Legal Recruitment News for Law Firms – July 2011

Legal Recruitment Newsletter July 2011
Sponsored by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Legal Job Market Report 13th July 2011
Professional Indemnity Insurance – how much are law firms paying?
New £60 a month Recruitment Services launched – what’s the catch?
Salary Reviews Available Online
Outsourcing your Secretaries
Candidates registered 6th June – 13th July 2011
Apply for Ten-Percent Recruitment Membership

Legal Job Market Report 13th July 2011
The job market in June has shown conflicting signs. At various intervals we have picked up vacancies from good, reputable firms, looking to pay salaries and not after a following which rarely exists in the profession. At other times it has been very quiet. Conveyancing is clearly making a comeback (again) and we are starting to see a good number of posts coming through in the field, which is good news indeed. Once conveyancing work increases, so will other fields of law. There have been a number of false starts here, so we hold our breath!

Corporate commercial posts have increased, particularly at the 0-3 year PQE salary bracket, and a number of NQs from last year are starting to find employment now. Support staff posts continue to come in steadily. Ten-Percent has been developing a niche in legal cashiers for some time and we see plenty of vacancies coming on stream Crime solicitors are also starting to get enquiries and we anticipate quite a few firms looking to expand their duty solicitor numbers before the next CDS12 deadline.

In June Ten-Percent Legal had 17 vacancies registered and 73 candidate registrations (solicitors, fee earners and legal support staff candidates).

Jonathan Fagan, MD Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment.

How much are Law Firms paying for Professional Indemnity Insurance?

We have recently emailed out a flyer to over 8,000 law firms and employers offering a solution to reduce professional indemnity insurance (PII) by either 10% if you stay with your existing provider, or 20% if you move to a new provider (please contact us if you would like details – email, subject: “PII”). This is a scheme being operated through a new provider, one of the largest insurance companies in Europe.

Unsurprisingly a large number of firms have responded to request further details.

The variation in PII premiums being charged to firms is quite amazing. Some examples:

A sole practitioner in the South East – £3,500
South East 3 solicitor practice – £22,000
North West 3 solicitor litigation practice – £11,000
Central London small practice – £11,000
Midlands firm with <10 solicitors – £30,000
London 5 solicitor practice – £22,000
Midlands practice – <10 solicitors – £60,000
South East practice – 10-20 solicitors – £110,000

Most sole practitioners not undertaking property work appear to be able to get PII for around £3,000 – £5,000.

Many years ago, when I was training, I recall that the profession was going through the process of opening the PII market up to private providers. The arguments being put forward included the notion that competition was healthy and good, encouraging good firms and dissuading bad ones.
In recent times I hear time and again from firms that insurance premiums rocket sky high every year and it is almost impossible to change providers if a claim is made against you. It seems to be the case that PII insurance in the legal profession is reaching astronomical levels for some firms and must eat into a huge percentage of turnover each year. I have heard a horror story of a 20 solicitor practice being quoted £1.5 million to renew.

Surely there are firms out there somewhere who are doing something about this state of affairs? Have any law firms looked into purchasing their insurance together as a syndicate? To use a rather weak analogy our local community council recently got the village playing field insured for free when they discovered they could include the playing field on the village pond insurance costing £250, saving around £900 per year….

Has the profession acquiesced to insuring their practices for a high premium and simply got used to paying it? Have PII premiums in fact gone up very much since private competition was introduced 10 years ago? Medical PII used to cost around £500 per month per practitioner, in what could be seen as an extremely high risk profession. Recruitment PII costs around £600 per year for a small company not employing temps directly. Is it cheaper for solicitors to obtain PII insurance individually rather than as a firm?

We are going to look into offering access to PII as part of the new Ten-Percent Recruitment Service, recently launched (see article below). If we get anywhere, I will keep you posted.

New £60 Recruitment Service Launched – what’s the catch?

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment has recently completely changed (Monday July 11th) into a membership service. Over the 11 years we have been in the recruitment business we have constantly been asked:

“Why do you charge so much?” or “Why should we give you £6,000 plus VAT for just sending us a CV and arranging an interview?”

An interview only occurs once each time 20 CVs are sent out. For every 7 interviews arranged, only 1 results in a job offer. 33% of candidates reject each job offer and 5% leave within a week or fail to start. So whilst the work done in sending one CV to an employer is extremely minor, because of the way contingency fees work the client basically pays for all the work done on at least 100 other candidates and 6 other law firms. We have worked out that each of our clients pays for work done on at least 10 other vacancies and 100 candidates.

This is the thinking behind our membership club. Instead of paying a large, one-off hit for recruiting a candidate, employers recruit every candidate completely free of charge. There is no cost at all. Nothing. Not a penny.

Since our launch on Monday I have already been telephoned by a firm and asked:

“What’s the catch?”

The catch is membership of Ten-Percent, costing £60 per month and fixed for five years. We will no longer do any recruitment work for non-members. The £60 per month fee will not alter during the five year period and neither will it be reduced with special offers, now or in the future.

A senior partner called to ask:

“I am a sole practitioner. Why should I pay £60 a month when I might only recruit one candidate in five years and you cannot guarantee success?”

No recruitment process can possibly guarantee to find candidates every time you recruit. However, because our service encompasses job boards, a CV database, our own website and discounted Law Society Gazette advertising if needed, we have created a full recruitment service for a fraction of the usual cost. You may only use the service once in 2011, but come back in three years to get a locum for 2 weeks, a legal secretary and another solicitor and you will again have saved a substantial amount of money.

A HR Manager called to ask:

“What do you charge for candidates on top of the membership fees and do we get exclusive access to candidates who apply for our jobs?”

We explained that there are no charges. The only cost is the membership fee.

The system works as follows:

• You register a vacancy with us.
• We send the vacancy to all relevant candidates on our database. They respond.
• We forward suitable CVs to you.
• At the same time we post your vacancy across a number of job sites and websites.
• All the applications that loosely fit the job specification are forwarded through to you.
• We handle the job vacancy enquiries, we arrange interviews and assist with negotiations and job offers.
• You can also search our Candidate Database and request specific CVs.

In essence you get Recruitment Consultancy + Job Board Services for considerably less than the cost of each service.

Don’t believe us? Contact recruitment agencies and see how much they charge. Give SimplyLawJobs or Totallylegal a ring and ask how much you would pay to access their CV database and post your vacancy. Not for £60 a month.

Another partner called us to ask:

“How much do you charge for locums?”

Nothing. Not a penny. It is included in the price. Of course you still have to pay the locum (we will negotiate the rate for you), but there is no recruitment fee charged on top of this.

Finally a South East smaller sized firm who have signed up to the service already said:

“This is an outstanding idea and very innovative. We took a candidate last year on a contingency fee from another agency and it cost us about £6,500 plus VAT. We are not even sure we will keep them on the books for very long.”

This is precisely the problem we have developed this service to avoid. If a candidate leaves, you simply recruit another one at no extra cost.

What about Ten Percent Unlimited? – This service will run in tandem with the membership service. The difference between the services is minimal apart from the contract length and the price. Ten Percent Unlimited offers 1 year contracts. For details please visit 

If you are interested, have a look at the full terms and conditions on our website. The address is To go ahead simply click the button, fill out a form, and we will send you over a welcome pack including the code to instantly access our Candidate Database.

Candidates registered or updated up to 13th July

To access our Candidate Database online please contact us at Access to our candidate database is via our membership services, either through Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment (£60 a month for 5 years) or Ten-Percent Unlimited (12 month contracts available).

74 new candidates registered in June – all solicitors, legal executives, legal cashiers and experienced fee earners.

Outsourcing Secretarial Work – 10% discount on first order

TP Transcription is an Online Transcription & Typing Service with offices in London and North Wales with a team of 20 UK based transcribers offering digital file and tape transcribing services worldwide. Established in 2001, the company has been handling bulk orders (including over 500 hour projects) and one-off assignments for legal and non-legal clients including a large number of solicitors firms, B&Q, Endemol, the Office of Fair Trading, Sony, Dundee University, Cartridge World, University of Oxford, NHS Tayside, the British Medical Journal, Marie Curie and many more.

We provide ongoing typing contracts and also work on a one-off basis. Our transcribers are all based in the UK and we maintain a high standard of quality output. Our transcribers are experienced secretaries from the legal profesison, medicine or general business and some are educated to degree level and higher.

It is now possible to outsource secretarial work at very low cost. We supply the software which includes an online portal. The set up cost can be less than 200 per user including hardware and with no ongoing costs (other than the actual transcription).

We can transcribe from all audio & digital files, whether WAV, WMA, DSS (Olympus) or MP3 (plus a host of other formats), CD or DVD, Standard Cassettes, Mini and Micro Cassettes and Video (VHS). We have FTP facilities. For legal work we are happy to take templates to transcribe into. Our main service for law firms is our capacity to free up ‘in office’ secretaries to undertake daily tasks whilst reducing the backlog of work or any large transcription jobs. For details of the service please visit call 01352 751945 or email

Salary Review Update
The Ten-Percent Legal Salary Survey is available online – Click the link below to view the surveys, which are broken down into geographical areas: 

Our most recent Crime Solicitor salary list is available on our blog at  

About Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment
Formed in April 2000, Ten-Percent is an innovative recruitment membership service run online for law firms and employers across the UK and offshore offering free recruitment to members. Over 1,300 law firms and companies have used our services, and we have over 8,000 solicitors & legal executives registered for opportunities, as well as other fee earners and support staff. We donate 10% of our annual profits to charity.

Please email us details of any vacancies to or register the vacancy online on our website.

The Ten-Percent website redesign
We have just relaunched our website to make it look more up to date and user friendly. It also has all our resources accessible in one place. We have already started to see more commercial and corporate solicitors register, an area we have been traditionally less strong. High street and locum lawyers seem to have appreciated the very basic design of the original site a little more!

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