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A Freezing Start to the Summer...

Friday, 04 May 2012

As we enter the month of May, we are now approaching the half year mark and with the completion of the financial year, many firms are currently in the process of evaluating their recruitment needs.

Following last week’s announcement of a potential ‘double dip’, we have seen some worrying trends emerge amongst US and silver circle law firms. Most notably Dewey & LeBoeuf, who have lost 80 partners already this year, which has led to their London office preparing for a potential administration. Herbert Smith has also announced that they will be cutting approximately 50 jobs in their London office, 23 of which are in the corporate advisory division.

In corporate recovery accounts, the Big 4’s doors remain closed to any external recruitment. Indeed one Big 4 firm has been actively reducing its headcount, having already let go of about a dozen employees, potentially with more to follow (if inside reports are to be believed). On the other hand, Grant Thornton continues to ramp up its recruitment drive; we are recruiting for both the complex and restructuring teams in London, as well as their Bristol and Cambridge offices.

In pensions, whilst we are now seeing a huge demand for Partners, as many firms continue to push forward with their plans for expansion, the requirements at associate level are few and far between. Demand for employment associates is also weak, although we have seen some activity at mid-level. In contrast, the US outfits are always on the look-out for employment Partners.

The indirect tax market is still reasonably quiet, with the Big 4 accountancy firms continuing with their recruitment freezes. The demand seems to be from industry clients, EMEA based roles and smaller boutique practices that are winning new work from the cost-conscious SME market.

We hope that these negative trends will soon start to reverse, and that the summer will see an increase in the level of demand across all of our areas. As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in discussing opportunities in further detail, or simply for an overview of the current recruitment market.

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Please get in touch with us with any questions that you have on telephone: 020 7250 0000 or email: [email protected].