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Professional Services Market Update – May 2020

Movement in the Professional Services sector has slowed significantly since the emergence of COVID-19. This is consistent across most firms and particularly in the Property sector. Legal and Consulting firms appear to be in a stronger position of all professional services firms with some movement in terms of new job roles, particularly at the junior end, but this has been due to replacement roles as opposed to increasing headcount. Approximately two thirds of our current job portfolio are permanent hires, in keeping with the last twelve months.

The bigger law firms are demonstrating more hiring activity, with Business Services roles still at a reasonably high volume, but much quieter on the fee-earning side. Encouragingly, some firms are committing to maintaining bonus payments, Pinsent Masons and Stephenson Harwood announcing so recently.

Understandably, most firms are still exerting a reasonable amount of caution in terms of hiring and where there are roles to fill, many firms are looking at their internal talent as a priority and prioritising direct hiring with the lighter workloads they are experiencing. A fair number of firms have indicated potential HR roles opening-up post lockdown.

Gareth Evans – Associate Partner

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