BCL Legal Recruitment
0845 241 0933

Working as an Interim Lawyer

The use of Interim lawyers is growing in UK law firms. The need to manage varying workloads, maternity cover, specialist expertise for short-term projects and market uncertainty make hiring interim staff an increasingly popular option.

The Flexibility Factor

If you want to take a break from pursuing your career path, or give yourself time to think about your next permanent move, interim work makes sense. While earning a good salary you can learn new skills and experience, or explore a different discipline that may interest you. Contracts can apply for a matter of days, a few months, a year or more. Interim work can also offer valuable UK work experience for overseas candidates.

Remuneration and Opportunities

Interim pay levels are similar to those for permanent staff, and are just as dependant on your specialism, qualifications and experience. In-house pay is usually lower than that in private practice.

The Difference Between Temporary and Contract Assignments

Temporary and interim assignments. They’re usually much more short term than contract arrangements and also tend to feature shorter notice periods. The contractor is paid by the hour, submitting timesheets each week to the client for approval. The contractor’s agency is responsible for payment. All payroll administration is handled between the agency and contractor.

Contract assignments – These are often used when the need stretches over a longer timeframe – for instance maternity cover, long term sickness leave or a specific period of increased workload. Recruitment is similar in nature to that for a permanent role. Start and end dates are set, and the candidate is paid a salary and receives benefits from the firm or company.

Tax and NI

PAYE – your tax and National Insurance deductions will be handled by the company you’re working for. This applies whether you’re classed as a temporary worker, or as employed on a fixed-term contract.

Limited Company -Whether you own or operate through a limited company, the company pays you and must deduct your tax and NI. In  the case of fixed contracts tax and NI must be paid by the firm you’re working for, not the limited company.

Typical BCL Interim Candidate Profile and Experience

If you’re interested in interim work, it’s almost always the case that you will need to be able to start at short notice. Firms usually need interim candidates as a matter of urgency, so your existing notice period can be no more than four weeks.

Interim positions make a lot of sense if you’re re-evaluating your future career, or thinking about moving into a new field of expertise. Many of our clients will wish to ‘try out’ lawyers before offering a permanent role, so an interim arrangement can be a useful way to make an impression. Some candidates like to work as locums over a longer term, giving themselves the flexibility and freedom to pursue other interests.

You can register here and now to receive regular updates on our interim opportunities.

Document Review Advice

Providing lawyers for document review projects is a busy strand of BCL’s business – particularly in terms of placing people with ‘high end’ London firms.

With our extensive connections and experience, you can gain the opportunity to get ‘a foot in the door’ in some of the world’s best firms – including many US, Magic and Silver Circle firms, and smaller ‘boutique’ practices.

If you’re qualified in litigation or a paralegal with relevant expertise, London document review work pays extremely well. The crucial criteria include:

  • Litigation experience
  • Being registered to work in the UK
  • A readiness to begin work at short notice

As much litigation work crosses boundaries, you may also need to have worked in several different jurisdictions, and bi or multi-lingual skills can be a real advantage.


If you wish to register with us for document review roles, the process includes:

Please call 0845 241 0933 or fill in our contact form if you wish to pursue document review opportunities through BCL.

  • Filling in the BCL registration form
  • Completing a face-to-face interview at our London office
  • Providing two references
  • Showing proof of eligibility to work in the UK
  • Showing relevant qualification certification
  • Being able to start work at short notice