Legal Job Market Report – April 2023
in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report – April 2023

Here is our summary of the current state of the UK legal job market:

Locum Recruitment – Quiet
Locum work remains at a reduced level, and this continues to be down to a drop in conveyancing locum requests. We are getting a number of new registrations from professional property locums who have traditionally used some of our competitor agencies rather than us, and I am sure some of our property locums are doing the same. Corporate and commercial roles remain thin on the ground as well, but we are still seeing a steady trickle of assignments in across all fronts.

Locum assignment updates here: https://www.interimlawyers.co.uk/category/locum-solicitor-updates/

Permanent Recruitment – Quiet
Salaried work has not seen the same drop in jobs being registered, but we are still 50% down on last year. A number of firms are actively recruiting conveyancers on a permanent basis, partly because they have been waiting to do this for months (if not years in some cases!) and also because not all firms are quiet in their property departments. I suspect that we will start to see signs of HNW & cash purchase conveyancing remaining busy, whilst mortgage-backed purchases are likely to be in some decline. This may explain the differing figures coming from the Halifax and Nationwide this month..

Vacancies can be viewed here: https://www.ten-percent.co.uk/vacancies/

Law Firms for Sale – Busy
Law firm sales & merger enquiries are busy and we have had a number of new clients listing on the market in the past week. This month we have also welcomed Taillte Mallon to our team as a graduate trainee adviser as our work expands. A number of deals have recently completed or about to complete.

Full list of firms for sale at https://www.jonathanfagan.co.uk/law-accountancy-firms-for-sale/. For valuations, exit planning or a confidential discussion about a potential sale or acquisition generally please ring 01824 780937 and speak to Jonathan Fagan or email jf@jonathanfagan.co.uk

Ten Percent Group statistics for March 2023 (March 2022 in brackets)

New contract roles added – 22 (55)
New permanent roles added – 34 (60)
New candidates added – 22 (60)

KPMG & REC Report on Jobs UK 12th April 2023

Temp billings growth hits six-month high
Permanent staff appointments fall marginally
Availability of staff rises for first time since February 2021

Commentary from Claire Warnes, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK
““March was a curate’s egg [I’ve never heard this one before!] for the jobs market. Candidate availability improved for the first time in over two years as people regained the confidence to look for new roles, but economic uncertainty caused firms to make redundancies and often opt for temporary hires over permanent placements. This unease saw temporary billings rise at their quickest rate for six months and pay continue to increase in line with the cost of living. While the labour market continues to show resilience, it is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels of stability.”

Commentary from Neil Carberry REC CEO
““Over the past few weeks, we have seen a bit more confidence among employers, and this is reflected in this latest data. While the temporary market is still growing month-on-month, the permanent market contraction has eased significantly in March. After six months of slowing activity from last summer’s peak, the market is now better described as flat than declining. This is the mark of an economy performing better than was expected at the end of last year, and means it is still a good time to be looking for work, with hospitality, healthcare, accountancy and financial roles all powering ahead. The big news is that candidate availability is up for
the first time in more than two years. This suggests that, while the market is still tight, it should be getting gradually easier for firms to hire over the next few months. The continuing fast rate of pay growth is likely reflective of the impact of inflation on wage offers, as well as low labour supply. That means increasing pay is likely to persist, despite more people beginning to look for work.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.ten-percent.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk