Private Client has long been one of the narrower, and perhaps less alluring legal practice areas, with many solicitors favouring the high salaries and prestige that typically come with more commercial specialisms. However, things are changing.
Not only are the firms who have traditionally been strong on the private client front continuing to develop their offerings but, other law firms are broadening their revenue streams. In doing so, they are expanding their private client offering and creating plenty of exciting opportunities for ambitious candidates.
At Realm, I specialise in the recruitment of Private Client solicitors across the North West, Yorkshire and the West Midlands. The regional market has never been busier – I’ve recently helped firms such as JMW, Keebles, and Ward Hadaway grow their Private Client teams.
One area that is particularly buoyant is Court of Protection, with large numbers of firms, particularly personal injury firms, branching into this legal specialism. However, within this niche, firms have only a very small group of lawyers from which to draw their talent. There are simply more vacancies than there are candidates, so experienced Court of Protection solicitors are in an advantageous position if they are thinking of moving.
The shortage of Court of Protection solicitors has encouraged firms to more be open-minded about the experience of the candidates they consider. Increasingly, they are willing to take on Catastrophic Injury Solicitors and Clinical Negligence Lawyers who want to retrain.
The experience these lawyers have in dealing with vulnerable clients, many of whom lack capacity, means that they already have a number of the soft-skills firms are looking for in their Court of Protection Solicitors. Because there is a degree of crossover between these practice areas, the transition is not as difficult as switching between other, more disparate specialisms.
Not only are law firms are considering a broader range of candidates, but they are willing to compete for top talent and entice them with generous compensation packages. This year, I’ve placed a number of solicitors who secured phenomenal pay rises (sometimes as high as 30%) in their moves. While you might expect this in ultra niche areas like Court of Protection, this trend is taking place across the board within Private Client.
It’s also not limited to senior solicitor roles or openings with larger, city-centre based firms. Over the last few months, I have helped a number of solicitors, ranging from a junior lawyer with just 18 months experience, up to a Private Client Partner, move to both national and regional firms and achieve equally significant salary increases.
While generally, Private Client lawyers are satisfied in their jobs, they are usually open to opportunity, especially when they learn about the compensation on offer from top-calibre firms. In today’s candidate-driven market, lawyers working in this area arguably have the upper hand when it comes to exploring Private Client Solicitor jobs in Manchester, Yorkshire and further afield.
Are you a Private Client solicitor thinking about making your next move?
Even if you’re happy at your current firm, it’s always worth being informed about the state of the market. For a confidential discussion about your circumstances and to learn more about the current and potential opportunities within Private Client and Court of Protection Law, get in touch with me today.