North West Legal Market – What does candidate led mean and how does it impact you?

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If you are a lawyer working in or around Manchester, the likelihood is you will be receiving a constant stream of LinkedIn messages from recruiters (apologies).


Why is this?

The simple answer is… it’s a candidate led market where experienced solicitors are in short supply compared to the current number of vacancies. This certainly applies to buoyant practice areas such as Real Estate, Corporate, Commercial, Employment, Commercial Litigation and niche areas like Pensions, Banking, Tax etc.

The recession left a number of lawyers struggling to either secure training seats or NQ positions particularly in the above practice areas so there’s now a genuine gap in the market which has led to a candidate shortage compared to client demand.


Are you happy?

As someone who works with both candidates who are actively and passively looking to move, I always ask candidates to analyse their frustrations in their current role and if they were to move in an ideal world what they’d change. Naturally, some candidate’s expectations may need managing, but this tends to give them a good idea if, confidentially, exploring the market would be beneficial for them.


What does a candidate led market mean for you?

The reason I ask candidates to analyse their frustrations in their current role and desires moving forward is because I’ve recently been able to assist a number of candidates in securing new roles which have met their list of desires, much to their surprise.

Only recently, I was able to secure a senior level candidate a part-time 3 days a week role with 2 of these days home based and additionally I secured them a sizeable pay increase within an International law firm in the North West.

I’ve also been able to secure many candidates sizeable pay increases, flexible/agile working conditions, a better work/like balance (without salary compromise) and even the following summer off work to go travelling!



It is important to remember that whilst I’ve referenced glowing examples of how I’ve assisted candidates capitalise on the market, that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener. At MJN Legal, we pride ourselves in offering honest, impartial advice and always manage expectations and give an accurate account of how life is at other firms.

If you have some frustrations at your current firm, are weighing up your options, or are interested in finding out how life could be different elsewhere then please contact Michael Niven on 0161 759 4690 /