Data privacy lawyers most wanted in tech industry, Facebook doubles UK legal expert hiring

May 25, 2021 | Legal, News, Tech

Lawyers with expertise in data privacy are the most wanted in the UK technology industry as the government looks set to introduce greater protections to preserve digital security.

According to labour market data analysts Vacancysoft, over a third (35%) of vacancies for technology, media and telecoms (TMT) lawyers in England and Wales are for data privacy specialists. Generalist TMT roles are second-most wanted (26%), followed by legal specialists in IP (10%) and IT (9.8%).

Across legal firms, recruitment for technology industry experts in Q1 2021 is 77.2% higher compared to the previous highest total in Q1 2019. Hiring for in-house roles was previously greatest in Q1 2020. In the first quarter of this year, there were 9.6% more vacancies.

James Chaplin, CEO, Vacancysoft, says:

“Overall hiring for lawyers in the technology industry is the highest it’s ever been, with legal firms also recording a rise in recruitment for TMT specialists. It’s another indication that the economy is back on track.

“Many companies during the pandemic woke up to the importance of securing their digital assets. Equally, as new technologies become more prevalent in our lives, the tech industry will need greater legal expertise — especially as the government’s National Digital Strategy may tighten the regulatory landscape.”

FACEBOOK DOUBLES UK HIRING OF LAWYERS

Facebook has overtaken Amazon as the busiest recruiter of lawyers in the technology industry in 2021 as the company faces continued scrutiny over its data sharing and security practices.

The data shows that Facebook published 37 vacancies for lawyers in the first four months of the year in England and Wales — that’s already 64% more than last year, and greater than its combined 2019 and 2020 total. 

Over 40% of Facebook’s in-house legal roles are for technology, media and telecoms (TMT) specialists, whose remit includes data privacy, IP and IT law. Amazon, in contrast, published 29 vacancies for lawyers, with TMT specialists making up 27.6% of the total.

MAGIC CIRCLE LAWYER HIRING CONTINUES CLIMB

Clifford Chance continues racing ahead in 2021, publishing 40 overall lawyer vacancies to April — 60% more than over the whole of last year. Over 14% of these are for specialist TMT lawyers. Overall hiring for lawyers at Magic Circle firms is already at 87.6% of 2020 levels.

Outside the Magic Circle, Eversheds Sutherland, Irwin Mitchell and TLT have all published more overall legal vacancies than Clifford Chance, already recording 42.1%, 8.3% and 34.2% year-on-year rises by April. Pinsent Masons is the sector’s busiest hirer of TMT lawyers in 2021

  • The data for this article is taken from Vacancysoft’s recent report on TMT lawyers, available here.
  • Need labour market data to enhance a story or report? Contact Vacancysoft’s Communications team on +44 (0) 207 193 8990.

[Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash]

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