Louisa Phillips
Louisa Phillips
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

A busy January sets the bar high for 2017

As January comes to a close we can now analyse the start of the year in more depth. January is traditionally a busy month in recruitment. For many, a new year is time for reflection, to consider what is or isn’t working and to start a fresh. For a lot of people this means looking for a new job, and this year has been no different.

Q4 of 2016 seemed a slightly quieter recruitment period than usual, not because of a lack of work in the market, but possibly caution post Brexit or a focus on fee earning as the end of year approached. Q1 of 2017 has however been quite the opposite. There has been no reluctance to recruit, or a pause while firms try to predict the economy ahead or pipeline of work before making decisions on recruitment. The work is there, confidence is high, so recruitment has pushed on full steam ahead. Instructions are high across the board, across both transactional and contentious work. We have already received a high level of instructions for corporate, commercial, commercial property and contentious lawyers. We are working with top tier and national firms, mid tier, small and niche practices that have already identified a need for additional recruits - teams are incredibly busy and squeezing resource internally is no longer a viable option.

As the economy is so strong, for lawyers of all levels there are excellent opportunities available - if you are considering a change, now is the time to assess your options. Perhaps the quality of work is not what you had hoped for at your current firm, perhaps you are reaching a block in progression, need a step up, or are simply ready for a new challenge after staying loyal for so long? Recruitment activity is high, and now is the time to consider the options out there. Firms are especially keen for quality appointments at the mid level, from 3-6 years’ PQE, however more than ever before there is movement at the partner level and firms are keen to speak to lateral partner hires who can bolster their current teams. Interestingly, we also have live NQ roles at national firms, including corporate, real estate, construction and litigation positions. While most roles at this time of year tend to be for March NQ’s as qualification looms, we do have relationships with firms that are already planning for September qualifiers and keen to see quality CV’s early.

As the country emerges from the Brexit result and Trump now in power, many feared the market would suffer. However, there has been a cautious air of optimism in the regions at least, and although it is still early in the year there are enough signs that 2017 will show continued improvement. We cannot predict with absolute certainty how the market will emerge over the year ahead, but so far this year is exceptionally busy so cease the opportunity to assess your options while the market is on your side. With competition for jobs in the legal market hotter than ever, our advice is to plan ahead and beat the rush.

For more information contact Louisa Phillips at BCL Legal.

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