Legal Recruitment News October 2011

Legal Job Market Report 4th October 2011

This month has been a busy one. Despite the stock markets continuing to yo-yo up and down, financial crises bounding and the continued uncertainty about change in the structure of the legal profession, firms are recruiting.

One of the main areas in recent weeks has been Family Law. The Legal Services Commission have yet again put out some sort of tender document and firms yet again are making a decision to apply for these, despite knowing that doing this public funded work is almost certainly going to be an almighty headache. No doubt the somewhat (allegedly) incompetent Legal Services Commission yet again will change the criteria, reduce the funding or make the checks even more strict than they currently are.

As the structure of Ten Percent has changed, so has the way we source vacancies.  About 60% of our vacancies now come through our member firms, with the other 40% being advertised on the basis that firms want to consider using our service but are not quite sure and therefore want to see what we can do before they commit.

We have endured a couple of frustrating vacancies where we have located suitable candidates at the right price who are interested in firms. The firms have opted instead either not to recruit or to spend money on full priced agencies and advertising in other sources.  We have even had one instance where a firm had decided not to use us and subsequently approached one of our candidates through an agency who charge 20% at the very least. The saving they could have made through signing up with our £60 service compared with what they will end up paying is astronomical.  Our service is now so unbelievably cheap a few HR managers and senior partners cannot get over the unbelievable bit and are hesitant to commit!

We anticipate the market continuing to get even more busy and frenetic than it currently is. Another bumper month in October is expected with increased numbers of vacancies. We will see the inevitable drop off in work from November onwards that always happens as we approach Christmas. Now is a very good time to be recruiting. There are plenty of candidates looking, any 3 month notice period will take you up to Christmas which makes a good start in January and if you are a medium to large size firm the chances are some of your staff will be handing in their notice very shortly because they are on the market looking elsewhere.

Commercial fields still seem to be very quiet and we have seen a whole host of very high quality candidates from good firms registering because of redundancies in their practices. Whether this is because their firm’s expansion has been linked too closely to the public sector and this has affected overall business we do not know.

In September the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment £720 a Year Service had over 140 new candidate registrations (solicitors, fee earners and legal support staff candidates). The majority of our clients now interview and recruit directly (through our new service), so we no longer have an accurate record of interview numbers. A number of new firms and existing clients have now signed over to the new £60 a month scheme.

Jonathan Fagan, MD Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. T: 0207 127 4343 or email:

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Candidates Registered 16th Sept – 4th Oct – Selection

041011 Soon to be Duty Solicitor looking around Shropshire/Wrexham – may consider Stoke as well.

031011 Family Locum – extensive LSC experience including setting up department. West Midlands.

031011 Immigration Paralegal – Level 2 Caseworker. Greater London.

031011 Family Panel Member (and Advanced Panel Member) and LSC Supervisor – looking in Berkshire.

021011 Crime Duty Solicitor looking in Leicester and surrounding area. 2 years PQE.

021011 Crime Duty Solicitor looking in central London. £32-35k salary levels.

260911 Crime Solicitor with PSQ, looking around the Midlands. £24k salary.

080911 Legal Cashier – 3 years experience – looking around Devon for a role.

041011 Personal Injury Solicitor – 1 year PQE – North London, Herts, Beds and Middx. £30k salary.

031011 Personal Injury Paralegal – 2 years experience. Manchester and North West.

031011 Family Panel Member (and Advanced Panel Member) & LSC supervisor. 5+ years PQE. London and Home Counties.

031011 Crime Duty Solicitor – looking in South West London area. 10 years PQE.

031011 Employment Solicitor – 8 years PQE. Contentious and non-contentious experience. London, Kent and Essex

031011 Employment Solicitor – LSC and privately funded. Greater London. 2 years PQE.

031011 Property Locum Lawyer – Bath and 20 mile radius. Residential.

011011 LSC Housing Supervisor – 3+ years PQE. Greater London area.

300911 Wills & Probate Solicitor – 5 years PQE. Hertfordshire and North London area.

290911 Locum Wills & Probate Solicitor, STEP member. Available for Thames Valley assignments.

041011 Wills & Probate Solicitor – 5 years PQE. West and North Yorkshire.

041011 General Practice Solicitor – 2 years PQE. South Wales.

This is just a sample of the 140 candidates registered in the last few weeks. Member firms get full access to our candidate database by paying just £720 a year.

To access the 8,500+ Candidate Database, please visit

New £720 a year Recruitment Service

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is now a service for member firms and employers. We aim to have 100 legal employers signed up to the service by Christmas 2011 and are well on the way to achieving this. Most of our clients so far are sole practitioners and firms with less than 5 partners. £720 a year covers all your locum, permanent, temporary and contract employment, legal support staff, qualified or unqualified fee earners. You get full access to our CV database and a range of job boards as part of the service. Further details by return email or on our website at To go ahead and sign up please visit Click the button, fill out a form, and we will send you over a welcome pack including the code to instantly access our Candidate Database.

Click here to instantly register legal vacancies

Solicitors’ Brands and Franchises

It has become a recent trend in the legal profession for solicitors to start forming brand names and franchises. In the last 2 years we have seen Quality Solicitors, the High Street Lawyer brand and now a new version called Face to Face.  All of these appear to charge their members to become the local representative of the brand, promising advertising and increased work in return and forming large groups of firms able to compete in the national marketplace.

Franchising, which is what this model appears to be, has been around for many years. You can purchase franchises in anything including Costa Coffee, McDonalds, Burger King, health and fitness clubs, estate agents, and many more.  Most of the time these franchises are simply a way for large businesses to spread their operations and ensure other people take on the risks involved.  I imagine that for the majority of time most companies are better off not being franchised and instead using the money they would have spent on the franchise to market their own business and brand name. Consider for example the firm in Liverpool who advertise on Classic FM with a Joanna Lumley ‘soundalike’ across the country for Personal Injury matters.

Some of these brand names just sound as if a new business has opened up and do not really explain in their titles very much about the benefit you get as a consumer. I appreciate that “Quality Solicitors” indicates quality, but is there really a marked difference between this and “Smith & Co, established 1834”?

I particularly admire the latest attempts to franchise with an upfront fee of £25,000 and 8% of profits shared with the parent company. What difference would it make if a consumer is looking for a solicitor in Stoke on Trent that one of the solicitors’ firms is called Quality Solicitors, the other is called Face to Face and the final one called High Street Solicitor when they could go to firms who have been there for many years and perhaps have an established brand known to a good proportion of the population?

Look at accountancy. Many years ago a new brand came onto the scene called Tax Assist.  There seemed to be quite a lot of firms who signed up for this brand, but if you phoned round for a quote the Tax Assist Companies were actually more expensive than the competing businesses. It was not clear what the advantage was that a customer got from going through a company called Tax Assist as opposed to going through a company called Smith & Co Accountants.

The Face to Face brand is an example of this perhaps. How many consumers want actual face to face advice from their solicitors and how many want 24 hour access via the internet?  Does Face to Face really sum up what a consumer wants out of their lawyers or would Lawyer 24/7 perhaps have been the better brand name? If anyone from the company would like to respond we would be happy to publish their response in full in the next issue of Legal Recruitment News (November).

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment, specialists for an integrated recruitment service for law firms offering a low cost system for just £60 per month per law firm. For further details please get in touch.

Why Facebook can be a Red Herring for promoting your website

If you have been to the cinema recently you will have noticed that just about every advert on the screen no longer refers to a website but instead to a Facebook page. Companies want viewers to go through to their Facebook page and interact with them.

If you look at the campaigns run by companies that are linked to their Facebook pages, there’s very often nothing on their Facebook pages that anyone would want to see or bother reading. This applies even to the largest multi-nationals who use Facebook. Furthermore, your Facebook page will have very little relevance to your rankings on a search engine. Anyone who is searching for a particular product, such as conveyancing services, is unlikely to go to Facebook and type conveyancing services in to find your product. They almost certainly are going to go into Google and search conveyancing services there.

Anyone who uses Facebook as their main source of advertising must bear this in mind. Consumers will talk about your products on there if there is something exciting and interesting and probably relevant to anyone under the age of 20, but for business to business and for products that are specialist, we do not think Facebook is the place to be. It is suitable really only for youth products, sporting goods or anything that needs to be trendy to sell.

Low Cost Digital Dictation Outsourcing

TP Online Transcription & Typing Service with offices in London and North Wales. We have a team of 20 UK based transcribers offering digital file and tape transcribing services worldwide. Established in 2001, the company has been handling bulk orders (including over 500 hour projects) and one-off assignments for legal and non-legal clients including a large number of UK Solicitors, B&Q, Endemol, the Office of Fair Trading, Sony, Dundee University, Cartridge World, University of Oxford, NHS Tayside, the British Medical Journal, Marie Curie and many more.

We provide ongoing typing contracts and also work on a one-off basis. Our transcribers are all based in the UK and we maintain a high standard of quality output. Our transcribers are experienced secretaries from the legal profesison, medicine or general business and some are educated to degree level and higher.

We can transcribe from all audio & digital files, whether WAV, WMA, DSS (Olympus) or MP3 (plus a host of other formats), CD or DVD, Standard Cassettes, Mini and Micro Cassettes and Video (VHS). We have FTP facilities. For legal work we are happy to take templates to transcribe into. Our main service for law firms is our capacity to free up ‘in office’ secretaries to undertake daily tasks whilst reducing the backlog of work or any large transcription jobs. For details of the service please visit call 01352 751945 or email

Salary Review Update

The Ten-Percent Legal Salary Survey is available online – Click the link below to view the surveys, which are broken down into geographical areas

Our most recent Crime Solicitor salary list is available on our blog at

About Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Formed in April 2000, Ten-Percent is an innovative recruitment membership service run online for law firms and employers across the UK and offshore offering free recruitment to members. Over 1,300 law firms and companies have used our services, and we have over 8,000 solicitors & legal executives registered for opportunities, as well as other fee earners and support staff. We donate 10% of our annual profits to charity.

Please email us details of any vacancies to or register the vacancy online on our website.