in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Update October 2015 from Ten-Percent Legal

Legal Job Market Update
September has been a busy month, much busier than expected, particularly on legal support roles. The Rugby World Cup has not had the same impact that Football tournaments have on recruitment business (the FIFA World Cup virtually puts a hold on permanent recruitment for 2-3 weeks!). Still a good number of locum roles came in, particularly in conveyancing, and a mass of permanent positions registered in the last 10 days. It is still a busy legal job market although we have availability in most areas of the UK for conveyancing locums now after a shortage over the summer.

Conveyancing – still busy. Some firms still do not bother trying to recruit, although in other areas we are seeing a trickle of new conveyancing candidates looking for permanent work. Salaries have started to increase as firms accept the new realities of the market.

Wills & Probate gone quieter now – still difficult to recruit for on the permanent side and locum rates are still high – a number of candidates are now commanding hourly rates that are usually beyond the budgets of most smaller firms.

Commercial Property remains difficult although locum availability increased. There still remains a gap between the salaries applicants seek and salaries being offered by law firms.

Family Law has picked up a bit but remains fairly quiet for permanent roles. Locum work has been busy in September, although locum rates seem to have put a number of firms off.

Litigation – both civil and commercial still quiet. Employment picked up briefly but then dropped off again without much happening – firms may have been testing the water I think! The same applies for corporate commercial – this has never been our specialism but we do often see a steady stream of vacancies. In House roles have picked up but there still seems to be a fairly high level of uncertainty with jobs being posted but then changing or being withdrawn.

September 2015 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments static
* Conveyancing vacancies busy
* Commercial Property vacancies busy
* Wills & Probate vacancies – some
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – few
* Family vacancies – few
* Market outlook – stable.

Current live vacancies: 537
New permanent vacancies added in September: 47
New locum vacancies added in August: 56
New candidates registering: 83
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies August: 3.5 (OK)

Ten-Percent 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. Traditionally our clients have been 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 usually also involves contacting recruitment agencies in the hope that they have candidates with their own following and not looking for a salary.
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 is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes for the Ten-Percent website and the Legal Recruitment blog, an award-winning selection of articles and features on legal recruitment and the legal profession. You can contact Jonathan at or visit one of our websites.

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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