Legal Recruitment News April 5th 2017

Welcome to the Legal Recruitment News for April 2017

Legal Job Market Update

Key points from 1st March to 4th April 2017 as follows:
* The demand for staff generally has increased.
* Permanent recruitment has increased.
* Locum recruitment has increased but hourly rates are still lower in some areas.
* Wills and Probate locum and permanent roles have dropped off but private client solicitors remain in demand. Vacancies remain unfilled.
* Conveyancing has picked up – both locum and permanent.
* Commercial Property roles have started to pick up. Vacancies remain unfilled.
* Litigation is still quiet.
* Family law roles are steady.
* London market is busier than it was in 2016.

The full article can be found at

Hourly Rates of Pay for Locum Solicitors and Legal Executives

As indicated above we are still noticing a change in locum rates for conveyancing, although as we have got busier the rates seem to be creeping up a bit. Although locum hourly rate payment vary widely according to the demand, length of assignment, level of experience and advance notice available, we have seen movement downwards in 2017 and a number of locums not getting work if their rate is too high.

Residential conveyancing rates are now settling at around the £28-32 per hour mark in most areas of the UK for any assignments longer than a few weeks. I suspect that the days of firms paying £40-45 per hour have probably ended (it has been quite a brief interlude from the norm!) and we think £35 per hour is going to be the maximum level seen generally. This was the case for residential conveyancing until 2016 when the hourly rates seemed to spike.

March 2017 Locum Rates:
Residential Conveyancing Locum Solicitors – 1-5 years PQE, £25-30 per hour (no variation for central London).
Conveyancing Locum Solicitors & ILEX – 5-35 years PQE, handling all levels of conveyancing including managing a department – £25-£35 per hour, including central London.
Commercial Property Solicitors – 1-40 years PQE – £30-45 per hour.
Wills & Probate Solicitors and Legal Executives – 3-35 years PQE – £30-45 per hour – usually the minimum is £35.
Family Solicitors – 4-40 years PQE – £24-32 per hour. Occasionally this goes up to £35 per hour for short notice or a few days cover.
Civil Litigation Solicitors and ILEX– 1-35 years PQE. £25-35 per hour. These rates cover mainstream litigation – eg county court and small claims matters.
Commercial Litigation Solicitors – 3+ years PQE – £35-50 per hour. Occasionally this is higher.
Company Commercial Solicitors – 3+ years PQE – £35-70 per hour.
Employment Solicitors – 3+ years PQE – difficult to give a range this year due to the lack of work generally in this field.
Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence – 3+ years PQE – £18-£30 per hour. Work very sporadic.
In House Legal Department Rates: 0-3 years PQE – £22-32 per hour (wide range due to variables in legal department work), 3+ years PQE – £30-75 per hour (very wide range due to the nature of in house work).
Local authority rates: get a dartboard, throw three darts and add up the total. Quite how local authority rates are calculated is beyond me, but they are one of the wonders of the recruitment world…

NB all rates exclude agency fees (we charge 18%). The rates are for self-employed locums billing firms directly on a weekly basis.

We have over 11,000 lawyers registered with us. To request CVs for a specific vacancy please register your vacancy using the link at the top of this email or simply reply.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Dilemna for Newly Qualified Solicitors

In April every year we are regularly contacted by newly qualified and 1 year PQE (post-qualification experience) solicitors who ask the following questions:

1. Should I stay with my training law firm for at least 2 years when I qualify?
2. How much should I get paid?
3. What other options do I have?
4. Does it harm my career if I move when I qualify?
5. Does it harm my career if I stay where I am when I qualify?
6. If I move will I get a higher salary?

Our response is usually:

1. No, not necessarily.
2. Depends on the field of law, the firm and the geographical location.
3. Usually plenty.
4. No
5. No
6. Probably.

Full article at

CV Blooper of the Month

What is a QBE lawyer?

The term QBE comes from the financial sector and is increasingly applied to lawyers as well. A number of conveyancers are QBE and so are in house Counsel. It is rare for anyone to practice in law without at least an LLB or LLM, but they do exist, particularly in the property fields.

QBE Accountants are those accountants who have no formal qualifications and the definition of QBE is Qualified By Experience. So a QBE lawyer is someone who works within the legal profession as a fee earner (ie generates fees for their employer) but who is not formally qualified.

Full article available here –

Permanent Vacancies registered in the last 7 days

North, Scotland and Wales
VAC-17041 Residential Conveyancing Solicitor sought in Monmouth by very well established medium sized law firm. This is a full time permanent post.

VAC-17031 A new vacancy has arisen with a small to medium sized solicitors firm situated in central Manchester. They seek a commercial property solicitor locum to join them as soon as possible – likely to be for about 6-8 weeks cover needed. Fairly small niche practice. The firm are recruiting permanently so there is the option for permanent or locum to permanent as well.

VAC-17021 A well established firm with offices across the East of England are looking for an immigration & asylum lawyer with Supervisor Status and a family lawyer with supervisor status to work at either their Hull or Nottingham office. The firm are happy to consider candidates of varying experience/qualification levels but the Supervisor Accreditation is essential. The post will be full-time, permanent and salary will be negotiable depending on experience.

VAC-17016 Large, well established Newcastle firm are looking for a Family Law Solicitor to work at their City Centre office. Ideally the firm are looking for a qualified family solicitor with 5+ years PQE to undertake financial and private children work. The post will be full-time, permanent and salary will be negotiable depending on experience but should be competitive and the firm offer excellent benefits to all employees. Further info available on request.

VAC-17010 Specialist Personal Injury firm with offices in Liverpool and Manchester are looking for a claimant PI fee earner to deal with a caseload of fast track work. The caseload will be nearly all E/L ,P/L.and O/L with a very small amount of RTA work. Most of the work is for Trade Union members and funded by the Trade Union concerned. The post is full-time , permanent and salary levels will be around 27-28k. Successful candidate can work at either the Liverpool or Cheadle office.

VAC-17040 Law firm in Hammersmith, West London are interested in speaking to any duty solicitor wishing to sign up with a firm by the April deadline to comply with at least the minimum requirements for the July 2017 rota in return for a monthly retainer.

VAC-17039 A well established East Sussex firm are looking for a senior commercial property fee earner to work at their Brighton office. The successful candidate will need to have excellent client facing skills and be an effective communicator. Marketing ability, organisation skills and computer literacy are a must. The role will be full-time, permanent and salary will be negotiable depending on experience but competitive.

VAC-17038 A fairly small but well established South West London firm are looking for a wills & probate solicitor to work at their office situated within a five minute walk of Fulham Broadway Station. Ideally candidates will have a minimum of 2 years’ PQE in wills & probate work. The post is full-time, permanent and salary will be negotiable depending on experience.

VAC-17034 A law firm based in Canvey Island, Essex have an opening for a full time, permanent legal cashier due to restructuring within the firm. The firm are looking for experienced legal cashier able to manager the Solicitors Account, business accounts and monthly payroll. The firm use LEAP legal accounting software with Xero for the business accounts, online banking and a separate software package for payroll. Competitive salary on offer. Start date: ASAP.

VAC-17030 Prison Law Supervisor sought urgently by Croydon firm of smaller size. Happy to consider all options.

VAC-17028 Wills and Probate Solicitor sought for Buckingham firm. Very well regarded and established pracitice in the town centre of small to medium size. The firm have a private client fee earner departing and need to recruit someone to take over. They will consider 4 or 5 day weeks. Work is the usual mix of wills, probate, LPAs, inheritance tax and trusts.

VAC-17027 A specialist family law solicitors practice with branches in Northampton, Bedford and Milton Keynes have an opening in their administration department for a full time, permanent role. The successful candidate can be based at either Northampton or Milton Keynes depending on preference but would be traveling between all 3 offices as required. Role will involve: taking calls from client, arranging meetings, marketing and general legal admin.

VAC-17026 Legal cashier locum sought by Leicester law firm for July annual leave cover.

VAC-17025 A North London firm of solicitors have an opening for an experienced family law solicitor/executive at their branch in Enfield. This is a full time, permanent post and the firm are looking for candidates with ideally at least 5 years experience to manage their own caseload and support the family law partner. Candidates should be willing to undertake their own advocacy. On offer is a competitive salary and workplace pension.

VAC-17024 A well established Kent law firm are looking for an administration assistant to work in the Recovery Department at their Bromley office. The firm are looking for reliable and enthusiastic applicants with 5 GCSEs (grade C or above) but no previous legal experience required as full training will be given. The role will involve setting up new cases, answering phones, drafting letters, filing, liaising with instructing insurer, liaising with third party insurer, communicating with the policyholder/client, keeping up to date on daily tasks and dairy entries , collating evidence and chasing payments. This is a full-time, permanent role starting ASAP and a starting salary of £13,000 per annum.

VAC-17023 A law firm based in Central Oxford have an opening in their residential conveyancing department for a full time, permanent property solicitor/legal executive. The firm are looking for candidates with ideally at least 3 years experience for a fee earning role involving managing their own caseload and supervision of fee earning work undertaken by junior colleagues. Any commercial property or wills & probate experience would be a bonus. Good career prospects on offer and a competitive salary.

VAC-17002 Extremely well established East London firm are looking for a conveyancer to work at their office situated within a 5 minute walk of Walthamstow Central Station. Ideally the firm are looking for a Solicitor, Legal Executive or Licensed Conveyancer with a minimum of 2 years’ experience who can manage a residential caseload but will also consider a conveyancing paralegal who can assist with a caseload. Salary for the more senior role likely to be 30k-40k, salary for the paralegal role likely to be 21k-26k. The post will be permanent and full-time.

VAC-17017 Family Solicitor or ILEX sought by very well regarded and established Buckingham firm of small to medium size. 3 days a week.

VAC-17015 A small to medium sized solicitors firm based in West London (Marble Arch) have a vacancy for a full time, permanent residential conveyancing solicitor to work at Head of Department level. The firm are looking for candidates with at least 4 years general property experience.

VAC-17014 A medium sized solicitors firm based in West London have a vacancy for a full time, permanent litigation solicitor to work at Head of Department level. The firm are looking for candidates with at least 5 years experience in a range of litigation matters to take on a caseload including the following: contract and commercial disputes, professional negligence, IP, defamation, employment law, landlord & tenant and mediation.

VAC-17012 Residential Conveyancing Solicitor or Legal Executive sought by Egham firm. Situated on the high street in the town centre, about 200 metres from the train station and 1km from Junction 13 of the M25, the firm are looking to make a long term appointment. One of their solicitors is relocating and they would like to recruit a residential conveyancer to replace her. Anyone with additional light commercial conveyancing experience would be welcome. There are partnership prospects for the right person. This is a medium sized practice and well established in the town. All levels of PQE considered for this role – the firm simply want someone who has good experience and is able to contribute to their firm in the longer term. Salary levels similarly negotiable. A rare long term permanent role.

VAC-17011 Niche conveyancing firm based in Middlesex is looking for a conveyancing legal secretary to work at their office situated within a 2 minute walk of Pinner Tube Station. Ideally candidates should have a minimum of 3 years’ experience working as a residential conveyancing secretary.

VAC-17008 A well established Surrey firm are looking for a property solicitor who can manage a predominantly commercial property caseload (with a small amount of residential work) at their Farnham office. The firm are ideally looking for commercial property solicitors with a minimum of 2 years’ PQE. The role is full-time (although they are happy to consider part-time at 4 days per week), permanent and salary will be circa 50k-55k.

VAC-17003 Firm based a three minute walk of Ilford Train Station looking for a Duty Solicitor for a July 2017 start. The successful candidate will cover Police Stations and Magistrates Court Rota (and if desired casework) and will receive support, briefing and backup at all times and in all matters. The firm are happy to work on a 65/35 percentage split with the successful candidate taking 65%.

The Cure Parkinsons Trust – charity supported by the Ten Percent Foundation 2016-2017

Our criteria and policies for donating to charities can be found here –

This year we have written a piece about each charity we have considered and explained why and what we are funding. We have also included any information the charity have sent us including updates from last year on our ongoing donations.

Cure Parkinsons Trust logo

We discovered the existence of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust whilst researching alternatives to Parkinsons UK. The cure or treatment of Parkinson’s is of particular interest to us as we have lost a family member (and former trustee) to the disease.

Grants to research institutes were £672k.
Salaries at the charity were £425k.
No members of staff earned more than £60k.

Full article here:

For further details about the Ten Percent Foundation please visit

To sign a petition to Parliament limiting the executive pay in the charity sector – please click here.

Low Cost Recruitment for Solicitors – Ten Percent Unlimited

Ten-Percent Unlimited is a service offering unlimited recruitment for a set monthly fee. It was set up by us back in 2011 with the aim of making the use of a recruitment agency cost-effective in a time of great financial difficulties for all in the profession. It is still going strong – we have over 100 members – most of whom are sole practitioners or smaller sized law firms.

The Unlimited Recruitment service offers law firms the chance to recruit as many permanent or locum candidates as needed over a period of 5 years in return for a monthly payment. There are no restrictions on numbers (although vacancies have to exist and we do operate a fair usage policy – so far never used) and no other costs. No other similar services exist in the recruitment industry.

For example in a 5 year period you may recruit a few locums for cover each year, a replacement conveyancing solicitor, a couple of legal secretaries, possibly a paralegal or two and have a look to expand the firm into a new area of law with an additional fee earner. All of this would cost considerable amounts in advertising and/or recruitment agency fees. However with Ten Percent Unlimited you simply pay a monthly fee for 60 months.

One of our recruitment consultants works full time on our Ten Percent Unlimited member firms’ recruitment needs and is always happy to talk about the service. If you would like a chat with Clare Fagan, please give her a ring on 0207 127 4343 or email

How to be a Locum – pdf guide

We have produced a guide on how to be a locum. This includes sections on getting work, realistic expectations, hourly rates, popular fields of law, payment, insurance, umbrella companies and much more. Available for download at no charge from – click the link on the left hand side of the page.

About Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

We are a specialist legal recruiter, covering both permanent and locum roles across the whole of the UK. Over 11,000 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 monthly fee or one-off fees depending on the job. We donate 10% of our profits annually to charity, hence our name.

We have three recruitment consultants, Jonathan Fagan, Clare Fagan and Pete Gresty, together with our finance director Pearl McNamara. As a team we have over 40 years of experience in the legal profession.

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment also owns Interim Lawyers, a specialist locum service. 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. We have carried on with this tradition since we formed the company 15 years ago. So far over £90k has been donated to charities in the UK and Africa including LawCare, Unlock and Reprieve.

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

Warm regards

Jonathan Fagan

T: 0207 127 4343 Limited
20-22 Wenlock Road
N1 7GU

Jonathan Fagan is a solicitor, qualified recruitment consultant and Managing Director of Limited. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed here –

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