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Legal trends - a look back at 2014

Posted by
06 Jan 2015
The demand over the last 12 months for locum legal professionals has been at an all time high. As a team, we have more locums in placements that ever before, and this is continuing to grow each week.

Within the team, we are constantly busy with filling different requirements, however the area of law with the highest demand does differ depending on new legislation, high profile cases, budget cuts, expansion etc.

Given how much things have changed over the last year, I thought it would be useful to see some areas that have been popular in demand, and why.

Childcare
 
The new public law outline meant that we saw a shift in the requirement type for locum childcare lawyers. The emphasis shifted earlier in the year as the new PLO meant that there was an increase in pre-proceedings work, so there wasn't necessarily the more stand requirement of someone a specialist to handle a caseload and conduct advocacy, but more so to focus on the earlier stages. This also provided more opportunities for those with less experience to get a foot in the door in organisations, and gain further exposure to childcare law.

Property
 
The demand of both commercial and residential property lawyers nationwide has been enormous this year. This has been for different reasons:
  1. Confidence growing in those buying houses - there has been as significant increase in first time buyers in 2014, and with the recent stamp duty updates, this is set to continue.
  2. Local authorities and other public sector organisations looking to expand their property portfolio, whether this is local authorities undertaking redevelopment and regeneration projects, or universities looking to expand their accommodation and campus, this is an area that has grown exponentially in 2014.
  3. Organisations trying to meet budget requirements has meant that there has been a locum demand to help deal with sales and disposals of land, and again that has been consistent nationwide. 
Adult
 
The Cheshire West case in the Supreme Court has meant that the usually stable area of adult social care has seen a huge increase in terms of requirements, and candidates with this skill set are in high demand. The requirement has been for locum legal professionals who are experienced and able to deal with court of protection work and deprivation of liberty work, and I think this will continue into 2015.

At the moment, it is difficult to predict what may happen in 2015. The new EU procurement directive has meant that we have recently seen a spike in the demand for Commercial Lawyers, and I anticipate that this will carry on for a few months into next year.

What changes would you predict for the legal profession in 2015? Join the discussion below...
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