Sam Vincent
Sam Vincent
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Locum work - does it really stack up?

Following a conversation with a candidate just recently, the above question popped into my head. Quite frequently I am asked, by mid/ senior level lawyers, about whether I have any locum opportunities?

It appears to be the fashionable move that lawyers are looking to make, to try and achieve a better work-life balance but with most firms now alive to the fact they need to be more flexible, maybe the move to locum work is not what you need.

Whilst firms are more frequently turning to locum lawyers to cover “hard to fill” roles, they very rarely give consideration to the wider needs of the lawyers when deciding their hourly rate.

Here is some “food for thought,” before you give up the full-time position for a locum role:

1 trip to a Locum ‘opportunity’:

  1. Fuel £40 each way;
  2. Refreshments £12e/w
  3. Three night’s accommodation £60-£80per night;
  4. Food supplies for three days £40;
  5. Driving time 5 hrs e/w unpaid;
  6. Breakdowns, maintenance, insurance, tax £tbc
  7. CPD training, Practicing Certificate circa. £2,000+ pa
  8. Tax, NI, Unpaid holidays, downtime, sickness, Accountancy, administration, unpaid time arranging logistics, subscriptions, professional membership fees, solicitors “uniform” (suits, shoes, etc. ) and legal fees.
Total (1, 2, 3&4) £364 not incl. 5+6+7+8 Divided by 24 hrs of highly stressed work = £15.16ph Say paid £40ph minus £15.16 = £24.84ph before items 5+6+7+8.

Obviously it is all relative to practice area and location, as some areas will pay more and some locations pay more but I think you can see my point.

Most legal employers are somewhat blind to the real-world commercial realities that locum lawyers face, so why would you give up the security and comfort of a full-time, permanent position for the uncertainty and stress of a locum role…?

For more information contact Sam Vincent at BCL Legal.

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