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Having worked with BCL for almost two years, I have recently moved from recruiting on the residential property team to the commercial team. The common theme across both of these sectors is the distinct lack of candidates with transactional experience.
Between 2008 and 2011, many law firms made transactional lawyers redundant and as expected very few trainee lawyers qualified into these disciplines.
From 2012 firms began to rectify this at the NQ level but this has still left a gap in the market. As such, there is now a skills shortage in these disciplines to include; corporate, banking, construction and property.
The result of this is that while transaction levels continue to rise, firms continue to look to appoint solicitors to meet the growing demands of its clients. As a solicitor who qualified into one of these practice areas, you are now highly in demand and there are a number of fantastic opportunities available to the lucky ones who decided to take the transactional route.
I recruit within non contentious practice areas across Yorkshire and am repeatedly reminded by all of the firms I work with that they are very keen to speak to anyone with strong corporate, banking, construction or property experience at any level.
This situation has been far from ideal for many firms BUT it has made them think outside of the box and this has had distinct advantages for candidates in the market.
Once upon a time, solicitors from mid tier firms would struggle in their quest to make it to the top tier. Increasingly now we are seeing the top tier international firms appointing solicitors from mid tier practices and in certain disciplines such as commercial property, paralegals are being offered opportunities only newly qualified solicitors would have been afforded in a previous market.
Why would you make such a move? The exposure to exceptionally high quality work and the opportunity to work with international clients are definite plus points for anyone looking to take their career to the next level. And of course, although we all do our job for the love of it, there is also the highly competitive salaries with many top tier firms now offering £40k starting salaries to NQ solicitors alongside a list of benefits.
I am currently representing a number of firms across Yorkshire keen to appoint at all levels within transactional disciplines. For a confidential chat, please call Nicola O’Hanlon or visit our website BCL Legal.