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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  20 Jul 2017

LABOUR: Legal Vacancies Rise By 8% As Demand for Lawyers Increases


Recent Western Cape Business News

FIGURES from the Robert Walters South African Jobs Index, which charts vacancy numbers posted to online platforms, shows that the number of legal jobs advertised in the second quarter of 2017 has marginally increased compared to the same time last year.

Nicolas Rainier, Robert Walters Manager, South Africa comments:“Despite a challenging economic environment and political factions not unique to other countries within emerging markets, we are pleased to see demand for legal professionals with specialist skills sets increase across a range of specialisations and levels of seniority within the first half of the year”

As regulatory pressures continue, experts in legal regulatory, compliance and governance have been sought after. This has been especially evident within financial services, both in the banking sector as well as insurance.

Legal recruitment a challenge

Nicolas Rainier, continues: “Despite demand, the technical, legislative and varied natures of these positions make it a challenging area for employers to recruit for and are often faced with short supply of professionals with the right skills sets.”

The influx of international law firms to the South African market has transformed private practice, more particularly within Johannesburg where these firms are based. Candidates from traditionally specialist local firms have shown high interest towards moving into an international.

This is due international firms typically paying better than local firms. There is also a strong pull to be internationally mobile, either through a secondment or international transfer.

​Presence of international legal firms grows

Nicolas Rainier, continues: “International firms continue to grow their presence in Johannesburg and hire professionals from specialist local firms. With candidates transitioning for better compensation, the local firms are seeking like-for-like replacements, increasing demand for new candidates.”

Attorneys with banking and finance experience as well as commercial and corporate mergers and acquisition continue to be in demand across all levels of seniority. These skills are highly sought after due to the regulatory nature of business at the moment.

More shortages in banking and financial services

Nicolas Rainer concludes: “There is a shortage of skills in banking and FS candidates with the market being very niche; employers are required to streamline their recruitment process in order to secure these candidates.”

“Often increased exposure to business, clients and transactional work will be the driving factor for candidates with these skill sets changing jobs.”

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