Published on 16th January 2017
Following the uncertainty of Brexit which led to a slow down within the legal finance recruitment market, we have seen an influx of candidates looking for work, particularly at the transactional level.
The movement of business services teams to areas outside of London is another factor that has contributed to the rise in legal finance candidates entering the jobs market.
Towards the end of Q4, job flow started to grow we have seen more senior level roles becoming available.
Restructuring at many law firms and an increase in M&A activity has put further pressure on the market.
Skills in demand
The trend towards building e-billing teams continues with many mid-tier firms now following the magic circle and silver circle firms in becoming more automated. This will continue to increase as firms adapt and react to cost drivers, so candidates with specific e-billing experience will remain in high demand.
Finance Systems Expertise (Elite, Elite 3E and Aderant)
The implementation of new systems technologies is high on the agenda for most law firms. Candidates with experience in using Elite, Elite 3E and Aderant experience will continue to be in demand.
Commercial Exposure – Profitability & Pricing
Pricing & Profitability has been a key focus for large firms during 2016 with specialist teams being established. These are Partner facing roles that require a unique, specialist skillset that is often difficult to come by. Firms may need to become more open to candidates with experience from outside the legal sector in order to fill these skill gaps and to work with their employees to develop Partner-facing skills.
We are continuing to see an increase in recruitment in this area as firms focus on remaining competitive in the market. Many traditional Financial and Management Accountants have been looking to make the transition into a more commercially focused role as this is a real growth area.
- Olswang / Nabarro/ CMS merging to become CMS in May 2017.
- Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer due to join forces in January 2017 – moving into Arnold & Porter offices, in Tower 42.
Predictions for 2017
We expect the current uncertainty in the market to continue into the first half of 2017, Confirmation of the Brexit date will enable firms to better plan for 2017 and beyond, Law firms will be heavily involved in legislation surrounding Brexit which will bring opportunities to some firms.
Technology will increasingly be discussed and more roles will start to be automated. Firms will continue to look at cost savings through automation and by moving business services teams outside of London.
There will be more M&A activity and Pricing roles will continue to grow as firms focus on commerciality.
Advice for employers
- We recommend that hiring managers keep an open mind when reviewing profiles outside of the legal sector when recruiting their finance roles, especially for commercially focused positions. We have placed several professionals from outside the legal sector in recent months who have been very successful.
- Moving quickly with the recruitment process is crucial if you find a candidate that is strong for your role to avoid missing out on top talent.
Advice for jobseekers
- Make time to go over interview preparation with us. In a competitive market, it is important to stand out and we can help you do that.
- Be open minded to contract roles to help add specific skill sets to your CV, especially in an unpredictable market.
- Work openly and honestly with us so that we can guide you as best as possible throughout your search.
- Keep on top of what firms your CV is being sent to so as to avoid duplicate applications.
- Ensure your CV is a true representation of your experience which will help increase your chances of securing an interview.
Legal Finance & Accounting
Salaries Q1 2017
* Notes on salary table
1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
5. Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances.