in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report June 2016

Legal Job Market Update – June 9th 2016
May was, as ever, a busy month. Despite the concerns about the property market dropping off after the changes to Stamp Duty the demand for property lawyers has continued across the board. Newly Qualified Solicitors with training contracts finishing this summer are starting to register en masse and solicitors who have been attending interviews in March and April are beginning to hand in their notice. Apart from the usual plummet in work over half term – which this year has coincided with some lovely weather – the locum and permanent legal job markets have continued to stay busy.

We expect this month to be quieter. Firstly we have the EU referendum in the last week of June. I am not convinced this is going to make a big difference. However the football match between Wales and England on Thursday June 16th at 2pm is going to make a huge difference to workloads in just about every workplace in the UK. Coupled with the various other games from the tournament being played during the day it is going to result in lower levels of business coming through.

Permanent vacancies are currently going through the peak of the recruitment wave which will last until mid-July. Plenty of vacancies coming through plus lots of firms open to recruiting ad hoc when new candidates register with us.

Conveyancing for permanent roles and locums is now busy again. Locums are still around for summer cover but there is still a clear lack of available candidates for permanent work. Commercial property is also very busy and some firms are struggling to cope with the demand. Certain areas of the country including Essex seem to lack any applicants for property vacancies at all for certain levels of PQE.

Family law has seen a few vacancies come in and for the first time ever we were unable to source CVs for a 1-2 month role in the Greater Manchester area. This has never happened before for family locum roles and is perhaps indicative of the locum and permanent markets picking up.

Wills & Probate is busy although not as much at the moment. Candidates are not widely available and there is still a major demand for private client locums as a result (and an ensuing shortage of locums!).

Litigation – both civil and commercial – is still very quiet. Not a lot going on at all. Corporate commercial work is always sporadic for us as we are not on larger firm Preferred Supplier Lists.

A summary of work we did in May is below.

May 2016 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments down
* Conveyancing vacancies – busy
* Commercial Property vacancies – some
* Wills & Probate vacancies – some
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – few
* Family vacancies – few
* Market outlook – work will continue to increase as we are in the busiest recruitment cycle of the financial year (May – July).

Current live vacancies: 693
New permanent vacancies added in May: 42
New locum vacancies added in May: 69
New candidates registering: 83
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies May: 3.9 (Good)

Ten-Percent 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 is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes for the Ten-Percent website and the Legal Recruitment blog, an award-winning selection of articles and features on legal recruitment and the legal profession. You can contact Jonathan at

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 You can contact Jonathan at