Legal Job Market Update September 15th 2021
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Update September 15th 2021

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

Locum Recruitment – Busy
It has perhaps been the strangest summer ever and this is continuing into the autumn. The conveyancing locum market is still incredibly busy, with firms vying for the attention of locum conveyancers who remain in huge demand and can pick and choose their assignments. Hourly rates have not yet rocketed in the same way house prices have, but rates seem to be starting at £35 per hour as opposed to the standard £30 per hour and heading upwards depending on how keen a firm are to get a locum in. There is still great demand for annual leave cover for conveyancing as lawyers take leave they have been building up for some time, and this is the same in other areas of law as well. Other fields not particularly busy and still plenty of locum availability. Locations still playing a key part in determining availability – lawyers still reluctant to travel if they don’t have to and remote working roles remain a lot easier to fill.

The property market seems to be booming in some areas of the UK, yet in other areas we have had reports of firms finding their work has dropped off. For example South Wales seems to be very busy still (reports of people still buying houses at more than their asking price), but North West England seems to have quietened down a bit.

Ad hoc assistance is becoming increasingly common in private practice and in house legal departments, with consultants taking on 3-5 different firms and handling work in particular fields of law as it comes in. This can be very cost effective for the firms and also liberating for consultants – who can work extremely flexible hours rather than 9-5.

Locum assignment updates here:

Permanent Recruitment – Busy
For the same period last year (July-August 2020) the number of new candidates registering with us has halved. There is a clear trend now that follows recruitment patterns being reported nationally – there is an increasing shortage of candidates in all areas of law and at all levels of PQE. We have large numbers of new vacancies being added, but they actually outnumber the new candidates.. Most placements are coming from lawyers who have been registered with us for many years and receive our updates. There are very few fresh job applications at this point in the recruitment cycle.

Vacancies can be viewed here:

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
The market has been boiling away this year but deals seem to have dropped off a bit in recent weeks. Not sure if this is a sign of things to come, but most firms listed with us are getting enquiries through at the moment.

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 JulyAugust 2021 (bracketed number is for July/August 2020)
New permanent vacancies added: 57 (36)
New locum vacancies added: 83 (36)
New candidates registering: 90 (187)

10 Most Recent Vacancies

VAC-20936 In House Lawyer West London
VAC-20935 Legal Secretary in Windsor
VAC-20933 Conveyancing in Kent
VAC-20932 Civil Litigation Ad Hoc Consultant
VAC-20931 Part-time Wills & Probate in Bath
VAC-20930 Wills and Probate Locum in Berkshire
VAC-20929 Residential Conveyancing Locum Birmingham
VAC-20927 Criminal Solicitor Locum – some remote working South West London
VAC-20926 Conveyancing in Central London West London
VAC-20924 Wills & Probate Locum in Doncaster – full time for at least 3 months

Vacancies can be viewed here:

10 Most Recent Law Firms for Sale

100247 Conveyancing & Private Client Firm London
100248 Partnership Buy In London
100249 North West Wales
100250 East Anglia – large law firm
100251 Buckinghamshire – v.small conveyancing firm – fast disposal
100252 Leicester firm
100253 South Hertfordshire law firm
100254 Family law firm Buckinghamshire
100255 Wills & Probate firm East Anglia

Full list at

10 Most Recent Candidates Registering

CAN-31288 East London Company Commercial Solicitor
CAN-31284 Leicester Company Commercial Solicitor
CAN-31279 Birmingham personal injury locum solicitor
CAN-31278 East London NQ commercial litigation solicitor
CAN-31273 Liverpool Locum conveyancer covering residential and commercial work.
CAN-31270 Isle Of Man Remote working commercial contracts and corporate finance solicitor
CAN-31268 Bristol commercial property solicitor
CAN-31261 East London Residential and commercial conveyancing solicitor
CAN-31260 Bolton Commercial Litigation Solicitor

To request candidates for vacancies please complete the form here –

REC/KPMG UK Job Market Report

(we are members of the panel contributing to this report)
Key Findings
Permanent placement growth hits record high
Unprecedented drop in candidate supply drives sharper increases in pay
Vacancy growth holds close to all-time high

KPMG Partner Comment:
“Candidate shortages continue to plague businesses, who are all recruiting from the same pool of talent and struggling to fill gaps. While record high permanent placements and higher starting salaries mean it remains a job seekers market, recruiters and employers have seen the most severe decline of candidate availability in the survey’s history and will be thinking about how to attract and retain new staff. This crisis isn’t going away, and the winding down of the furlough scheme at the end of September – while potentially bringing more job hunters to the market – could also add fuel to the labour shortage fire. Many businesses will have changed their business model during the pandemic, and so significant numbers of
staff returning from furlough may need reskilling to rejoin the workforce in the same or another sector.”

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