What does 2024 mean for legal talent in the UK regions?

Author James Brewster
February 10, 2024

In 2023 we saw a fairly flat legal jobs market in the regions; candidate appetite to move jobs was low, client confidence in hiring was also low and focussed mainly on replacement hires, rather than expansion.  The firms who did grow their teams were mainly those that specialise in the public sector.

There are a number of signs to say there will be more stability in 2024 as we move away from the pandemic and global political volatility which have stifled legal job numbers in the last few years. Currently we have over 50 live roles in Birmingham, 50% more, than we did this time last year. We predict more lawyers will look to move and average job numbers set to increase to give them the confidence to make a move.

In terms of practice areas in 2023, we saw most firms looking for legal talent within the areas of commercial contracts IT/IP, data protection, commercial disputes, construction and employment.  While banking, real estate and corporate. were stifled.

In 2024, we predict quarter one to be busier in terms of new law firm opportunities than they would be in other business quarters. March is consistently the busiest month in terms of new vacancies, and we predict this will apply in 2024. (September will be a quieter month with August seeing a surge in vacancies).

We should see an increase in corporate private equity and M&A jobs given encouraging signs from the top firms by volume and total value in corporate transactions, that things are due to pick up in the first half of 2024.  Consequently, real estate jobs should pick up too.  We shall also see a continued healthy flow of commercial contract, disputes and employment jobs. 

For more information on the current market in Birmingham and across the Midlands please contact James Brewster.

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