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?
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.
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.
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.
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