November 2022

Summary
Permanent placements fall, temp billings stagnate
Further slowdown in vacancy growth
Starting salary inflation slips to 18-month low

Commentary from Claire Warnes, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK
“The looming recession is clearly impacting the UK jobs market. Employers’ caution in hiring combined with fewer available candidates has resulted in the number of permanent lacements falling for the first time in nearly two years.”

Commentary from Neil Carberry, REC CEO
“The economic and political uncertainty of September and October has caused employers to become more cautious in their approach to hiring than during the frenzy of earlier in the year. Decision-making timelines for permanent hires have extended, for instance. But vacancies and pay are still rising, temporary worker demand is high, and permanent hiring has fallen for the first time in almost two years. Activity, overall, is still well in advance of pre-pandemic levels. We
will need to watch how this story develops over months to come, but so far this data suggests heightened employer caution, not a retreat from the market. It remains the case that firms in many sectors are struggling to hire, as hours worked remain below their pre-pandemic level despite record-low unemployment.”

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 www.ten-percent.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk