in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Update 13th September 2018

To read Legal Recruitment News for September 2018 please click here:


In recent months there has been a lot of political uncertainty and we were curious to see whether this had been reflected in the legal job market. So this month we have undertaken a comparison with the same time period last year and interestingly the job market has been busier in 2018. There has been a 62% increase in the number of permanent legal job vacancies registered with us in July-August 2018 compared with the same time frame in 2017. At the same time, the number of new candidates registering with us has decreased by about 10%. This may be the effect of the uncertainty; candidates are less likely to change jobs if they have a negative outlook or if they feel the market is unstable. Similarly there have been recruitment industry warnings for some time now that the number of applicants per job generally across the UK has been rapidly decreasing due to various factors including a low unemployment rate, a reduction in the number of EU residents staying in the UK and increased instability affecting candidate confidence.

July-August 2018 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* London vacancies: 172
* South East: 428
* South West: 92
* Midlands: 70
* North West: 106
* North East: 68
* Wales: 25

These figures show a sizeable increase in the number of legal jobs, particularly at the 1-10 year PQE Solicitor range, in London and the South East.

Statistics for July-August (comparison is to July-August 2017)
Current live vacancies: 963
New permanent vacancies added: 110 (68)
New locum vacancies added: 88 (90)
New candidates registering: 171 (198)
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies: 3.4 (OK)

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, or offering low salaries and/or poor conditions.
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