Legal Recruitment News June 2013

Newsletter – June 2013 – Legal Recruitment News

Welcome to the June edition of Legal Recruitment News. We have included our job market update, new candidate lists, articles on retirement options and current hourly rates & salaries recently observed across the UK.

Legal Recruitment News is written by Jonathan Fagan, MD of the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment group (Interim LawyersTen-Percent £60Ten-Percent Legal Careers and TP Transcriptions).

Job Market Update – June 4th

The job market in April and May has been busy. Very busy indeed. It appears that the property market is back on the move again, or at least a good number of conveyancing transactions are being undertaken. Whether this is a good solid sustained recovery or whether it is because sellers are being more realistic with their prices in some parts of the UK remains to be seen.

This is having a knock-on effect for legal recruitment. In quite a few areas law firms are starting to think about how to cope with the increase in work and looking at taking on additional staff. Locum and contract bookings are up this year – partly because more firms are recruiting consultants on an ongoing basis for 1,2 or 3 days per week to cover the increased amount of work.

So far this year (April 2013 onwards) we have seen more genuine permanent salaried property and private client jobs than we did in the whole of 2010.

There have been a lot fewer firms registering commission only posts with us as well or recruitment for solicitors with following. I sense a growing realisation amongst law firms that the majority of lawyers want to work for a salary, and in an expanding market paying commission or finding anyone with a following prepared to move is extremely hard.

Commercial posts seem to be continuing on an unsteady line – some times we hear of the medium to large firms recruiting at all levels, and the next we hear of redundancies. Furthermore I am aware of a good number of commercial vacancies falling into the ‘fishing expedition’ area of recruitment – ie the firms are checking to see who is out there or the HR departments are busy justifying their existence! I am aware of this through career coaching in recent weeks and lawyers expressing their frustration at applying for vacancies only to be told that they are ‘on hold’.

In terms of litigation work, the market is fairly quiet. We see occasional new vacancies coming in for civil litigation and family work (privately funded), but very rarely do we see employment law posts or insolvency. Whether this is because they are now the domain of law firms with insurance policy products or Peninsula style work is another matter entirely.

One area that has definitely hit rock bottom is crime. I suspect no crime practitioner needs us to say this, but hardly any recruitment occurred in the last duty solicitor rota deadline week. This is unheard of – we usually get inundated with enquiries, whether or not firms go ahead and recruit. I suspect that this will continue until best value tendering comes into play. On that front, I should say that I fully expect just about every crime firm to put a tender in. Whether or not they do so in their own names or in some new start up to hide the fact it is them, I am convinced that the dog-eat-dog environment that senior partners of specialist crime firms operate in will stop any unified response to the whole affair. I really hope I am wrong in this assumption, although it is hard to see at the moment how anyone can possibly see a long term future in crime as a qualified and skilled professional lawyer. Even more interesting will be the fact that if Stobarts Legal move into the Legal Aid arena, their lawyers will inevitably be getting paid less than the truck drivers who work for Stobarts.

Overall outlook? I agree with the recent Reed job market report – we are back up to 2008 levels for permanent recruitment, although 2008 was still not a wonderful year compared with the 2005-2007 property and recruitment boom!

We now have over 80 law firm members in the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment £60 per month service (unlimited recruitment). It is likely we will close the scheme to new members when we get to 100 law firms and review the service before allowing any new applications. If you want further details on this option please visit our website.

We are now officially in the locum season. Assignments are now coming in regularly on an ongoing basis as firms recruit for 1-3 days per week (locums give you the flexibility to expand and contract as work ebbs and flows), covering for solicitors moving on and those more urgently needed to cover annual or sick leave. is our specialist site for locum and contract assignments.

Any questions regarding the above? Contact me via LinkedIn (,Facebook, Twitter (@tenpercentlegal) or old fashioned email –

Jonathan Fagan, June 4th 2013.

10 Most Recent Candidates
Selection of new candidates registered in the past 24 hours. Got a permanent vacancy or locum assignment? Get in touch and we will send over CVs to assist, sometimes almost immediately. Over 10,000 solicitors and legal executives are registered with us.
Twitter: @tenpercentlegal
Tel: 0207 127 4343

03061603 Commercial & Residential Property Solicitor – Bristol and South West. 2013 qualifier. Developer experience.
03061353 Wills & Probate Solicitor – 12 months PQE. Bristol or Birmingham.
31051637 Commercial Property Solicitor – 6 years PQE. London
28051244 Conveyancing Solicitor Locum – £30 per hour for annual leave cover – August onwards. London and South East.
04060846 Family Solicitor – 2 years PQE. Full range of work – high volume and quality cases covered. London and South East.
01062327 Commercial Litigation and Commercial Contracts Solicitor – 3 years PQE. £40k salary. London.
31051934 Family Solicitor Locum, 20 years PQE. South West, Thames Valley and South East.
31051727 Conveyancing Solicitor Locum, 6 years PQE, available from 19th June – London and surrounds.
31051307 Commercial Contracts and IP Solicitor – relocating to London. 2013 qualifier.
31051019 Residential and Commercial Conveyancing Solicitor Locum – Essex, Herts and East London. Available from 13th June.

Locuming as a Retirement Option
Options on retirement and locum work

A fairly common call at the moment is from senior solicitors in smaller practices asking about options on retirement or semi-retirement. Quite a few are aware of the option of going off to do some locum work, but very few are aware of what this entails and the various options you have available.

Firstly you need to think about what you want to get out of retirement. Do you want to undertake regular activities on a weekly basis, or do you want to spend certain times of the year away from home and family? Locum work falls into three categories usually – firstly assignments that are close enough for you to get to, secondly assignments that will require you to experience the delights of the Premier Inn chain (I can recommend them compared with Travelodge!) and thirdly assignments that are part time and ongoing.

A good number of retired solicitors think they will just do local assignments but realise pretty quickly that if they need money this will not be enough to sustain them. Furthermore it is very unlikely that recruitment agents will put work your way if they have the option of one very flexible solicitor who takes every assignment sent to them or you – a very specific solicitor.

Others think that it will be possible to get full time permanent work for a few years before winding down. Again this is very unlikely. After all, if you are reading this and currently a senior partner, would you employ yourself? Think very carefully and be honest! Your salary expectations will be extremely high for a good guess, and unless you have a good quality following of clients you are not going to be in much demand from other law firms. Age can be a very limiting factor in the recruitment business for a lot of firms, particularly smaller ones. There is always concern that a semi-retired senior partner is going to be arrogant, impossible to work with and extremely slow.

The best way of approaching retirement using locum or contract work is to accept it for what it is – sporadic, a bit of a nuisance, but fairly profitable if you are able to demonstrate flexibility.

If you have a lot of commitments during the week – ie golf club one day, caring for grandchildren another, walking in the hills for a third day, it is definitely not for you. I would recommend keeping an eye out for ongoing part time consultancy work instead. Usually advertised as locum it is the solution for anyone looking to scale down their working life but keep a steady income flowing through the door. It won’t make you very much but it will maintain an enjoyable retirement if you like golf, cooking, fine wines, grandchildren time or similar interests….

One of the other questions asked is how much work you can expect as a locum. It used to be the case that you could guarantee 9 months out of every 12 months, but I would estimate that this is probably currently running at about 6 months out of every 12 months for most people. It all depends on your circumstances…

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes theLegal 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.

Charity Donations
The Ten-Percent Foundation is in the process of determining its charitable donations for 2013. We now have a pot of about £10,000 to donate. We were hoping to complete donations before the end of March but this has dragged on due to our increased workload! We like giving money to legal charities or charities with links to solicitors or charities operated or established by solicitors. Recently we donated money to Alder Hey childrens hospital and Thurrock CAB.

If you have any suggestions please email Jonathan Fagan at The foundation likes to donate sums of around £500-£1,000 although we donate larger sums from time to time. No form filling is required and we prefer specific projects or smaller charities.

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 13 years ago. So far over £48,000 has been donated to charities in the UK and Africa including LawCare and the CAB.

Recent Salary Levels and Hourly Rates for Solicitors

Recent salary levels seen by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment from actual placements and locum assignments.

  1. 5 year PQE Conveyancing solicitor – Essex – £35,000.
  2. 10 year PQE Conveyancing solicitor – SW London – £42,500.
  3. Wills & Probate Legal Executive – Hampshire – £23,000.
  4. Residential Conveyancing HNW Solicitor – Central London – £55,000
  5. Residential Conveyancing HNW Solicitor – London West End – £45,000
  6. Family Solicitor – Milton Keynes – £30,000
  7. Family Locum – Devon – £35 per hour.
  8. Family and Litigation Locum – Mid Wales – £25 per hour.
  9. Conveyancing Executive – SW London – £23,000.
  10. Commercial Property Solicitor – 5 years PQE – Bristol – £42,000.
  11. NQ Tax Solicitor – London – £55,000.
  12. Conveyancing Locum – SW London – £30 per hour.
  13. Conveyancing Locum – Surrey – £35 per hour
  14. Conveyancing Locum – ILEX – Surrey – £20 per hour.
  15. Conveyancing Locum – Solicitor – Central London – £25 per hour.
  16. Wills & Probate Locum – Middlesex – £25 per hour.
  17. Wills & Probate Locum – Yorkshire – £17 per hour.
  18. Conveyancing Fee Earner – Milton Keynes – £11 per hour.

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

Warm regards

Jonathan Fagan

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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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