Up to 10,000 legal jobs could be cut in the next two years, amounting to more than one in 10 of the country’s 83,000 privately employed solicitors, senior legal figures have said.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the total number of jobs in the legal sector, including non-solicitors, has already fallen by 16,700 in 2008to 279,800, but the losses are set to continue.
With vacancies in the legal sector down by 95% this year, Nick Root, founding partner of recruitment agencyTaylor Root, told the Times: “It’s the worst year ever, by some margin. Those people who are being let go will not get another job.”
Thousands of law graduates have already been asked to take a year off before joining firms, and one recruitment agency was said to have received about 700 applications for three entry-level vacancies.
But many partners are also losing their jobs. Some partners who have been accustomed to earning more than £700,000ayear have now found they can command as little as £200,000 from the few firms still hiring.
But a survey of law firm benefits last month revealed lawyers were still receiving plenty of complementary benefits, such as on-site physiotherapists and tickets to events in London, as well as private medical care.