Recruitment Update – February 2014

Welcome to the first of this year’s Recruitment Updates from Oyster Search & Selection. As some of you will know, Oyster was launched in 2009 so this year we will be celebrating our fifth birthday and we will no doubt be raising a glass or two in the months ahead to mark the occasion. Quite what the next 5 years will look like nobody quite knows, but looking back over the past few years, the legal sector has inevitably had its fair share of “ups and downs” as a result of the global economic downturn.

In 2008/9, we saw a significant number of law firms restructure their businesses in an effort to cut costs and this in turn lead to a round of redundancies with a number of lawyers and business services professionals losing their jobs as a result. Since then a number of law firms have sought to outsource and/or offshore parts of their business operations, others have found merger partners as the market consolidates and, in a few too many cases sadly, some firms have folded.

At the same time, there have been without doubt a number of opportunities to be had in the legal sector as new legal service providers enter the market, firms seek to “upskill” their workforce and new and expanding areas of demand emerge, such as regulation and enforcement.

Whilst we have had our fair share of “false dawns” in the past few years, looking back to last year 2013 may well be regarded as a turning point here in the UK. As the economy steadily picks up, law firms in general have been reporting increased revenue and profitability in the first six months of the financial year and recruitment activity has improved month on month.

Did you know that last year, for example, we recruited a Head of HR for Asia, a Senior Associate in Commercial Litigation in New Zealand for a role in London, a Senior Associate in Shipping for a role in Dubai and an Employee Relations Manager for a role in the City.

This year, we are currently working on mandates to recruit, for example, Partners in each of the following areas of practice, Commercial Property, Investment Funds, Corporate Reorganisations, Commercial Litigation and Corporate M&A/Private Equity.

The early signs in 2014 are that the upward trend in recruitment activity in the legal sector is continuing unabated.Indeed, we are already seeing some areas of practice, such as real estate, for example, where clients report a dearth of candidates.

The challenge for our clients, therefore, will be to be able to effectively retain their existing staff and to attract new talent. For candidates, it may well mean that there are more opportunities out in the market than hitherto.

From our point of view, we remain optimistic about the months ahead and, going forward, will be updating our readers on a regular basis about opportunities in the legal sector, whether here in East Anglia, the City or, indeed, overseas in the Middle East, Asia-Pac and beyond. As a starting point, here is a selection of our latest vacancies:


Commercial Property

Investment Funds

Commercial Litigation

Corporate M&A/Private Equity





Construction Litigation, Senior Associate+

Funds, Senior Associate

Pensions Litigation 5PQE+

Commercial Litigation/Insolvency 4-5PQE +

Corporate Energy/Oil & Gas 4-5PQE+

Corporate M&A/ECM 4-8PQE

Corporate Tax 1-3PQE

Leveraged Finance 1-3PQE

Newly Qualified, Corporate


Business Services

Head of Recruitment

HR Business Partner

L&D Manager

HR Advisor

HR Adminstrator


For further details of these and other opportunities please contact Michael Pickup

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