Following the decision to leave the EU in June 2016 there was initial concern over how the legal jobs market may react... | LBLBulletin

The Legal Recruitment Market and Brexit and Looking Ahead To 2019


The Legal Recruitment Market and Brexit

By Eleanor Sidgwick – Managing Director

Following the decision to leave the EU in June 2016 there was initial concern over how the legal jobs market may react. Fortunately, we have noticed very little change to hiring patterns in general. We have however seen an increased requirement from our in-house clients for qualified hires - this may be because in-house legal teams may have to manage increased workloads in preparing for all eventualities. 

Recently (Nov/Dec 2018) we have picked up on a similar market reaction following the news that Theresa May had negotiated a deal to leave; again, the decision to delay her parliamentary vote led to an increase in the hiring of in-house solicitors, but no change in the hiring patterns of private practice. 

During this politically turbulent time we appreciate that the jobs market for our candidate is of upmost importance and we are pleased to report that we have not noticed any decrease of opportunities in the locations that we work in. 

Of course, much will depend on what is decided over the coming weeks and months, naturally nobody can be certain of the impact Brexit might have.

Looking ahead to 2019

By Sean Dodsworth – Senior Consultant

Many are wondering what 2019 will hold, how best to prepare and what opportunities to lookout for. With the Cambridge market boasting significant investment, and businesses both global and start-up leading in their field, the city’s legal teams, whether in-house or private practice, are gearing up for a busy year with unknown change ahead. 

The Cambridge market in a snapshot

In particular, teams across Cambridge have been adding breadth to their skillsets to offset any uncertainty. We have seen senior appointments not only across Corporate/Commercial focussed teams, but Employment, Property and similarly related practice areas. 

Cambridge business and practices are looking for experienced in-house solicitors, senior corporate lawyers, real estate lawyers at all levels, and most notably perhaps for private client lawyers, particularly at Director level.

So whether you are looking to find your next career move, or to bolster your team, what should you be looking out for?

Looking at moving in 2019?

It is not always possible to anticipate the effect of change, especially given current uncertainty. In 2018 Errington Legal recruited for a large number of in-house roles, but recently within private practice the emphasis has been on senior and partnership positions.

In some firms, due to internal structure, it can be difficult for Senior Associates or Senior Solicitors to achieve partnership. For those in this position the legal market is looking particularly buoyant. Errington Legal have been instructed by several leading firms and businesses to work with them on senior level hires over the coming months. Some of these opportunities have arisen due to growth, and others for the purposes of succession planning.

Additionally Errington Legal have extensive experience of working with candidates who are already salaried/equity Partners and can offer support and expert guidance (including working with any restrictions).

Should you be considering Lateral Hires?

Lateral hires offer more expertise, market share and fees, not to mention a PR boost. So why aren’t you doing it already? Because making a successful lateral hire is difficult. 

There are many factors to a successful lateral hire - not least an investment of time and money - considerations of specialism, following, culture, longevity, expectations vs prior performance, and whether you need that person’s team as well.

Where lateral hires are made consciously, proactively, and as a result of a defined strategy, there are benefits across the board. As your firm grows organically as a result, you may find it’s soon time to think about lateral hires again. Just make sure you have a plan.

Errington Legal is a legal recruitment specialist. If you would like a confidential, tailored discussion about how we can help you, please get in touch on 01223 803813.

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