Angharad Warren
Angharad Warren
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Brexit and your legal job search: what to do and when

Whether you agree with the decision or not, the fact remains: the public voted to leave the EU by a 52% majority and as things stand we're scheduled to leave at 11 pm on Friday 29 March regardless of whether there's a deal with the EU or not. Whether the process is halted, extended or we have a further referendum, at this stage we simply don't know, and this creates a general air of uncertainty and apprehension.

The question for all solicitors looking to move: Is this a good enough reason (the uncertainty) to delay your job search?

More, rather than less

Firstly, it's worth noting the UK economy has continued to grow over the past couple of years and employment is at an all-time high. Law firms are doing well! For solicitors, Brexit has meant more rather than less work, and from speaking to partners at various firms, they don't seem concerned or anticipate any downturn - whatever the eventual outcome.

No doubt some firms will err on the side of caution and be slightly more rigorous when it comes to luxury/speculative hires, but as a recruiter on the ground, the impact so far has been unremarkable and it remains business as usual!

Brexit has meant more rather than less less work, and from speaking to partners at various firms, they don't seem concerned or anticipate any downturn - whatever the eventual outcome.

The market is job-rich and candidate-poor, particularly so in the disciplines I cover for BCL Legal in Birmingham: commercial, data protection, compliance, real estate and construction.

It's true to say that some job seekers are adopting a cautious approach and opting to put their career plans on hold pending some kind of outcome on Brexit, which only serves to put the rest of you in a stronger negotiating position when it comes to job offers.

Outside of the legal market, certain industries are understandably worried; those that rely heavily on trade with the EU (financial services, manufacturing, farming and the automotive sectors in particular). These industries could take a massive hit if we see the worst case scenario: we exit the EU with no deal. However,  the likelihood of that happening now looks slim - the PM's reportedly set to make a formal proposal ruling out a 'no-deal' Brexit in a bid to avoid a rebellion and swathes of ministers resigning!

Err on the side of caution or get yourself out there?!

As lawyers, many of you may be naturally cautious and will want to bide your time before making any major career decisions. Whilst it's true to say we don't know the extent of Brexit ramifications, it doesn't appear to pose such a threat, or to be a significant factor in whether or not to look for a new opportunity (if your current role no longer offers the right platform for your career).

In fact, from a legal job seeker's perspective, now is about as good as it gets for a career move within the law. There are plenty of jobs, a lack of strong candidates, recent salary hikes and further incentives such as flexible working patterns and excellent benefit packages on offer.

For a confidential discussion about your career, don't delay, call BCL Legal.

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