It is the day before Christmas and things are getting decidedly quiet as most are gearing up to take a break over the festive period. For most legal recruitment processes, they have either been done or are not sufficiently developed to prevent shut down until the New Year.
The story is not necessarily the case for a large proportion of Manchester’s legal corporate community and they can still be heard working the phones, amending away and keeping the world turning!
Without question (Ok, Real Estate aside) Manchester’s corporate legal teams have had a fantastic year. Whilst there are always elements of economic growth and consequent increased confidence that sit behind that improved tale, it is rarely the case that this stands in isolation. The reality is that Manchester (in its global legal community sense) is a location of improving attraction to new work and new deals which is a direct effect of the quality of the firms and teams that sit here as well as the value that the regions can provide. A comprehensive list of teams of quality would be far too time consuming to reel off but one need only look at the key legal power-houses with the likes of Pinsent Mason, Eversheds, DLA, and Addleshaw Goddard together with the attraction and expansion of new teams among the likes of TLT to stalwarts of the Manchester legal community who continue to punch their weight (and more) such as Gateley, JMW, DWF and Shoosmiths. I stress the list is not exhaustive.
Latest figures from the Centre for Management Buyout Research show that the value of private equity-backed deals in the North West rose by 9% to 1.82bn in 2014. Some impressive results even if the number of deals fell by 15% to 29 down from 34 a year earlier.
Overall it has been a year of continual improvement and evolution on the corporate landscape and set for even more growth and development throughout 2015. 2014 also saw entry into the market and development of legal functions into the accountancy firms with the likes of KPMG, PWC and E&Y entering the fray which will doubtless keep law firms on their toes.
As a legal recruiter, seeing such levels of activity is a hugely positive sign and it is fantastic to see increased appetite to recruit. Easy pickings you might think but there must still be a note of caution for 2015 that derives from the ripples felt post credit crunch. Most firms have seen their corporate teams busier than ever but equally have found they are under-resourced. Being under-resourced means a desire to bring on more people in the absence of which it can not only inhibit growth as the capacity to take on new work becomes more limited but, more crucially, places existing members of teams under increasing pressure to pick up the slack. It is good to be busy but sometimes too busy starts to become an issue and the last thing teams need are disgruntled members who start to then look to move on!
Never has it been more important to look after your people – as a partner, that should be your New Years’ resolution!
2015 has all the markings of being a great year and Manchester will be at the forefront of legal evolution!
Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.
For more information please contact Paul Warburton or visit the BCL Legal webiste.