FAQ

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment FAQ’s

What is Ten-Percent.co.uk?
Do you assist with both locum and permanent legal recruitment?
What are legal recruitment consultants?
What is a legal job?
What is the difference between recruitment consultants and agencies? What are headhunters?
Why do recruitment consultants exist?
Why should I register with you?
How many agencies should I register with?
What do ‘PQE’ and ‘NQ’ mean?
What are your ethical policies?
I am a law graduate seeking a training contract – can you assist?
I am a law graduate seeking paralegal work – can you assist?
I have a legal career-related question for you
What do you charge firms for your services?
What is a fee earner?
Can you find legal jobs for overseas lawyers?
What is an accredited police station representative?
Which areas of law do you cover?
Do you deal with in-house legal department and local authorities?
Do you deal with large city law firms?
Do you assist with moves overseas?
Do you really donate 10% of your profits to charity?
I have a service I wish to advertise to lawyers – can you assist?
I want to know what salary I should be getting
Do you offer a CV writing or review service?

Who and What is Ten-Percent.co.uk?
Ten-Percent.co.uk is an online legal recruitment agency for solicitors, legal executives,  lawyers and legal support staff looking for new positions. We work with private practice law firms, in house legal departments and employers wishing to employ lawyers and law staff. We have been around for over 15 years and provide both permanent and locum recruitment services. Further information about us and why we are unique can be found on our about us page.

Do you assist with both locum and permanent legal recruitment?
Yes we do. If you would like to find out about our locum services please visit www.interimlawyers.co.uk – there is a full FAQ section on the site as well as a free downloadable guide to being a locum. Our Ten-Percent website is geared towards solicitors looking for permanent work.

What are Legal Recruitment Consultants?
Legal recruitment consultants are employment agencies attempting to locate potential candidates for solicitors firms as well as work with lawyers to source suitable jobs. They work by advertising for lawyers to register with them and then charging firms for the introduction to the lawyers. The term “recruitment agency” tends to be used for more general recruitment – eg lorry drivers or nurses – but the principle is the same. Technically we are an employment agency and not an employment business. These are terms used in UK legislation to differentiate between recruitment companies who employ candidates to do temporary work (these are called an “employment business”) and those who introduce candidates only (an “employment agency”). We fall into the latter category

What is a Legal Job?
We help with legal jobs. These can include anything from a solicitor through to a receptionist, legal secretary or general fee earner. Legal jobs cover roles for legal executives, solicitors, barristers, trainee solicitors, paralegals, legal cashiers and legal support staff, together with marketing managers or managing directors. Basically it includes any job that involves working in the legal profession.

What is the difference between recruitment consultants and agencies? What are headhunters?
Headhunters are consultants who either source well regarded solicitors via their network or simply cold call as many as possible (depending on your level of cynicism) to try to persuade them to change firms with offers of high salary or better terms. Most recruitment consultants offer a headhunting service and call it “search and selection”.

There is very little difference between recruitment consultants and agencies, except that consultants tend to operate in the high end market and agencies at the lower end. For example, if you ran a warehouse and wanted to recruit a logistics manager you would probably use an agency calling itself a recruitment consultancy (usually because they charge a higher fee!) and if you wanted to recruit a forklift truck driver you would use a recruitment agency, even though both are the same. See above for further info (under “What are Legal Recruitment Consultants”).

Why do legal recruitment consultants exist?
Good question! Partly because there has traditionally been a nationwide shortage of a certain standard of lawyer, and secondly, because finding a new opportunity is not often simply a case of looking in the Law Society Gazette at the ‘Situations Vacant’ page. At any one time, there may be 6 or 7 adverts for a particular area of the country, but we will know that there are a number of other firms in that area have vacancies but not bothered advertising them. Firms do not always advertise new jobs; partly because they know that consultants can assist, and secondly because the cost of advertising is prohibitive for the return they will get. It can take over 2 years to get a vacancy filled in some areas of the country.

Why should I register with you?
We are unique; a specialist legal recruitment consultancy, concentrating specifically on solicitors and legal support staff in private practice and in-house in the UK. We adhere to ethical guidelines and keep all recruitment strictly confidential. We have an ethical policy, an environmental policy, a privacy policy, we donate 10% of our annual profits to charity and we are good at securing and locating new opportunities for lawyers registered with us. Read our feedback page for comments from previous service-users. Ten-Percent is managed by a non-practising solicitor. As you will rapidly see if you register with us – we are not pushy salespeople!

How many agencies should I register with?
How long is a piece of string? We cannot answer this question with any authority because we would like it if you only registered with us! It depends on your circumstances. A quick example may assist. If you are a duty solicitor in Manchester, looking for positions in Manchester City Centre, there are about 35 firms you could apply to for work. If you register with 3 agencies, each one will send either your full CV, anonymous details or a briefing letter to each firm, causing a headache for both you and the firm. We would advise you not to register with more than one agency to begin with if you are one of the following:

High Street 
Conveyancing (NQ-Partner) and Wills & Probate/Private Client (NQ-Partner).

Commercial
Commercial Property (NQ-20 yrs PQE), Corporate Finance (1-8yrs PQE), Banking (2-5yrs PQE), Tax (1-7yrs PQE), Shipping (2-5yrs PQE)

If you are not one of the above, you should register with one agency to begin with, allow them 2 weeks to make any necessary enquiries, and then think about registering with others if unsuccessful. If you live in a remote area, such as North Devon, North Lincolnshire or the Lake District, we would recommend allowing at least 3 weeks before registering with anyone else.

What do PQE and NQ mean?
PQE stands for Post Qualification Experience (or equivalent for legal executives or non-qualified staff). NQ stands for Newly Qualified (solicitors). PQE is often given simply as a guide and it can be worth applying for roles still where PQE is indicated and does not fit your circumstances.

What are your ethical policies?
We abhor discrimination of any kind – this has traditionally been a major problem over the years in the UK legal profession in certain firms (age, sex, race etc..). We give candidates & firms honest and impartial advice. We have a privacy policy and do not undertake any recruitment without your consent. The company is committed to donate 10% of our net profits to charity each year and we have an environmental policy (we avoid printing anything where possible!). We also believe in equal opportunities for all; regardless of disability, race, religion, colour, age or creed.

I am a law graduate seeking a training contract – can you assist?
No, is the simple answer. We get on average between 5 and 15 application forms and CVs each day from students and non-qualified paralegals without 6 months experience asking for our assistance. We cannot assist because firms do not want to pay an external source to find trainees when the market is so overloaded with potential lawyers! We can assist with careers advice, either as paid consultants, or on a questions by email basis. Visit our careers shop for details.

I am a law graduate seeking paralegal work – can you assist?
Sometimes, yes. It depends on your experience. You must have 6 months paid experience (can be unpaid if of sufficient quality in a law practice) and be looking for permanent paralegal work.

I have a legal career-related question for you
Great! Visit www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop to get a full personal response. We will try to respond to your query within 24 hours but this is not always possible if we are busy.

What do you charge firms for your services?
Nothing at all if the firms are members – see www.tenpercentunlimited.co.uk for details – the law firm pay a monthly subscription fee. We charge varying success fees to non-member firms depending on the vacancy and the firm – our fees can be found here. Recruitment through Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is absolutely free for all our law firm members. Of course, there is a catch, which is that employers have to apply for membership which costs from just £60 a month. This is somewhat revolutionary as the usual agency fees are c.25% per candidate with a 3 month rebate. Solicitors firms using our standard non-contingency fees (ie the traditional model) are offered 12 month rebates, which are very rare in the recruitment world. Candidates do not pay any fees to us – to charge a person to find a job is illegal in the UK.

What is a Fee Earner?
A fee earner is someone who earns fees for the law firm they work for. A secretary does not earn fees – he/she administrates. So for example a solicitor is a fee earner and so is a trainee solicitor. Both bill clients for their time – usually in 6 minute increments. A receptionist is not a fee earner and neither is a marketing manager.

Can you help overseas lawyers find legal jobs in the UK?
The honest answer would be that it is very unlikely. UK law firms virtually always want UK law experience and will not look at lawyers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan or Malaysia, even though UK lawyers making the move the other way are quite often in demand in some of these countries. Your best bet is to try the larger London recruitment agencies who have contracts with the City law firms for document review and higher level paralegal work.

What is an accredited police station representative?
We get asked this question on a regular basis by paralegals and overseas lawyers. The police station accreditation scheme was introduced in the 1990’s in England and Wales, after solicitors were accused of sending their secretaries down to the police station to sit with murder suspects, and did not really understand their role at the station, which should be proactive. A particularly notorious case was in Cardiff when a secretary/receptionist sent by a solicitor to observe an interview sat through questioning whilst a detective asked a suspect over 100 times whether he had committed the murder and subjected him to constant interviewing without a break. The Law Society began to develop guidelines, and soon a recognised qualification emerged. You do not need to be qualified, but you must have a firm arranged with whom you can undertake the training. The cost is about £500 for the examinations, which consist of a written portfolio of cases you have experienced, written exam for some levels of candidates, and an oral exam. This is a tough test, and the rewards for passing it are that you can undertake police station work (which may or may not be considered a benefit when you are sat at a police station at 2am on a Sunday morning with a particularly unpleasant client!). It takes between 3 and 12 months to complete this qualification. If a solicitor wants to join the duty solicitor rota, he or she has to obtain this qualification at some stage in the same way as non-qualified representatives.  We cannot assist with the training or courses on offer, and recommend that you do an internet search for police station law to read more about the scheme, and perhaps visit providers websites for details of courses offered. As the years progress and successive governments make an increased mockery of the whole crime defence system, the role of the Police Station Representative gets more unattractive as a career option.

Which areas of law do you cover?
Everything, anywhere in the world, if we get instructions from firms and candidates. Our main areas where we do most business are with small-medium sized solicitors firms either on the high street, or in niche commercial practices in the City of London or regions. Although we have links and dealings with larger city firms, we are not so busy in these areas.

We have however dealt with companies as diverse as offshore private practice law firms, in-house departments, charities, local authorities, licensed conveyancers and international internet law practices. Local authorities have gone down a different route these days and use recruitment process outsourcing services (RPOs) – more on this below.

Do you assist with in house legal departments and local authorities?
Yes. We have regular dealings with in house legal departments across the UK. Most of them do not sign up as members and use us for the supply of locums or contractors on an ad hoc basis. We also get permanent roles in and we have worked with organisations as diverse as oil companies and government departments over the years.

In recent times some local authorities have decided to outsource part of the function of their HR departments to large companies who operate a list of recruiters to supply staff. We suspect the HR people within the local authorities thought this may be easier for them and they would no longer have to bother phoning round agencies on a Friday afternoon! Having coached redundant executives via the Jobcentres a few years ago we know that a number of HR staff from local authorities were made redundant following their decisions to outsource their own jobs! Very silly… Are the outsourcers really necessary to find temporary staff? We very much doubt it..

These types of arrangements have made it harder for smaller agencies to stay profitable when undertaking local authority work, as the middle men now cream off rather a lot of the profit, and Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment has chosen to stay well away from these contracts for the time being.

Do you deal with large city firms?
Not really. We would love to, but they always seem to want to give £000s to very large recruitment agencies in order to fulfill their vacancies! We used to have a go at their generic legal jobs, which on the whole get passed out to about 15 difference agencies, but soon realised it was more trouble than it is worth because very often the criteria is so tight it excludes about 90% of applicants. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment has traditionally stuck to the small-medium sized solicitors’ practices, although we have worked with some giant firms and companies in the past (see our client page for details). Over the years we have been involved with a large number of Tier 1 and 2 Legal 500 firms.

Do you assist with moves overseas?
Yes. We have worked with law firms in offshore locations before such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. We will not work with any law firms anywhere in the world (particularly the Middle East) who are unwilling to provide evidence of a equal opportunity policy that is applied in practice. As we expand our services it is hoped at some stage to establish an Australian Ten-Percent to service the same sectors there, as well as offices in China, France and Germany. We do not tend to work in the opposite direction – UK firms tend to go for UK solicitors or lawyers from overseas with UK experience. Australian and New Zealand lawyers in particular are always very surprised to hear this as UK lawyers are welcomed in both countries!

Do you really donate 10% of your profits to charity?
Yes. In our first year (2000-2001) we donated £500 to a local childrens hospice in Leicestershire. This was more than 10%. In our second year we donated around £1,800 and by our fifth year of trading we had donated about £15,000 to charitable causes. We established a charitable trust called the Ten-Percent Foundation in 2002 and all our donation is distributed via this trust, which has one external trustee and one internal. The trust has a number of aims which include supporting small charitable causes with either a link to our local areas, the legal profession or to alleviate poverty in the third world. Our employees are encouraged to spend time on community related projects which in the past have included dry-stone walling on a local nature reserve. By 2016 over £75,000 will have been donated – full details of our donations can be found on our Charity page.

I have a service I wish to advertise to lawyers – can you assist?
Yes – we have a shopping mall for lawyers and we would be delighted to discuss your service with you. Contact us using the online form.

I want to know what salary I should be getting.
Visit the careers shop for personalised salary reviews – www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop.

Do you prepare or advise on resumes or CV’s?
Yes – visit our CV pages at www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop