Press November 2011

The Challenge Of Change Facing Legal Recruitment

The legal market is experiencing some of the biggest change it has ever gone through, in terms of working structures and employment practices. RI spoke to some leading legal recruiters to explore the changes happening in the market.

Having been hit hard by the recession, confidence now appears to be returning to the sector, with findings from the recent Robert Half Legal Hiring Index showing that over 80% of lawyers are confident in their company’s prospects for growth in the next two months. It indicated that litigation, bankruptcy and foreclosure, as well as labour

and employment law, are the practice areas expected to see the most growth in the fourth quarter. With other hot topics including the increase in flexible working practices and a persistent dearth of women at partner level, there was plenty to provoke discussion. Download article

The Lawyer – October 2011

Flexible Work – more than just an issue of being family friendly

This being Parenting Week, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have refreshed their calls to make workplace legislation more family friendly. But law firms need to think beyond working mums and dads in crafting flexible working policies.

The case for flexible work in the legal industry usually centres on working mothers. Why is flexible work so often seen as a female issue? A Massachusetts study found that most male lawyers are coupled with women holding little or no household financial responsibility, with less career commitment and with primary family responsibilities. In contrast, female lawyers are more likely to be coupled with men with an equal or greater responsibility for career and income and who do not assume primary caretaking responsibilities. More

Solicitors Journal May 2011

Try before you buy

Try an employee before you recruitWith the economy still unsettled law firms remain reluctant to invest in new lawyers, despite a rise in activity – but alternative models could work out positively for both employers and staff, says Fiona Severs.

Many law firms suffered in the recession as real estate, M&A and finance-related transactions dried up. Firms had to take action when the recession really began to bite. Pay and recruitment freezes were common and many firms adopted more flexible working practices with staff signing up for reduced hours, extended unpaid leave or less pay in order to save their jobs – if they were lucky. The lawyer magazine stated that 4263 Lawyers lost their jobs at top 200 UK firms between Autumn 2007 and Spring 2010.

Financial Times March 2011

Flexible hires can be the ultimate ‘try before you buy’

Fiona Severs is a director at Lexington Gray, a legal recruitment agency.

How popular is flexible working?
Flexible working, which includes part-time, fixed-term and remote working is on the increase: 8m people in the UK, or 27 per cent of those employed and the highest level since the Office of National Statistics began recording it’s employment series in 1992.

Managing Partner magazine March 2011

Discourage ‘drunk’ lawyering: change the long hours culture in law firms

Fiona Severs, Director, Lexington Gray

Flexible recruitmentLawyers operate within a profession where long hours are, to a certain extent, inevitable. However, more than a century of studies show that working long hours can have disastrous consequences for both the business and individual concerned.

Sleep deprivation has serious implications for knowledge workers. Research has found that productivity may be increased at 60 hours per week, but only for 8 weeks, after which productivity reduces below that of a 40-hour week and staff become tired, angry and burnt out.


Recruitment International January 2011

The impact of a turbulent market on legal recruitment

By Fiona Severs, Founder of Lexington Gray

Flexible recruitmentLegal recruitment is undergoing a period of rapid change as law firms adapt to turbulent market conditions. Many have seen a recent upturn in demand for their services.

This, couple witha depleted workforce owing to redundancies earlier in the recession, has left some overstretched. Concerns that the bubble may burst in the New Year have resulted in caution about recruiting permanent staff.


Online Recruitment Dec 2010

Double dip recession – How can companies prepare?

By Fiona Severs, Lexington Gray

double dip recessionIt seems that you can not open a newspaper at the moment without reading about the possibility of a double-dip recession. While conditions are undoubtedly turbulent, how can companies prepare to maximise business in both the short and longer term while reducing the impact of such a double dip?

Many businesses are currently experiencing an upturn in demand. Following redundancies, some are struggling with workforces that are overstretched. Longer hours, pay freezes and concerns about redundnacy all take their toll on staff morale.