in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report dated 12th March 2018


February has been the usual mixed month – shorter by a few days and interspersed with skiing holidays! The effect it has on recruitment is the same every year – the market goes quiet for about 10 days and then gets busy again for March as we approach the end of the financial year. Still no sign of conveyancing redundancies (I reported last month that a couple of partners in central London had fed back that lots of conveyancing CVs were heading their way) and I wonder if this was a way of trying to reduce salary expectations. London is quiet generally but other areas are busy. We get plenty of permanent vacancies – there are few candidates to fill them. Partly this is due to the large gulf between candidate expectations and employer realities, but we still haven’t seen a shift by firms to increase salaries. Locum work has been fairly busy in February (a c.50% increase on January) and we expect this to continue as the year progresses.


February 2018 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies down
* Locum assignments up
* London vacancies: 164
* South East: 388
* South West: 103
* Midlands: 53
* North West: 89
* North East: 52
* Wales: 21

Statistics for February (January in brackets)
Current live vacancies: 872 (852)
New permanent vacancies added in February: 24 (79)
New locum vacancies added in February: 46 (33)
New candidates registering: 61 (48)
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies: 3.6 (Good)

TP Legal Recruitment publishes the number of new vacancies, new candidates and indicate the increase or decrease from the previous month. We aim to assist the legal profession by showing the market from our perspective. Our clients tend to be high street law firms and smaller sized commercial practices.
The average job strength gives a good indication of the market because:
1. A poor Job Strength on vacancies indicates a struggling market. When trade is bad, employers seek options for increasing turnover which involve sourcing candidates with their own following and no salary.
2. A strong Job Strength on vacancies indicates a buoyant market, particularly if it is in connection with an increase in numbers of new vacancies.
Vacancies are each graded 1-5, with 5 being a very strong vacancy and 1 being a very weak vacancy.


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 17 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 You can contact Jonathan at