Articles From the Team

Have you considered what opportunities are on offer commutable out of London, in the Thames Valley?

So you live and work in London, and either your training contract is drawing to an end or you are ready to take that next step up on the career ladder, and there is only one place in the world that can offer you a new job - London. Correct? No. And that is good news for you if you are seeking that elusive new job upon or post qualification. As so many Trainee Solicitors nearing the end of their training contract in London are discovering, newly-qualified roles in the capital are few and far between, and this has a knock on effect with the junior PQE Assistant Solicitor roles as well. This is because retention rates this year for Trainee Solicitor are high and so there are fewer opportunities on offer to external candidates and, for various reasons, Brexit included, firms are not doing any additional luxury recruitment either.

To give some retention rates examples from Chambers Student, leading employers like Herbert Smith Freehills (98.4%), Macfarlanes (96.3%), Travers Smith (95.2%) kept most of their 2016 trainees, Freeths LLP and Mischon de Reya had a 100% retention rate this year whilst Shearman & Sterling kept all their trainees for the second year running. There are a few smaller firms that achieved a 100% retention rate for 2016 too. Further information can be found at:

There is however, no need to panic, as on your doorstep are a host of international and Legal 500 practices which are able to offer you exactly what you are looking for - all you have to do is open your mind to the possibility. But surely the quality of work will not be on a par with that in the City? - Well, you will be pleasantly surprised. Several firms in Guildford and Reading pride themselves on handling City calibre work and employ ex-City lawyers to prove it. But the remuneration will be less? Yes - potentially - but even that is not necessarily the case with some firms now as City work and ex-City lawyers calls for City salaries - but in leafy suburbs and in regions where you can afford to buy a house...with a garden?! Are you beginning to see the attraction now and why you need to broaden your mind to possibilities outside London?

The reverse commute is becoming increasingly popular amongst people living in London and firms are recognising this fact and are welcoming this new source of potential new recruits. Reading in particular hosts a business suite of offices, Apex Plaza, at the railway station - you don't even have to go outside to get from the train to your desk - so reverse commuting could not be easier.

Therefore if you are struggling to secure that all important job in London, think a little geographically wider, and give me, Tracy Harris at BCL Legal, a call and I will open your eyes to the other possibilities on your doorstep, just in the other direction!

Tracy specialises in placing solicitors and legal executives across a broad range of disciplines in the South Midlands, Thames Valley and Home Counties areas.

I look forward to speaking to you soon and to showing you that there is indeed life and a career outside the City.

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