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More Coverage for Clayton Legal’s Yorkshire Analysis

  • January 5, 2018

UK recruitment industry news website Recruitment Buzz is the latest media outlet to cover our market analysis for advertised legal roles in Yorkshire.

This follows articles from publications including Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Business LinkBdaily, and the Global Recruiter.

To find out what the results mean for legal professionals in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas, please click the links above.

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The four biggest legal markets outside of London

  • November 28, 2017

London has long been the undisputed major legal market in this country. Parts of the capital have been dedicated to the practising of law since the Middle Ages and there are entire legal districts and landmarks – such as Temple and The Old Bailey – which make it synonymous with law even to those outside of the profession.

However, as a national recruiter, we’re acutely aware that there are several cities outside of London that are thriving legal hubs in their own right and are becoming increasingly desirable locations for firms and practitioners. So, what cities are thriving?

Leeds lawyers link easily with London

The legal sector in Leeds is the fastest growing in Britain, according to recent figures from the OFS. In fact, the number of jobs in the city increased by 20% between 2010 and 2015, compared to London’s 5% sector growth. Leeds has benefitted from the widespread trend of London firms relocating their offices and the ‘big six’ all have practices there. Excellent transport infrastructure means, that lawyers can easily travel to London, enabling them to offer the same range of services as their peers in the capital, but without the hefty fees. Leeds, has also seen a steady growth within its technology and digital economy, meaning there are plentiful opportunities for specialists.

Birmingham booms as a ‘legal city’

The recent ‘mini boom’ in Birmingham’s local housing market, fuelled a 68% increase in demand for the services of residential conveyancing professionals, according to our latest hiring index. In addition, there has been considerable growth in infrastructure, such as New Street Station’s £750 million transformation, leading to increased opportunities for construction lawyers.  The HS2 high-speed rail network project will continue this trend and provide a number of opportunities for transactional, regulatory, compliance and litigation specialists.

Manchester law firms mirror the city’s growth

Manchester’s buoyant legal sector, echoes the sustained growth of the city. Rapid urban development has led to a skyline of newly built towers, which house businesses and private residences. As a result, there has been continual growth within property and construction as well as finance and corporate law. Big firms such as Slater and Gordon, Clyde & Co, Freshfields and Nabarro have all settled in the city, supplying plentiful opportunities for the city’s legal professionals.

Bristol harbours major legal firms

A port city best known for its aerospace, technology, and research industries, Bristol’s knowledge-based local economy is a draw for legal firms with expertise in energy, transport, financial services and infrastructure. The Temple Quarter area has welcomed major firms such as Simmons & Simmons and Burges Salmon and key players such as home-grown Osborne Clark and TLT reported rises in their turnover during 2016/17, highlighting its viability as a second ‘legal city’.

So, as more and more firms continue to invest in these cities, the opportunities for professionals is vast. Gone are the days where it was deemed necessary to work in the capital to pursue a career in law.

If you’re a legal specialist seeking a new role for the New Year, get in touch today to see what opportunities we have available nationwide.

And, if you’re a firm seeking talent for your growing legal practice, we can help find your next hire.

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Clayton Legal’s Manchester recruitment analysis in the press

  • October 27, 2017

Our latest market analysis for Manchester and the surrounding areas has been featured by Recruitment International and the Online Recruitment website.

One of the key insights from our survey, which is based on our comprehensive data on advertised roles and candidates registered, is that demand for private practice lawyers has risen by 44% month-on-month.

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Legal employment opportunities increase across the UK

  • September 27, 2017

More than a year after the UK’s decision to leave the European Union was announced, we still don’t have a clear idea of what Brexit will actually entail. And, according to our latest market analysis of regional legal jobs across the country, demand for lawyers has risen even further as organisations look to get to grips with what is likely to be a rapidly changing market. However, it’s not just Brexit that’s driving activity. But why are lawyers so sought after in the different regions of the UK?

North West

Demand for lawyers was perhaps no stronger than in our home territory of the North West, where vacancies rose by 36% month-on-month. As with some of our other key markets, the buoyant property arena has been the main driver behind the growth, with conveyancing professionals being particularly highly sought after. This is in line with recent survey data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which reveals that, in July, 29% of surveyors saw house prices rise across the North West. As a series of major firms have relocated to the region including Addleshaw Goddard and Eversheds, professionals are not only in demand but are able to claim lucrative salaries that are significantly above the regional market average.

South East

The South East also experienced a boom in demand for specialists which, like the North West, has benefited from a booming property market. Locations like St Albans and Stevenage enjoy some of the fastest growing property and rental prices in the country and this activity, combined with a growing trend for professionals moving away from the capital into the Home Counties, is driving a seemingly ever increasing need for property expertise. This is in line with an analysis by Savills which found that the number of people exiting London has hit a five-year high.

North East

In the North East it’s the commercial property arena that’s driving the vast majority of activity. This is being supported by a huge amount of inward investment into the region and, according to our data, commercial property paralegals and assistants are the most sought after legal professionals. Data from CBRE’s H1 2017 Property Perspective found that Leeds witnessed significantly improved levels of office take-up when compared to the same time in 2016. Commentators suggest this activity is due to Leeds’ position as one of the most cost effective locations in the UK for commercial property along with its robust travel links.


This region also ‘bucked the trend’ by avoiding the traditional summer slowdown in the property market and experienced somewhat of a ‘mini boom’ as demand for private practice expertise shot up by 68% month-on-month. Residential conveyancing paralegals, solicitors and heads of department have been particularly highly sought after by legal firms to manage this increased workload. As commentators have suggested the number of people relocating to the region will only continue to rise, firms are advised to put increased work into developing talent pipelines to ensure that they have access to the right talent, both now and in the future, to content with the increased workload.

While many suggested that the UK would be thrown into oblivion as a result of Brexit, the property arena across the country appears to be bucking the trend and is driving significant demand for legal expertise. If you’re looking for your next game-changing role or are seeking advice on bolstering your firms’ talent strategies, get in contact with our specialist legal team.

Take a look at some our other blogs to gain some more valuable career advice

Or take a look at our current roles to find your next game-changing role.

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Clayton Legal’s North East recruitment analysis in the press

  • September 22, 2017

Our latest market analysis for advertised legal roles in the North East has been covered by a number of a wide range of media outlets including Solicitors JournalGlobal RecruiterHR Director and IFA Magazine.

One of the key findings from our data is that vacancies for private practice lawyers across the North East have risen by 24% month-on-month – this can largely be attributed to a buoyant commercial property market which is fuelling demand for conveyancing professionals.

You can also read the full summary of all of our regions by clicking here.

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Clayton Legal’s Midlands recruitment analysis in the press

  • September 12, 2017

Our latest market analysis for advertised legal roles in the Midlands has been covered by Recruitment International and Bdaily.

One of the key findings from the analysis is that vacancies for private practice lawyers across the Midlands have risen by 68% month-on-month – with the ‘mini boom’ in the region’s housing market contributing to the demand for residential conveyancing professionals.

You can also read the full summary of all of our regions by clicking here.

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Clayton’s North West legal recruitment analysis in Lancashire Evening Post and Bdaily

  • August 30, 2017

Our latest market analysis for advertised legal roles in the North West has been covered by the 29th August edition of the popular regional daily newspaper Lancashire Evening Post and regional business news site Bdaily.

One of the key findings from our analysis is that vacancies for private practice lawyers have increased across the North West by 36% month-on-month.

To read more about the results, including the levels of demand for family and probate solicitors, click here.

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Clayton Legal’s South East recruitment analysis in the press

  • August 27, 2017

Our latest market analysis for advertised legal roles in the South East has been covered by a number of titles including The Global RecruiterStaffing Industry Analysts and Bdaily.

One of the key findings is that vacancies for private practice lawyers have increased across the region by 36% month-on-month – with the increased cost of living in London being a contributing factor.

To read more about our analysis, including the comments of our managing director, Lynn Sedgwick, click on any of the links above.

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Demand for UK legal jobs rises across the country

  • August 21, 2017

Rewind even as little as 10 years ago and the vast majority of legal jobs were found in the capital. Let’s not be mistaken, London is certainly still the UK’s main legal hub, however in recent years the sector has spread more widely into other regions of the country. This has been partly fuelled by the concept of ‘Northshoring’ and more and more firms are choosing to relocate at least some of their services to outside of the capital. We’ve been conducting our latest review of hiring activity across the regional markets, with some interesting results – so where is demand for UK legal jobs stemming from?

North West

The North West has once again performed above expectations in terms of legal jobs, with our research showing that vacancies have risen by 36% month-on-month. Manchester and the surrounding areas is a main beneficiary of the Northshoring trend with a series of major firms now based here including Eversheds Sutherland and Addleshaw Goddard, amongst others. These firms have been on the hunt for experienced professionals which has meant that corporate associates and senior associates in particular, have been highly sought after.


The Midlands has fared even better than the North West, recording a legal vacancy uptick of 69% month-on-month. The majority of this hiring activity has been focused on the property arena with firms seeking conveyancers, particularly in the commercial arena. According to recent reports, available office space within Birmingham and the surrounding areas is at a 10-year low, with firms keen to take advantage of the second city’s lower prices in comparison to London, which is driving a need for property specialists.

North East & Yorkshire

Property has also been the main driver of activity, or the lack of it, in the North East & Yorkshire recently.  While there was strong demand for conveyancing specialists in the first half of the year, new reports that suggest that this region – along with London – has experienced the slowest increases in property prices which has forced firms to hold back on hiring until the market improves. However, legal professionals with experience of working in the family and private law arena have been highly sought after.


Along similar lines, London has also been hit hard by the stalling property arena, however this has been negated by the growing need for administrative assistants and specialists. Many firms have experienced an uptick in workloads as clients ask them to map the post-Brexit market, which in turn has meant employers have been on the hunt for legal back-office professionals, who have contributed to the huge rise in demand seen over the past two months.

South East

The UK legal jobs market has been most active within the south east in recent months. It has seen a huge boom in demand for conveyancing and other property experts. Commentators suggest that this growth is down to the staggeringly high cost of buying property in London. This forces potential buyers out to the surrounding areas like Essex and Hertfordshire and firms in this region have been sourcing property expertise to help manage the increased workloads they’re now facing.


Demand for legal professionals in Wales has mainly focused on litigation and crime specialists, with higher court advocates particularly sought after. Unfortunately this trend isn’t driven by anything positive, but instead a rise in violent crime which has caused an increase in arrests and prosecutions. However, while this certainly isn’t good news, it does mean that legal specialists are highly sought after across Wales, but particularly in the south.

The brunt of legal activity is no longer focused on London and UK based legal jobs have spread further across the country, with areas like the North West and the Midlands now true legal employment hotspots. If you’re looking for your next regional opportunity – or are looking for a role in the capital – then speak to our expert team to find out how we can help.

Take a look at some our other blogs to learn more about regional employment trends within the legal sector.

Or take a look at our current roles to find your next game-changing legal role.

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UK Legal recruitment: Why it doesn’t matter where you’re based

  • July 28, 2017

It would be fair to say that a large brunt of legal activity in this country takes place in the capital. It’s hardly surprising, after all, London is one of the leading cities on Earth and is home to international, market-topping firms of all shapes and sizes. In addition, most of our major courts are based here as are the majority of regulatory and trade bodies.

UK legal recruitment

London-centricity isn’t necessarily a good thing and as the country has become more focused on the capital, debates have started over whether activity and investment should be spread more evenly across the country. It was suggested, for example, that the national football stadium – based in Wembley – should in fact have been built in Birmingham to provide easier access to those living in the North of the UK. The arrival of HS2 could close the gap between London and the rest of the country, but it will be some time until this is rolled out in full.

The legal sector has the same issue. While the trend of ‘northshoring’, has picked up pace in recent years, the industry as a whole is still overwhelmingly focused on London, largely at the expense of other regions of the country. UK legal recruitment is no different and the majority of hiring agencies are based in or around the capital.

You’ll find many Northern based firms complaining about how it’s unfair that they’re not given the same level of backing or support that others in London receive and that infrastructure is not as developed as it is down south. However, those suggestions aren’t entirely accurate. Transport links aren’t as extensive and there isn’t a wholesale equivalent to the tube, for example, because the population is smaller and there is less demand for these services. You can be sure that if there was a market for improved infrastructure or services that a firm would have already jumped on the opportunity to make a potentially huge amount of money.

However, regardless of levels of investment, we feel where we’re based is immaterial. Perhaps 20 years ago when communication channels weren’t as extensive as they are now it would have mattered, but in the modern world, not even slightly. UK legal recruitment is as it sounds, UK-wide, and despite being based in Preston, our rigorous approach combined with our deep networks and complete understanding of the legal market means we can effectively serve firms and find them the talent they need wherever they’re based across the UK.

Different area, same skills

Legal professionals aren’t just based in the capital, they’re all over the country, and rather than selecting an agency on the basis that they’re relatively close to London and must therefore know what they’re doing, firms should instead conduct thorough research into their suppliers and choose the organisation that can offer the best deal, has the best relationships and ultimately provide the best service. Where they’re based is insignificant if they have the right resources and approach in place.

If the legal market still worked in the way it did 50 years ago, then geographical location would still be relevant, but the days of striding out of a firm and walking into the office of the nearest recruiter to find a new role are gone. And, with the vast majority of communication done online, it doesn’t matter if a hiring agency is based in London, Leeds or Liechtenstein, as long as they can fully map the market, have existing relationships with legal specialists and can ultimately find your firm its next game-changing employee.

Check out some of our other blogs to find out how you can find the right legal recruitment agency for your firm

Or take a look at some of our current legal jobs

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