The last year and ¾ has been the strangest in so many ways, both from a personal and professional perspective. Whilst many people have struggled personally for a whole range of reasons it has felt that the legal sector has been really resilient.
As someone who spends all of my professional time speaking to people across the Legal sector I know that people just couldn’t predict what lay ahead back in March 2020, many had weathered recessions, legal reforms and more recently Brexit but this felt wholly different. However, with the benefit of hindsight we can now see that the reality has generally been very positive.
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Rachael provided me with outstanding support throughout my search for a Newly Qualified role and I am delighted with my next move to Eversheds Sutherland. She really took the time to understand my personal, academic and professional background and she did a fantastic job at finding me opportunities matching my long-term goals and which definitely suited my character. I was impressed by her knowledge of the law firms I was applying for and I always felt I had all the information I needed before an interview. Her team always responded very quickly to my queries and I received regular updates. Rachael could see beyond the possibilities I had in mind and this is where I found her very resourceful and competent. I highly recommend Rachael her team.
After a brief spell to digest the shock of what was happening and to get used to a new way of working, firms bounded back. From a recruitment perspective we have been instructed on more roles since September 2020 than in any other equivalent period. Sure, there have been replacement roles, people have had the time to reflect on what they really want causing some to leave the sector. However there has also been genuine growth, not simply firms looking to ‘catch up’ on recruitment not carried out during the early days of the pandemic but more than that, absolute growth within the sector. Of course, there will be winners and losers, there always are but a recent survey by Crowe
evidences that four-fifths of law firms outperformed expectations during the pandemic, many of whom had set their annual expectations prior to the pandemic. Not only that but it found that 75% of regional firms reported an increase in their profits.
The report makes interesting reading and delivers empirical evidence of the resilience of the sector. What is also encouraging for those in the sector is that it also reports that future confidence in the market being at extremely high levels, we are constantly seeing this evidenced by the behaviours of firms, whether that be in their investment in people via recruitment, their bonus payments or their salary increases. On the latter point one firm has just implemented a 15% pay increase across all levels within the entire practice which was backdated!
Given our experience of the market since September 2020 none of this surprises us, what is perhaps more surprising is that there seems to be a gulf between the positivity in the market and individuals Lawyers confidence in the market. Many people that we speak to are surprised by the number and diversity of the opportunities that are out there and the current trends in salaries, which are upwards.
Curious to know more?
To speak more about the market on a confidential basis contact Rachael
or one our experienced consultants
and they will be able to offer you a practical real time view of what’s happening out there.