So finally the commercial litigation market is officially getting busy again, after a long period in the doldrums and a few false starts. The last crash was a very deep one. Usually what happens when the economy tanks is that the bottom drops out of the non-contentious market, deals head south and everyone starts suing each other – hello boom times for commercial and civil litigation. Not last time though. Last time, it was so bad that companies couldn’t afford to sue each other and the bottom dropped out of that market too.
As we all know, 2008 and 2009 were not good times to qualify as a solicitor and firms were dropping their trainees like hot cakes.
When things started to turn around again, it was the non-contentious areas that picked up first…shoots of recovery, deals being done, things being built, changes in legislation, academy conversions etc etc. It always takes a while to filter through, for deals to start going wrong, for companies not getting what they thought they’d signed up for, for defaults on payments. And for companies to have built up enough collateral to be in a position to litigate, as it’s a costly business.
It’s finally getting busy again and with it comes the inevitable skills shortage that we have seen with the non-contentious market. Firms want 3,4 5 years’ PQE solicitors but barely anyone was retained in commercial litigation 3,4,5 years ago so there’s very few people on the market. If you’re one of those people, it’s a great time to consider your options because you’re going to be in demand.
We’re already hearing about commercial litigation solicitors moving up to top tier nationals from the mid tiers, so it won’t be long before firms are flexing their job specs even further. In the same way that politicians choose days when disasters strike to bury their own bad news, 2016 could be the year to take advantage of the market, banish the impact of that 2:2 and find a job in your dream firm in spite of it!