London lawyer vacancies continue to rise thank to surge in demand for in-house roles, specifically in technology

Sep 7, 2022 | Law, News

  • London has increased its share of the legal vacancies nationally to 40%, up from 38% pre pandemic
  • In-house has been the fastest growing area of recruitment
  • Tech leads with a 29% share of in-house vacancies
  • Among law firms, PWC Legal leads the pack having more than quadrupled its vacancies so far this year

According to a report by national legal recruiters JMC Legal and labour market data publishers Vacancysoft, key recruitment trends also include:
– London is thriving as a legal hotspot, with the growing demand for lawyers leading to 2,680 vacancies so far this year in the City – up by an average of 14% year-on-year, new research shows.
– In-house has been the fastest growing area of recruitment, representing 58% of vacancies in London in 2022.

Tech and banking dominate in-house
The strong growth in vacancies outside of law firms has resulted in a surge of 31% surge so far this year, resulting in 1,547 vacancies – up from 1,180 in the same period last year.

And the capital still dominates over other cities, with London having a 40% share of legal vacancies in the UK.

JMC Legal CEO Jason Connolly said: “The City of London truly holds the reins regarding activity and opportunity. The optimism that law firms are showing regarding investment in hiring shows that they are poising themselves to capitalise on this ever-changing market.”

Focussing on in-house roles, March 2022 recorded the highest number of vacancies reaching 307, up by 17% month-on-month.

Tech leads with a 29% share of in-house vacancies reaching a total of 451 year to date, and estimated to reach more than 902 vacancies at the end of the year with a 40% average year-on-year growth. 

The banking sector is runner-up with a 24% share and 365 vacancies year to date, and the highest average year-on-year increase of 42% – and vacancies are estimated to reach 730 by end of the year.

Vacancies in law firms
In the top 50 UK London-based law firms, practice areas such as real estate, corporate including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), banking and finance are in the highest demand.

 Real estate leads with a 14% share of total vacancies in London law firms, with 155 vacancies year to date, estimated to reach 310 by end of year – up by 6% compared to 2021. Corporate/M&A comes in second place with 132 vacancies, up by 6% year to date.

Top 5 Law Firms for Legal Vacancies, London, 2021-22

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT FOR FULL TABLE

#

Firm

2021

2022* (Jan-June)

1

Clifford Chance

117

64

2

Simmons & Simmons

89

41

3

Mischcon de Reya

71

28

4

PWC Legal

22

93

5

Allen & Overy

53

27

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