Monday 9 September 2013

15% more tonic -- or just another bubble?

Is there finally a genuine and measurable pick-up in the market for jobs in law?  No, say the earnest youngsters (and not-so-youngsters) who keep sending out those CVs, filling in online applications and asking this blogger to write them references.  But perhaps they are the unlucky ones since there is some suggestion that things are improving -- in the British market at any rate.  Recruitment agents Robert Walters (53 offices spanning 24 countries, in case you're planning to go into exile) have issued a media release stating that the sun is shining on 15% more applicants than six months ago.  According to the media release (in relevant part):
Rise in job levels by 15% boosts both private practice and in-house markets 
... The UK legal jobs market has benefited from a healthy influx of activity over the past six months ...

Within private practice there has been a significant increase in job levels across real estate finance, private equity, intellectual property [so, we are one of the top four areas of growth] and restructuring. These trends have been driven in part through recruitment activity by new boutiques and US law firms offering market-leading remuneration packages and greater levels of responsibility [Some clarification is needed here. Boutiques ]have to be pretty well established to be able to offer 'market-leading remuneration packages' -- but all boutiques and small firms can offer 'greater levels of responsibility', which range from 'do your own filing' to 'eat what you kill'].

Within in-house, lawyers with financial services experience are receiving a number of offers and market leading salary packages as the impact of new regulations starts to bite. Demand outside of the capital has been boosted as businesses seek to cut costs by relocating some functions away from London [this sentence could quite plausibly have been written in 1983, 1993 or 2003. Does nothing change?].

The news supports the findings of the latest Robert Walters European Jobs Index, which indicates that burgeoning market activity generated a 14.9% increase in legal vacancies advertised in the UK between the first and second quarters of 2013. ...  

The legal market update can be found online here.
All this can mean one of a number of things, including the following: (i) the bad times are over, (ii) a lot of people have given up their IP careers and are being replaced, (iii) law firms are stocking up with suitably qualified staff ahead of their own anticipated pick-up in the economy.  The choice is yours.

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