Brexit is keeping us on our toes as much as it is anyone
else. For the last 12 months there have been more contract roles than permanent
positions, and this is not just because of maternity leaves and sickness cover
but is due to companies not being able to commit budget to permanent
headcounts. Fewer interim roles are in response to heavy workloads which was
previously the case, so we assume that any extra work is being shared out by
existing lawyers. It seems that teams working on Brexit are now all in place,
or again lawyers are dealing with it as part of their day job. The large UK
banks have pretty much stopped hiring altogether and London offices of European
banks are mostly hiring for replacement positions. As yet, we haven’t seen the
mass exodus from London into Europe that we were expecting although many of you
with languages or foreign connections have made it clear to us that you would
consider working on the continent. Most of the transfers of lawyers into Europe
have been internal and their positions in London are rarely backfilled.
Aside from Brexit, the legal recruitment market in the
insurance industry remains busy with a fair amount of movement at the senior
end which has opened up some vacancies further down the chain. We have seen a
surge in junior in-house roles more generally with the start-ups and fin-techs
preferring to hire at this level as they expand their teams. It is good to see
some roles coming through with more established fin-techs too, where the budget
is realistic with the level and responsibilities of the role.
Regulatory, data privacy, technology, commercial,
corporate roles are consistently coming through, together with a fair amount of
vacancies in the funds/asset management space. Unfortunately, we are seeing
very little for banking and capital markets lawyers.
Salaries – now is not the time to be asking for big
salary hikes. With the market still uncertain and cost cutting still rife,
salary levels in-house are remaining pretty stable with many employers not
offering the top of their original salary brackets. Junior private practice
lawyers who have benefited from recent hikes in law firm salaries are finding
that these are not matched in-house and there is a more than significant drop
to be swallowed.
We hope this is useful. Thank you again for your
support and please stay in touch.
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We would be glad to help any friends and colleagues that may be interested in making a move and if you are looking to hire someone yourself in the near future we hope you will remember us.