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Demand for lawyers intensifies in Manchester but talent remains sparse

Vacancies for private practice lawyers across Manchester and the surrounding areas has risen by 44% month-on-month according to new survey data from specialist recruiter, Clayton Legal. Despite the increase in available jobs, the number of candidates seeking employment has fallen sharply (49%) which has resulted in firms struggling to fill roles.

The survey, which was compiled based on the recruiter’s comprehensive data on advertised roles, and candidates registered, reveals that while demand for family solicitors has been particularly strong, firms across the region are recruiting across the board – from conveyancing paralegals and partners to personal injury paralegals and legal cashiers – demonstrating the healthy nature of the legal market.

Commenting on the results of the data, Lynn Sedgwick, Managing Director at Clayton Legal said:

“It’s perhaps unsurprising that vacancy levels in the region are rising given the number of new entrants to Manchester’s legal market in recent times as reported in the latest Legal 500. We’ve seen a multitude of high profile firms – such as Berwin Leighton Paisner and Shakespeare Martineau – move to the city as the region becomes an increasingly attractive location due to government investment. Consequently, we have seen a sharp rise in requirements from our clients in and around Manchester as they contend with increased demand for their services.

Despite this, however, firms are facing tough competition for legal professionals in a finite talent pool which has resulted in candidates being able to not only command lucrative rates but also negotiate flexible benefits packages such as remote working. In addition, firms have had to reassess their retention strategies to ensure that they don’t lose key members of staff to their competitors. The future for Manchester’s legal market looks incredibly promising with increasing numbers of employers and individuals moving to the area. Firms, however, must put talent pipelining strategies at the top of their agenda to ensure they have the right people, in the right place, at the right time to contend with increased workloads both now and in the future.”


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