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One in four legal teams plan to increase headcount

16/08/2017 News Team

Research from specialist professional recruiter Robert Walters has revealed that 23 percent of employers plan to hire more legal professionals in the second half of the year than the first.

Following a slow period for legal recruitment in 2016, hiring activity rose in the first half of this year, with this trend set to continue in the second half of the year with 84 percent of law firns planning to hire mid-level professionals, while 67 percent plan on recruiting junior staff.

Sam Walters, an associate director at Robert Walters, said that regulatory pressure continues to be a major driving factor in legal hiring activity.

“With deadlines approaching for various regulatory frameworks, employers are recognising the need to secure specialists who can ensure compliance in light of the serious reputational and financial repercussions of failing to do so,” he said.

“GDPR, with a delivery date of May 2018, is currently a high priority for many firms and legal professionals with specialist knowledge of these regulations are highly sought after.”

With large scale compliance projects driving a significant percentage of legal hiring, mid-level professionals who are in a position to manage these projects and develop strategies to engage key stakeholders are highly sought after. 

Mr Walters continued: “While opportunities are certainly still available for more junior staff, mid-level legal professionals are likely to see the highest demand for their skills.”

“Ensuring compliance with new regulatory frameworks requires professionals who have a strong technical knowledge of the regulations involved but who can also engage stakeholders from across the business, including senior managers and front office staff.”

“As a result, experienced legal professionals who possess strong communication and stakeholder management skills will be highly sought after by employers.”

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