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Legal Job Market in Bristol Beats Economic Downturn


The slow down across the UK has resulted in many businesses, not excluding law firms, tightening their belts and cutting back on fee earner recruitment reducing the amount of solicitor jobs available. Legal recruitment in Bristol has not remained unaffected. In the last 12 months we have seen the number of Bristol legal jobs in commercial property, corporate and banking decline by more than 60%. But is it all doom and gloom? Putting commercial property and residential conveyancing jobs aside, the legal job market is actually very buoyant.

So where are all the jobs in Bristol for solicitors looking for other opportunities? The most buoyant areas and where there are several opportunities for lawyers with at least two years’ PQE are in corporate, commercial, insolvency, personal injury (defendant and claimant), professional indemnity, employment and construction departments.

The recent spate of newly qualified solicitor recruitment in the region has been quite successful. There were many firms seeking external candidates within commercial litigation, insolvency, commercial, projects/PFI, financial services, professional indemnity, PI and clinical negligence. At the other end of the scale, there is a high demand for senior lateral hires particularly in areas such as commercial/projects, regulatory, employment, and pensions and we are currently receiving instructions from senior candidates seeking out new opportunities in the region.

Whilst a few of the main Bristol law firms have made redundancies during 2008, when you look a little deeper, most of these have been from support functions or huge conveyancing teams. So far there have been only minor casualties amongst fee earners.

So the outlook for legal recruitment in Bristol is positive. Salaries are also on the up. Newly Qualified solicitors in Bristol can now command £43,000, the highest amongst the regions of the whole country.

For further information please contact James Brewster, Associate Director of BCL Legal on 0845 241 0997 or email him at


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