2013 has been a changeable legal market. Over the last year, with newcomers in the North West legal scene and further consolidation in the market, the legal landscape has changed considerably. Each move, merger or acquisition comes with challenges, and whether it be growth or amalgamation it has created a new wave of jobs.
Mergers and acquisitions are a timely exercise, and must be done right. Initial due diligence and integration thereafter is essential. Senior operations directors have been crucial in leading the integration; harmonizing IT, business processes, marketing plans, property and culture. The risks post-merger can be huge, and it is essential that as much work as possible be done in the early stages to avoid conflict down the line.
With teams building, particularly in volume legal services such as personal injury and conveyancing, firms have also started to grow their risk and compliance functions. Identifying gaps in best practice and developing new measures to ensure legislation and regulatory standards are met are becoming crucial roles in the legal arena. Technical fee earners have also been moving into more audit focused roles, using their wealth of experience to monitor the work of others and ensure best practice is met.
As teams become busier with increased instructions from new and existing clients, this has also opened up professional support roles that have been few and far between throughout the recession. Corporate, banking, real estate and litigation teams, particularly at the national firms, have shown an interest in recruiting professional support lawyers as a now important addition to the teams. With new firms entering the North West we have also seen an upturn in the need for business development managers to tap into the market and raise the profile of a new practice.