Articles From the Team
Renaissance of the UK car industry and its positive impact on the in-house legal sector
A recent article by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that 750,000 people are now employed in the British car industry. When you consider that 706,000 people were employed last year it appears that the British car industry is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has attributed this growth to a stronger product line up, rising investment by manufacturers, demand for new models and companies in the supply chain brining work back to the UK – “reshoring”.
In the last few months Jaguar Land Rover has announced a £200m investment in Merseyside, creating 250 jobs, Vauxhall has announced a £185m investment in Luton which will secure 1,200 jobs, and Aston Martin has announced a £20m investment in Warwickshire which will create 250 jobs. These investments are not alone and over the past 2-3 years other vehicle manufacturers – BMW (Mini), Nissan, Toyota, McLaren – and their suppliers – Ricardo, GKN, and TI Automotive etc. - have also invested and recruited to meet demand.
And, it’s not just the manufacturing arm of these companies that have been recruiting. Due to high demand for new cars, car manufacturers and car dealerships in the UK have also been adding to their retail, finance and sales & marketing teams.
Inevitably, when there is an increase in sales, investment and exports, there comes a time when additional legal support is required. In the last two years BCL Legal has assisted GKN, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Michelin and Volkswagen recruit additional legal staff. Other companies that have recruited lawyers include BMW, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Ricardo, Scania and Volvo.
The range of legal roles in the automotive sector is diverse and thus it is an industry which is open solicitors with very different skillsets. Whilst the majority of in-house lawyers are general commercial in focus there are also numerous consumer finance, employment law, IP/marketing and commercial litigation lawyers too.
Despite the (positive) "reshoring" of manufacturing jobs to the UK, the general renaissance of the UK car industry, particularly with respect to rising exports, means we are seeing more opportunities for UK lawyers to work abroad - notably in China and South America. This has led to internal promotions and secondments for UK based lawyers as well as the recruitment of foreign qualified lawyers, by UK based companies, in far flung jurisdictions.
At BCL Legal we are well placed to assist you with your recruitment requirements, whether that is assisting you recruit a new staff member or helping you find a new job yourself.
Craig Wilson is a Senior Consultant: In-house at BCL Legal. He specialises in assisting industry and commerce clients across the South-East with the recruitment of lawyers, compliance and company secretarial staff. He has worked in legal recruitment since 2007 and he has a wealth of experience assisting companies and lawyer candidates.
For further information about Britain’s recovering car industry please take a look at the links below: