Over half of staff in the legal sector plan on moving jobs within a year, a recruitment company has claimed. 

A survey of 500 legal employers and employees showed that the top motivation for almost a third of those planning on moving jobs was a lack of future opportunities in the current role. This compares to a UK average of 25%.

Aside from salary, career development (33%) and work-life balance (25%) were cited as the most important factors for employees when considering new roles.

However just 14% of employers said that work-life balance was important when attracting staff.

According to the results, 43% of legal employees said their work-life balance was average or below average.

Meanwhile 60% cited flexible working as one of the most important employee benefits and 67% said their most important benefit was having over 25 days' annual leave. 

The survey revealed that the competition for talent continues to be a key concern among legal employers, with 75% saying a lack of suitable applicants will be one of their biggest challenges over the next 12 months. Almost half (45%) said their biggest challenge would be competition from other employers.

The survey also showed that confidence is high in the sector, with 69% of employers saying they expect business activity to increase and 75% planning to recruit in the next year. 

Ian Barker, director at Hays Legal said: ‘If legal professionals are saying they want clear career paths and a better work-life balance, employers must recognise this.'