Happy New Job?

January 3, 2012

Hello, 2012. And this could be a good time to switch jobs

Photo: iStock












One of the problems with economic meltdown is that people get very jittery about moving jobs. Many of us who’ve stuck with the job through the last recession now feel inescapably glued to the furniture.

But don’t worry. January – the traditional time for dumping your employer – is now upon us.

The opportunities are out there

As we all know, the legal sector isn’t immune to economic uncertainty. Recent news that Linklaters is to axe as many as 30 partners has got the redundancy rumour mill well and truly grinding again.

But according to legal recruitment consultants First Counsel, recruitment activity levels held up well towards the end of the year and even into December, a notoriously quiet month on the recruitment front.

While the past financial year saw only modest revenue rises among many UK firms, some firms did particularly well. Consistent performer Berwin Leighton Paisner posted an impressive 19.9 per cent hike in turnover, boding well for ongoing growth prospects.

Simmons & Simmons’ recruitment of six partners from Berwin Leighton Paisner this year no doubt augers well also, with the firm looking for more talent as we speak.

And despite a tumultuous few months for the Euro, Europe has also enjoyed the launch of numerous offices in recent months – mainly by UK and US firms that won’t let the economic doldrums get in the way of some empire building. Bird & Bird, Eversheds, and Norton Rose are among several UK firms that opened up shops across Germany in 2011.

Looking up down under

Into 2012, Asia-Pacific remains a strong growth market. In 2011 Clifford Chance and DLA Piper joined an increasing number of UK firms that have completed mergers with Australian firms in recent times.

This shift east will no doubt be reinforced by the forthcoming and market-transforming merger of Australian firm Mallesons Stephens Jacques and Chinese firm King & Wood. Leading firms are undoubtedly going to want a piece of that emerging action.

And this is all before we even get into specific developments in the UK market, such as potential opportunities arising out of the Legal Services Act. Co-operative Legal Services has confirmed that it will apply to become an alternative business structure in the new year, alongside many other firms that have expressed an interest – more to follow in a later article.

Time to move?

The problem with economic uncertainty is that it can cause paralysis. But the legal market is not standing still – either nationally or internationally. There is real development and growth going on in many corners of the market.

Economic gloom may be obscuring your career path. But perhaps that’s all the more reason to take the time now to polish up your CV. It may help light the way, and the opportunities, ahead. CP


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