Legal recruitment update 2017

business woman asks questions in meeting

Legal recruitment activity continued to remain steady in 2016. Candidates with niche skill sets were still in short supply and receiving numerous offers in quick succession regardless of how fast firms move to offer. Due to the recent Brexit referendum, we are witnessing a number of Irish qualified solicitors in the UK expressing an interest in returning to Ireland at present.

The key areas of growth within private practice were corporate, funds, banking and property, with the strongest demand occurring at the 1-5 years’ PQE level. The first six months of 2016 saw an increase in hiring of more experienced solicitors up to partner level as firms began to win more business and build out their existing teams again.

Suzanne Feeney, Director of Legal, Compliance and Financial Services said:

“We witnessed a surge of demand within the company secretarial area, especially for company secretaries with 1-4 years’ experience in both general and funds industries. These candidates are more likely to be offered opportunities immediately and later receive counter-offers upon handing in their notice, as their skillset is in short supply.”

There was continued demand for in-house legal counsels with commercial law expertise within the insurance, technology, pharma and aviation sectors. In-house teams primarily focused their recruitment at the 1-5 years PQE level.

Suzanne said: “Although during early 2016 we saw a number of companies hire ‘head of legal’ and general counsel roles, this was due to a combination of replacement hires and the acquisition of new business. There is still an increased demand for professionals with in-house funds experience, given Ireland’s standing as one of the leading regions for funds domiciled in Europe.”

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