Musical chairs in legal – both the in-house and private practice markets are picking up
Following plenty of legal recruitment activity in the first quarter of 2014 for private practice roles, particularly in real estate and finance sectors, and in-house opportunities for lawyers in the financial services sector, the market has become even more active since the start of April.
The NQ market was busy throughout April and May. With intense competition for both jobs and candidates, a minority of candidates accepted offers and subsequently withdrew from them or started to interview with firms and then went off the radar completely. While this may have been on the advice of recruitment consultants, candidates should be careful as they may find their reputations tarnished with the partners and HR teams they were dealing with when they make their next move and the sector is not a large one.
June saw an increase in the number of mid-level roles on offer. Encouragingly the number of corporate roles being advertised highlights a long overdue revival in another key private practice sector.
In-house, the number of candidates considering a move has increased dramatically as more and increasingly attractive opportunities are advertised. This has been particularly noticeable in the commerce and industry sector.
The increase in movement of in-house candidates is being driven by the creation of new roles - as opposed to companies replacing people who have left. This is also true in private practice where firms have stronger pipelines than they have seen for a while and recognise they need to strengthen teams if they are to meet clients’ demands. A game of musical chairs is likely to follow but the good news is there is no indication the music will stop any time soon.
Marc Tobias is one of the founding directors of leading legal recruitment firm DMJ Recruitment. He and his team hire assistants and partners for many of the City’s and West End’s leading law firms.
Iain worked as an in-house lawyer before joining DMJ Recruitment in 2013. He places qualified lawyers at all levels for clients ranging from multinational FTSE 100 companies to SMEs. Focused on in-house legal recruitment he leads on executive search, branded advertising and multi-agency campaigns.