The conclusion of the third quarter saw the busiest month of the year so far (September) come to an end. There was a marked increase in new in-house roles coming on board – some of them contract based – and a number of smaller firms that had not recruited over the past few years started to put their heads above the parapet.
Our clients continue to be optimistic and are looking to ramp up their departments. Shortages of good solicitors remain in the areas of Corporate Law, Tax, Financial Services Regulation, and Capital Markets. Experienced Funds Lawyers are constantly in demand with both Law firms and in-house.
There has been a lot movement of solicitors moving from Mid-Tier firms to the Top 6 firms (many of whom are keen to gain bigger ticket experience) and a contra flow of candidates from the Big 6 to the mid-tier firms in order to have a better work-life balance. You could say ‘the grass is always greener’ etc.
Law firms continue to seek new partners who have a nook of clients, or are proven business developers, as they seek to regain some market share lost over the past number of years. These roles have been at both equity and salaried partner levels.
Salaries continue to rise for junior solicitors in the commercial law firms. We are now seeing a situation where many very junior solicitors are now earning the same salary as their colleagues who have 2-3 years more experience as them.
As we head into the final quarter of the year, the market is continuing to grow steadily, clients and candidates alike are optimistic about gaining legal employment, and although we are far off where we were 7 years ago, long may the growth and optimism remain.
By John Macklin