In-house growing in appeal, says survey
Nearly two-thirds of private practice lawyers would consider moving in-house, according to research published today.
The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Law Department Study, responded to by 114 legal departments at companies in 17 countries, found that 53% had recruited lawyers during the first quarter of 2012. This was 13% more than the companies had forecast last year, when only 40% expected their legal departments’ headcount to rise.
The increase in hiring was accompanied by a 13% fall on external spending by legal departments on legal services in the past four years.
The survey was carried out in the spring by legal recruiter Laurence Simons and global bar association the Association of Corporate Counsel.
The research also revealed that the UK is the country to which most in-house lawyers are currently being recruited - 30% of in-house hires were in the UK, 24% in Germany and 20% in France.
At the same time, in an online survey of 399 private practice lawyers conducted by Laurence Simons, 61% said they would consider a move in-house.
Global managing director of Laurence Simons Naveen Tuli said that spending on practice lawyers has been squeezed as in-house teams have been required to take on more responsibility. Companies are now hiring fewer paralegals and more qualified lawyers who can take on more complex and larger workloads.
Tuli said: ‘The ultimate result is that an increasing number of practice lawyers are realising there are great opportunities to be had in-house.’