Legal Recruitment News April 2014

Legal Recruitment News – April 3rd 2014

Welcome to the April edition of Legal Recruitment News, including a Legal Job Market Update, becoming an expert in 10,000 hours, locum availabiity and new candidates. Legal Recruitment News is written by Jonathan Fagan, MD and non-practising solicitor of the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment group (Interim Lawyers, Ten-Percent, Ten-Percent Legal Careers and TP Transcriptions).

Register Vacancies – Locum or Permanent

Job Market Update – April 3rd

April 2014 – summed up in a few sentences:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum vacancies up on March but still lower than an average month
* Conveyancing up
* Crime down
* Litigation up
* Further increase in vacancies attracting no, poor quality or few applications.
* Market outlook – still buoyant.

Current live vacancies: 549
New permanent vacancies added in March 2014: 52
New candidates registering: 122
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies in March: 3.5
Increase/Decrease in new vacancies from previous month: +67%
Increase/Decrease in new candidates from previous month: -24%

KPMG Job Market Report for past 4 weeks:
* Faster rise in permanent placements but growth of temp billings eases
* Salaries for permanent staff increase at sharpest rate since October 2007
* Candidate availability declines at stronger pace
(this is very similar to our findings)

Comment from KPMG Partner:
“Britain appears to be suffering from a clash of confidence. With permanent appointments rising at the strongest rate for almost four years, employers appear determined to show they are secure enough to make long-term commitments. Candidates, on the other hand, are less certain, preferring to stay put than advance their careers in a new environment.

Temporary placements are falling and with starting salaries rising at their highest rate for almost seven years, all the indications are that any concerns over job security may be unwarranted. Those in the North are recruiting hardest and fastest, and even the slowest area – in London – is seeing a marked increase. The hope now must be that employees and employers rethink their approach and the clash of confidence is replaced by a meeting of minds.”

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 niche 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 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.

Permanent Candidate Registrations in the last 3 days

02041613 Family Panel member with some litigation, looking around Essex.
31031442 Legal Cashier with over 10 years experience with same firm, looking in Kent.
25031449 Conveyancing Solicitor, NQ, looking in Reading.
02042245 Junior Litigation Paralegal looking around London. County Court experience.
02042127 Family Solicitor, 5 years PQE, looking around Essex.
02042030 Conveyancing Solicitor, 5 years PQE, with commercial mortgage experience as
well. High end, central London – FT or PT. £60k+ salary.
02041935 Planning Solicitor from private practice. NQ level. Midlands or London.
02041113 Wills & Probate Solicitor, PT, looking in N London or Herts. 10 years PQE.
01041336 Family Solicitor 10+ years PQE, looking around Hampshire and Dorset.
24031946 Duty Solicitor from Legal 500 firm looking around Yorkshire. Junior.

Locums Available Immediately

01041029 Locum Conveyancing Solicitor, just finished a 6 month assignment, looking around London and the South East.
21837 May 2009 qualified litigation solicitor, experience in civil and commercial litigation, dispute resolution, property litigation, employment law (contentious and non-contentious) and debt recovery.
21816 Senior solicitor, experienced in residential and commercial property and tax law. Also able to carry out wills & probate work. Looking for locum posts in London.
21807 1998 qualified commercial property solicitor working as a property consultant. Experienced in landlord & tenant as well as commercial property.
21759 November 2000 qualified litigation solicitor with experience in general civil litigation, contentious probate, insolvency & bankruptcy, debt recovery and professional negligence. Looking for locum post in London, along the M4 corridor including Reading.
21724 Litigation fee earner with over 10 years experience in personal injury, both claimant and defendent, (RTA, EL, PL).
21707 1986 qualified locum conveyancing solicitor dealing with a mix of residential and commercial conveyancing.
21690 September 2010 qualified wills & probate solicitor dealing with contentious and non-contentious wills, probate and trusts.
We have over 700 candidates registered for locum work.

Conveyancing – salary warning

In an expanding market it is quite easy to spot trends, and as of yet we have not seen any marked improvement in salary levels filtering through. Back in 2007 when the market was at its peak it was quite common for candidates to attend job interviews, indicate a salary level and then negotiate for about 1-2 weeks before agreeing to join a firm. On numerous occasions we placed conveyancing solicitors on salaries around London of c.£45-50k plus bonus and package.
These sorts of levels are yet to be seen in the current market, but I anticipate firms starting to up the ante in order to attract more applicants. We have a number of vacancies around the UK where we have simply been unable to get any applications of note at all. Conveyancers are very nervous about making moves from jobs where their salary still reflects the recession levels and it is not going to be long before more of these come back to market.
It may well be time to look at your conveyancing team’s salary levels and make sure you are paying the right amount to retain your staff. Otherwise you could start to see departures as other firms increase their offerings to recruit and expand. If you are paying a 2-3 year PQE conveyancing solicitor less than £30k anywhere in the UK, this is something to seriously consider carefully. Anything over £40k and you are probably secure for the time being.
If you still have your staff on some kind of profit share arrangement dating back to 2008/2009 in the property department it is definitely time to start thinking about moving them into salaried positions. Sooner or later they will start looking elsewhere unless they are making considerable sums of money through this type of arrangement. The market is picking up and it won’t be long before more conveyancers start to dip their toe into the market and see what else they can find.

Crime Duty Solicitors – rota deadline approaching

By way of reminder for any crime firms who are thinking of taking on duty solicitors before the next rota deadline (12th May we think), it is probably time to start putting the feelers out. We have a few firms in Kent looking for duty solicitors on a part time basis (ie the duty solicitors earn most of their income elsewhere) but not a lot else. If you want to recruit, please get in touch – there are plenty of duty solicitors out there. Please note that in order to use us to recruit duty solicitors you will need to join our £60 scheme – further details on request (reply to this email).

About Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

We are a specialist legal recruiter, covering the whole of the UK. A large proportion of our vacancies are based in London and the South East, but we do assist firms elsewhere on a very regular basis. Over 10,500 lawyers are registered with us and we have access to a range of external and internal job boards and websites where we do not have candidates available ourselves. We also assist with recruitment advice and assistance, regularly advising partners and practice managers on suitable salary and package levels.

Our company is unique for a number of reasons, including the fact that we are not shy to publish our fee structure and also donate a chunk of our profits to charity each year. We offer unlimited permanent and locum recruitment for a fixed fee of just £60 per month (terms apply) or 15% one-off fees for permanent and 18% for locum. We donate 10% of our profits annually to charity, hence our name.

At present we have three recruitment consultants, Jonathan Fagan, Clare Fagan and Pete Gresty, together with our finance director Pearl McNamara. Together we have over 40 years of experience in the legal profession. Jonathan Fagan is a qualified solicitor and still (reluctantly!) undertakes litigation on behalf of the company when required. He also provides a career coaching service to qualified lawyers and law graduates, although this is on a very selective basis.

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment also owns Interim Lawyers, a specialist locum service, charging 18% fees for placements. We also own a further 45 domain names and websites. We operate an outsourced UK based typing service as well – and are preferred suppliers to a number of institutional clients and law firms across the UK and overseas.

The Ten-Percent Group of Legal Recruitment websites gives 10% of annual profits to charity (hence our name). We have carried on with this tradition since we formed the company 14 years ago. So far over £51,000 has been donated to charities in the UK and Africa including LawCare and the CAB.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our newsletter and look forward to hearing from you if we can assist further.

Warm regards
Jonathan Fagan
Register Vacancies – Locum or Permanent
£60 Per Month Recruitment Scheme
Jonathan Fagan is a solicitor, qualified recruitment consultant and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed here –

Legal Recruitment News is produced by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment – you can view all versions of the e-newsletter at Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment was established in 2000 and donates 10% of profits to charity, hence the name.

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