A shortage of skilled legal professionals hasn’t impacted on specialist recruiters, according to recruitment agency Clayton Legal. Who, since 1999, have grown from a small North West based independent company to a nationwide recruitment business dealing with all law firms of all sizes. Increased demand for legal professionals and the growth of the law sector in cities other than London are fuelling the boom.
Commenting on her company’s growth, Managing Director of Clayton Legal, Lynn Sedgwick, said: “Demand for legal skills across the UK has risen sharply. Firms are busy, and they need talented individuals to increase their capacity and improve the efficiency of the firm.”
Clayton’s 2018 Salary Survey found that there was a more positive outlook on the availability of legal skills than two years ago. Only 38% of firms surveyed believed that the availability of legal skills was on the decrease, compared with 51% in 2016. This could help explain why firms are eager to recruit talent. Lynn said: “We’re two years on from the Brexit referendum and firms are more positive. Nobody knows what the future will hold, but firms are starting to see that Brexit could mean an opportunity for them. And it’s not just Europe that is influencing the market. Reforms to domestic laws and guidelines are having an impact too. We’ve seen a noticeable increase in the number of Personal Injury vacancies since the proposed reforms were pushed back a year to 2020.”
“The one area where there is still some nervousness is around property. Conveyancers are in chronically short supply, and a lack of conveyancing talent is a trend across the whole country.”
“We’re also seeing demand for legal talent increase away from London,” added Lynn.
Cities such as Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol have recently seen City firms open their doors here as well as home-grown firms increasing in size. Birmingham alone has seen a 67% increase in demand for legal professionals. Firms are struggling to keep up with the demand and now more than ever are turning to recruitment agencies with a 19-year pedigree like Clayton Legal, with their network of contacts in all niche areas, to find those specific skills. It’s hard for firms to manage their own work, deliver on client expectations and attract talent all at the same time. A trusted recruitment partner does the hard work for them, so they can focus on what they’re good at.”