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With many private practice law firms still finding the economy tough, and with redundancies very much on the agenda, BCL Legal – one of the leading legal recruitment consultancies outside London – is seeing and predicting a number of growing trends within the in-house legal sector as we come out of recession.
Over the last year, the team at BCL Legal has seen an increase in the number of organisations taking advantage of the much publicised redundancies being made by the law firms they instruct by directly recruiting a known lawyer into their business – more often than not as their first in-house counsel. Companies from sectors as diverse as manufacturing and technology to financial services have quickly realised that employing someone who has already worked for them, but on the other side, has its real benefits.
One recent example is 2ergo – a leading global provider of mobile enabling technology with a focus on mobile marketing, mobile customer relationship management, and mobile entertainment and media. The firm, which has offices in Salford Quays, has recently recruited Paul Basger – a former solicitor at Pannone – as its new commercial solicitor.
Another development is the large increase in the recruitment of in-house lawyers on a locum or contract basis. Despite workloads remaining high, many companies are having to go through redundancy processes and are implementing unilateral head count freezes. When this happens, the only option is for them to employ the services of an interim lawyer via a recruitment agency. BCL Legal sees this as a growth area and as a result will be looking to expand both its In-house and Temporary/ Contract Business Departments throughout 2010.
Mark Levine, director at BCL Legal and head of its In-House Team said; ‘We have been in the recruitment business for many years and these trends are really starting to gather some momentum. It seems that companies are taking a step back and reviewing what they actually need and how they can fulfill it – potentially in-house. Mark concluded; ‘It has been an interesting story so far and it will be fascinating to see how it develops next year as the legal community continues to grow and gain more confidence.’