Two in three law firms are looking to increase headcount in 2018 but are being hampered by a skills shortage. According to new research, the top concern for 67 per cent was finding lawyers with the right skills. Another key worry for law firms was retaining lawyers. One in five law firms surveyed said they were concerned about staff retention. Those looking for positions said flexible and remote working were a top priority when looking for a job. However only one in three law firms offer flexible working opportunities whilst 22 per cent allow remote working. Asked about opportunities for 2018, nearly half of the law firms interviewed said technology was top of their list whilst 38 per cent said that they planned to expand. However, Brexit was not viewed as an opportunity by nearly 90 per cent, the survey, which was carried out by Clayton Legal, found.
'We’re finding that clients across the country and in all areas of the law are having a hard time recruiting quality candidates. Firms just can’t seem to find the talent they require to do the job,' Clayton Legal spokesperson Lynn Sedgwick says. Ms Sedgwick says firms are stuck in a particularly vicious circle at the moment: concerned about the expense of training staff and struggling to keep up with changing client demands: 'Over the last five to ten years new technology and new norms such as working from home have changed the way we work. Firms are struggling to keep up with changing employee and client requirements, such as the increased demand for private practice – they’re struggling to find the candidates to meet their needs. And as the uncertainty around Brexit rumbles on many firms are left in a difficult position.'