Like many others, I was certainly ready for a few days break over Easter. The year has been tremendously busy and having some time away with family to recharge the batteries and indulge in hot cross buns and chocolate eggs was just what the doctor ordered!
The time away also let me reflect on the way we have found the market and how things have unfolded in 2017 to date.
We have witnessed a continuing appetite for growth among our law firm clients in the first quarter of the year, as well as a rising demand for legal talent across the market. We are also seeing renewed evidence of law firm M&A activity, high profile Partner and Team moves taking place, and a weekly influx of new opportunities becoming available for lawyers at all levels.
Whilst this represents positive news against a backdrop of a certain amount of political uncertainty at home and abroad, the primary challenge for law firms in terms of their recruitment strategy remains fairly simple: to be in the best position to attract and retain the number of experienced lawyers required to meet growing levels of client demand.
Our clients continue to seek to recruit across a number of core practice areas, such as Corporate M&A, Real Estate, Construction, Banking and Commercial IP/IT and we are seeing firms go the extra mile to secure the best candidates – especially in premium disciplines – with salaries arguably at their highest median level at any time since 2008. The implementation of flexible working initiatives (including remote working and part-time or job share arrangements) are becoming ever more prevalent, and firms are working hard to incentivise their people with enhanced financial rewards (including transparent bonus schemes) as well as enhancing benefits in pension contributions, healthcare and even parking provisions!
In addition, the NQ season is now well underway. Over the past few weeks, we have seen a number of new NQ vacancies being released externally, and we expect this to ramp up now that we are in a new tax year and many firms are finalising their recruitment budgets for the next annual period. We currently have a number of opportunities available in locations throughout the Midlands and we believe that NQ salaries at the top firms will be anywhere between £41-43,500 this year.
Whether you are already based in the Midlands, or are considering relocating to the region, we would be delighted to hear from you. We work closely with a range of law firm clients including international, national, and regional law firms and are currently instructed on a number of active vacancies in the following practice areas at NQ, Solicitor, Associate, Senior/Principal Associate and Partner level:
• Commercial (including IT/IP specific roles)
• Banking & Finance
• Real Estate (Commercial Property and Development)
• Property Litigation
• Residential Property/Conveyancing
• Private Client (including Court of Protection and Contentious Probate)
With the Easter holidays now (sadly) behind us, this is an excellent time to be taking stock and perhaps exploring your own career options. If you are interested in hearing about the best opportunities that would be relevant to you, or wish to receive market information including salary advice based on research carried out within the Midlands legal market, please do get in touch with me on JonNeedham@Chadwicknott.co.uk.