Positive recruitment of temporary and permanent Legal professionals from April to June

Ian Barker 05.07.2018

Brexit played a big role in the increased hiring of contract lawyers in Q2, whilst the push for permanent in-house legal professionals continues.

Legal recruitment market overview

Whatever your views on Brexit, the last quarter has made clear that the situation has been favourable for contract lawyers. The massive constitutional change has led to a surge in legal expertise and guidance. With many organisations trying to mitigate the impact of Brexit for their clients, many contracts are unique and there is no standard code or precedent to follow.

Q2 has seen a positive increase of permanent in-house legal roles within the Commercial Banking & Finance sector. Further strong areas include TMT in law firms and a particular focus on IT professionals. Accountancy firms continue to positively build out their teams, as the Big 4 look to expand and utilise their market share. Law firms, in general, continue to hire across the board in Real Estate, Banking, Employment, Tax and Regulatory. Corporate and commercial in-house hires remain strong, with the technology sector hiring first time Legal Counsel roles. Most permanent hires continue to be at the 2-5 years PQE level.

Legal recruitment Q2 update

Most exciting roles seen throughout Q2

  1. Opportunities in the Big 4 where the professional will work with a substantial client base, the potential for huge progression and expansion led roles.
  2. TMT - from Legal Counsel up to Head of - offering exciting opportunities to work within established and emerging technology sectors/companies.
  3. Top Tier Banking Institutions - Senior regulatory lawyers to work on Brexit projects.

Desirable skills sought after in Legal candidates

  • Data Privacy law/GDPR
  • Employment law
  • Corporate law
  • Regulatory
  • Real Estate
  • IP
  • IT
  • Banking
  • Derivatives
  • Custody

Predictions for the upcoming quarter

Data Privacy roles led by GDPR/regulatory issues will continue to spike both in-house and within law firms. We have observed an increase in permanent GDPR vacancies in-house as companies were looking for an internal resource for day-to-day GDPR compliance. However, privacy roles have slowed down on the contract side. Companies are now not under the same pressure to implement GDPR, they now just need to maintain the work that has been done, leading the way for stable permanent opportunities.

Other contributors to the Q2 Legal recruitment update were:

Caroline Buckley | Senior Consultant, Legal Recruitment - 020 7092 0204

Yamini Pant | Consulatant, Legal Recruitment - 020 7092 0245

Ian Barker's picture
UK Director - Professional Services (Taxation, Audit, Legal)
ibarker@morganmckinley.co.uk