Badenoch & Clark | Q3 Market Insight: legal blog

  • Guy Emmerson
  • 04/01/2016
  • Adecco Group

Report: City practices and in-house roles benefit most from calm after the election storm

The general election in May 2015 caused a great amount of uncertainty and insecurity within the legal recruitment market. Following the Conservatives’ surprise win and with David Cameron having waved goodbye to his former coalition partners, hiring activity has again picked up and a strong sense of positivity is permeating throughout the market. Below, we discuss the findings of our Q3 Market Insight report and the ways in which this newfound positivity has manifested itself.

With the uncertainty of the general election behind us, legal practices across the country are again looking for new talent.

City practices, in particular, are booming. Some 91% of legal hiring managers at city practices are expecting to recruit across a range of levels in 2015, with 61% looking for junior staff and mid-level associates whilst 35% look to hire at director and partner level.

But the boom hasn’t only manifested itself in greater hiring intentions. One of the key findings of our Q3 Market Insight report was a shift in demand from temporary contractors to permanent hires. Clearly, confidence in the market is growing.

This growth has many roots. Global deal work is on the increase, as is investment in infrastructure and real estate and thereby the demand for high-level regulatory and investigatory advice.

Candidates are also benefitting from this new boom. As evidenced by our Q3 Market Insight report, candidates are increasingly securing significant sign-on bonuses even when taking nominal pay cuts on lateral moves.

In-house roles have also seen a marked increase over this quarter after a typically quiet summer. Permanent in-house vacancies have increased by 58% from Q3 last year, and there has been a 53% increase from Q2 this year in new vacancies at the mid-senior level. It is likely to be only a matter of time before this increase reaches senior levels, as the passive candidate pool picks up steam ahead of Q4.

Temporary roles are also benefiting from this momentum, with candidates being snapped up quickly and fielding multiple offers.

Overall, there is a real buzz around city and in-house functions. Whilst hiring activity could slow down before the end of the year, employers are still struggling to find the talent they need to fill numerous and varied vacancies. For candidates, however, now may well be the time to cash in on skills that are quickly becoming a rare commodity.