Conveyancer shortage could pose problems for firms
A law firm has warned that a shortage of conveyancers could result in serious challenges for firms.
Clayton Legal conducted its 2018 salary survey in February and March of this year, revealing a snapshot of the legal profession. This includes challenges, remuneration, use of support staff, and how firms plan to hold onto talent.
A common theme identified was a shortage of conveyancers, with this view feeding into wider concerns about the property market.
Managing director of the firm, Lynn Sedgwick said: “Law firms are really in a difficult position. On the one hand, the demand for property experts exceeds supply, which inevitably pushes up salaries as candidates who specialise in that area can ask for more.”
She also highlighted that the survey results suggest a lack of experienced solicitors across the legal sector more generally, stating: “The salary survey has captured what firms and partners have been telling us for some time: the lack of experienced candidates poses a genuine challenge. Our clients tell us that they are not simply looking for law graduates – they need solicitors with skills developed in real-world situations. Qualifications are impressive, but commercial know-how and the ability to think outside of the box is far more valuable to firms.”
While the survey highlights some key areas of concern, there was also good news. 78% of survey participants felt that attrition rates had decreased, up from just 51% in 2016.
The results of the survey also suggested that law firms are becoming more adept at retaining the most valuable talent and that the non-financial benefits are growing in importance.
Lynn continued: “Pay is always going to be an issue for solicitors, as it is for anyone in employment. What the survey does reveal is that non-monetary benefits are of increasing importance to solicitors – and the firms that want to retain them. 66% of firms offer flexible working, second only to pension contributions as the most popular benefit offered. This shows that an enjoyable work culture is key to holding onto the top legal talent as well as more traditional rewards.”