Over the past five years, the legal market has been through a considerable amount of change: the current instability of the global economic climate has meant that law firms and in-house legal departments continue to be affected by cost pressures and recruitment freezes.
In light of this, clients are seeking alternative solutions to reduce costs and meet their legal recruitment needs in the form of interim legal professionals, as these personnel ease workload, enable flexibility, reduce costs and usually require less training (depth and/or breadth) than a permanent hire.
From a candidate perspective, interim opportunities can be seen to provide the flexibility not necessarily afforded to permanent roles.
Why do clients choose interim?
There are a number of reasons why clients turn to interim solutions. These include:
- An increase in workload
- Maternity/sickness/holiday cover
- Regulatory changes affecting business operations
- Merger and acquisition activity affecting business operations
- Litigious matters affecting their business
There is often an immediate need for legal professionals, particularly candidates with a specific language or jurisdictional skill-set to assist on special projects such as due diligence and large disclosure exercises.
In some scenarios, the client may require expertise in a particular product or practice area, and will seek out a lawyer who has the requisite experience on a short-term basis.
From a budget perspective, an interim lawyer is often more cost-effective than outsourcing work to a law firm or paying for a secondee; this also provides the additional benefit of having someone embedded in and dedicated to the business.
Staff shortages culminating from maternity and paternity leave, sabbaticals and prolonged illness also create an immediate need for interim lawyers.
Why do candidates choose interim?
There are several reasons why candidates look to secure contract/interim positions. These include:
- Employment whilst reviewing the market
- Lifestyle choice
- Tax benefits
- For foreign qualified lawyers, it can be easier to secure contract/interim roles to gain UK experience
With the ever-increasing demand for interim solutions from law firms and large corporates, the candidate market has also realigned.
We have seen increased interest from top candidates (traditionally only available to clients through search-led recruitment models), who are now seeking interim and consultancy roles.
The interim legal market has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Due to clients and candidates alike becoming more receptive to these opportunities and the flexibility that they offer, this growth is showing no signs of abating.
LRC Solutions is an international recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of legal and compliance professionals of all seniority on a contract and interim basis as well as documentation specialists (including ISDA) and paralegals across all practice areas on a temporary and permanent basis.
Click here to view roles advertised by LRC Solutions.