BCL Legal Recruitment
0845 241 0933

Working as an Interim Lawyer

Interim lawyers are increasingly a feature of law firms in the UK. Issues such as an uncertain market, managing variable workloads, hiring specialist expertise for short term projects and maternity cover are driving this trend.

A Flexible Choice

Interim lawyers are often people who want to take a break from their career path whilst still earning a good salary. It’s a logical way to learn new skills, gain different experiences or give yourself a ‘breathing space’ while you consider your next permanent move. Contracts may cover a matter of days or be for a year or more. Interim work is also a good way for overseas candidates to gain valuable UK work experience.


Interim lawyers generally earn at a similar level to permanent staff. Specific rates are obviously influenced by experience, specialism and qualifications. As with permanent roles, private practice usually pays higher rates than in-house.

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 - Tax and National Insurance deductions are actioned by the company you’re working for. Whether you’re defined as a temporary worker or employed on a fixed-term contract, these deductions remain the employer’s responsibility.

Limited Company

If you operate as a limited company or supply your services through one, the limited company pays your salary and makes your tax and NI deductions. If you work on a fixed contract basis, tax and NI must be paid by the firm you’re working for, not your limited company.

Typical BCL Interim Candidate Profile and Experience

Interim vacancies tend to arise as a matter of urgency, so you’ll usually need to be able to start at short notice. Consequently, your current notice period should be no more than four weeks.

In some cases, our clients will use an interim role to try out a candidate for a subsequent permanent role. Some interim workers are taking a career break to think about their future direction. Some people work as locums on a permanent basis, because the flexibility and short commitments give the flexibility and freedom to pursue other interests.

If interim working interests you, register here 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:

  • 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

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