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UK – Permanent legal staff levels up

24 April 2012

Senior legal secretarial professionals are in strong demand as firms in the UK begin to restructure and grow their internal departments, according to the specialist recruitment firm, DMJ Legal. While economic uncertainty has constrained recruitment in the legal sector, things are beginning to take a positive turn again. But this could also cut the heavy reliance of temporary workers in the industry as their staffing levels have increased during the crisis and may drop again now that economic prospects are improving. 

“During the recession, and in its aftermath, support teams within law firms downsized permanent staff in a drive to cut costs and instead relied heavily on temporary employees to work on a project by project basis. However things are beginning to change as firms seek to increase their headcount which can only be a positive sign for the profession as a whole,” said Caroline Rhodes of DMJ Legal.

Ms Rhodes says that as firms have increasingly begun to hire permanent support staff since the beginning of the year, there has been a clear need for employees to support and manage these teams. As a direct result, there has been heightened demand for Secretarial Team Leaders, a role not seen advertised since before the recession.

“We’ve been inundated in the last couple of months with requests for senior secretarial staff who can enter a firm and manage an existing team of support staff,” Ms Rhodes said.

“And whilst these staff are assuming a management role, we are seeing a desire from clients to employ candidates who can not only oversee fellow employees, but who can also get stuck in with the day-to-day administrative element of a busy law firm too. Candidates that have both these skills are being snapped up quickly in today’s market and we imagine this trend is set to gain pace as the economy recovers in the coming months.”

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