Legal Recruitment News – September 2011

Legal Job Market Report 6th September 2011
August has not been a good month for legal recruitment until the last week. Unsurprisingly, partners seem to have a lot more on their mind at this time of year, including holidays and cutting the grass. It did not help that the international money markets have decided to practice bouncing up and down at high speed and rioters ran around for a few days stopping our candidates from attending job interviews!

The first signs of September are that the market is yet again picking up and getting busy. Our £720 a year recruitment service is now quite busy with a number of firms signing up and posting a good number of vacancies. The crime market is about to take off yet again for the latest deadlines of November/December/whenever the LSC get round to deciding it.

We have had family law posts in across the country, crime (mainly South East but also the West Midlands), a few property posts, litigation (seems to be getting quite popular again) and some commercial activity. Locum assignments are now coming into us fast and furious – in fact I would say the market is the best it has been for about three years.

The CIPS Monthly Survey reports that the UK Service sector has suffered a steep slowdown of activity growth – this is blamed on a fragile economic environment undermining confidence. The Reed Employment Index shows that employer demand was maintained for August, with a 20% increase on August 2010.

We have certainly noticed that more solicitors are currently employed in decent, salaried posts than there were 2 years ago. Quality candidates are getting interviews fairly regularly and the market is again getting a little tighter.

Support staff posts continue to come in steadily. Ten-Percent has been developing a niche in legal cashiers for some time and we see plenty of vacancies coming on stream.

In August the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment £720 a Year Service had over 23 vacancies registered and 81 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 and we anticipate reaching 100 member firms before Christmas.
Jonathan Fagan, MD Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. T: 0207 127 4343 or email:

Register Vacancies Online
About Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment
£720 pa Recruitment Service

Candidates Registered 18th August – 6th Sept – Selection
060911 Commercial Property Solicitor looking around Oxfordshire and London. 15+ yrs PQE. Salary sought.
050911 Family Panel member – looking at opportunities across England and Wales. 15 years PQE. Locum or permanent.
050911 Litigation, Family, Private Client Solicitor – Middlesex and London – 2 years PQE.
050911 Real Estate Solicitor – top end training. NQ level.
050911 Duty Solicitor – Crime. London and surrounds. Salary £35-40k.
040911 Litigation Solicitor – general litigation, Cambridge and surrounds. 4 years PQE.
040911 Employment Solicitor – 5 years PQE, London and the South East. £40k.
020911 Temporary Legal Cashier – available for London and surrounds.
010911 Duty Solicitor – Crime – with Higher Rights. Central and South West London. May consider other locations.
180811 Duty Solicitor, 5 years PQE, looking in Newcastle.
040911 Employment Solicitor – locum – looking in Yorkshire.
030911 Commercial Compliance & Corporate Ethics Lawyer – in house or private practice – London.
020911 Barrister looking to move into a solicitors firm to do litigation in house. Surrey and surrounds.
010911 Solicitor – 15 years PQE +, resolution accredited in children law and financial provision, member of Family Law Panel. South West and Lake District areas.
310811 Licensed Conveyancer, 5 years experience, looking around Essex.
260811 Solicitor, 5 years PQE, family law panel member looking around Derby and Nottingham.
250811 Personal Injury FILEX (head injuries specialist) looking in Hertfordshire.
This is just a sample of 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 8,000+ 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 

Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme – update
As the new PII year gets closer we have now referred a considerable number of premiums through to our accountants, who are part of a network responsible for a discounted scheme on all PII renewal quotes. Unfortunately there appears to have been an overwhelming number of referrals to the insurer in question, a European operator, and as a result there has been a rather lengthy delay in them actually getting in touch with a significant number of firms we have referred through. Our apologies in advance for any inconvenience caused, particularly if no response is received before the deadline. – How to Set Up a Quick Feeder Website
One of the quickest ways to go after new business online is to set up a feeder website using actual keywords as your title. For example – or or
Quite a few law firms are catching onto this. Google can be very lazy and instead of looking for the best quality site for a keyword will simply turn to these keyword websites and push them up the charts rapidly. What is the cheapest and quickest way of doing this? This article is from
Find your domain name – use Google Analytics to find out which longer sets of keywords are popular amongst visitors to your existing website. Use other keyword tools to find popular terms (the Yahoo Advertising Keyword Tool is particularly good). You can also get paid products to do this for you.
Buy a – there is little point spending money on a .com or .org unless you are looking on an international basis or for notforprofit clients.
1. Purchase your your domain name.
2. Set up a hosting account – make sure you have at least two SQL databases set up.
3. Configure your email account to collect all your mail in your personal email account.
4. Use Softaculous or similar tool to install WordPress onto your server space.
5. Make sure you set up WordPress in the right location.
6. Once WordPress is set up, take the following steps;
   a. General Settings – alter the address from http://yourwebsite/ to http://www.yourwebsite/
   b. Add a rewrite file to enable SEO friendly URLs.
   c. Install a range of plug ins including Google Analyticator, High Performance SEO, Contact Form
7, Google Sitemap.xml and any others required including Forum software.
8. Only start to work on pages once all of the above is complete.
9. Add a favicon.ico file.
10. Design a logo to fit the top of the page.
11. Choose a theme and install it.
12. Change permalinks – needs to be adjusted to pagename
13. Add the website to Google Webmaster
14. Verify the site for Google Analytics
15. Add the sitemap link to Google Webmaster
16. Add the website to Google Places
17. Set up High Performance SEO to ensure the correct main titles and meta tags.
18. Start designing the website with content and graphics. The site only needs five pages. About, Contact, Home, Free Advice and Services.  
Some of this may look a little daunting – can do all of this for you – domain name registration – £15, hosting – £60, website design – £175, wordpress installation and set up £150. Other ongoing services available. Visit for details or alternatively email
If you follow the above method, it is very likely Google will pick up and register your satellite site within 24 hours.
Salary Negotiations – Retaining Key Staff
This week we have been contacted by a long-standing candidate who gets in touch occasionally for careers advice. He has been working for the same firm for a number of years in the North West, and wanted advice on how to increase his salary during negotiations. It transpires that despite him being 6 years PQE and billing at £175k per year, salary levels have remained less than £37,000 for the last 3 years.
Our advice was to ask for an increase, or, failing that, to request an element of profit share in his package. We thought the best thing to do would be to ask for the same base salary and try to get 25% of everything earned over £130,000.
This is obviously a very good employee! How many other candidates would remain loyally with a firm who are clearly underpaying?
As employers, you can avoid this so easily. Firstly, make sure you review salaries every year. Do not take it for granted that an employee will stay with you. Anyone who is earning well will be looking at promotion, salary increases and career opportunities elsewhere if they think there is no chance of the first two with your firm. Try to offer incentives to employees to continue to do well. You can do this in every corner of your law firm – secretaries, paralegals, office cleaners, solicitors etc.. People work for different reasons and you need to identify these reasons in order to be able to incentivise them properly.
We have come across candidates who are keen to find a firm able to offer 30 days holiday a year instead of 20, and not really bothered about large salary increases. Others want more flexibility in hours. Most want more money.
If you cannot afford an increase, why not simply offer more flexiblity on hours or increased annual leave? Neither will cost you very much, apart from a bit more work for someone else in the firm at times, and this may make the difference between someone remaining with your firm for 20 years and someone who moves on after 2 years.
Low Cost Digital Dictation Outsourcing

TP Transcription ( has recently announced a new online system for effective outsourcing of digital dictation. They can now offer the full supply of digital dictation machines together with the software to handle outsourcing your secretarial work effectively. Prices vary according to the size of your firm.

The system is installed onto your PCs. Your fee earners dictate into their machines, upload to the PC and press a button to transfer the work to an external server. Your remote workers (or TP Transcription Service) access the files, transcribe them and either email through the completed work or upload back to the server. Very simple and extremely cost effective.  

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.