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During 2020, the global pandemic provided an increased workload for many law firms across various legal areas. With corporate, employment and real estate sectors buoyant due to various restructurings, redundancies, furlough arrangements and office changes, some commercial law practices were able to diversify their client bases and fair well despite the economic downfall. In more recent months, as a result of Covid-19 and Brexit, there has been a demand for in-house support as businesses reinforce their legal and compliance operations to help navigate through uncertain times. 

Whether you’re looking to progress in your Legal career or want to expand your team and carry out some market research beforehand, we surveyed thousands of companies and candidates to reveal the most in-demand roles in the legal sector in 2021.

The most in-demand legal roles in 2021

1.     In-house Counsel 

As organisations continue to look for ways to cut legal spending, they look to grow their own and bring in experienced individuals in-house. In-house counsel carries out legal work directly for their employer, as opposed to a law firm or private practice that work on behalf of multiple clients. 

At Search Legal, we continue to see growth in areas such as renewables, fin-tech, alongside more traditional financial services, including oil and gas, as the oil price increases and drives investment in the sector. 

2.     Commercial Litigation Solicitors

As the courts return to normal, demand remains high within commercial litigation. The variety of work is wide-ranging, including shareholder disputes and debt recovery actions. Property litigation is particularly busy as solicitors continue to deal with dilapidation issues which include organisations no longer able to pay rent, or wanting to downsize from large office spaces to smaller premises to accommodate for a blended return to the office.

3.     Employment Solicitors

Employment law relates to all matters concerning the workplace, specifically the rights of both employers and employees. As organisations navigate through the pandemic, redundancy and restructure is not uncommon, and specialist Employment Lawyers are called upon to uphold and protect the obligations and rights of both parties.

4.     Property Lawyer 

Property Lawyers find themselves in one of the most in-demand legal professions as the property market remains buoyant with low stack and high demand. Their job involves negotiating contracts and organising legal documentation on behalf of their client.

With the rise in home working and freeze on stamp duty which was implemented by the government earlier this year, buyers were encouraged to look at properties with additional outdoor space and extra bedroom or study. Therefore, there has been a drastic rise in the demand for Residential Property Lawyers and Licensed Conveyancers, to assist with this process. 

5.     Banking Lawyers

A Banking Lawyer arranges loans to buy other companies or to finance new business ventures. They also offer legal advice and work on a variety of corporate and finance-related cases. As businesses restructure, refinance or take the opportunity to acquire other companies at lower costs, they will need to employ the help of a Banking Lawyer. 

Although recruitment figures for the sector overall are down versus 2019, there continues to be significant growth month-on-month which shows optimism for the legal sector. Unlike other sectors, the global pandemic increased the workload for many law firms which correlates with the demand for the above roles. Plus, with post-Brexit changes across financial services, lawyers are presented with additional opportunities, ever more driving demand for experienced legal professionals.

To discover more insights on the most in-demand roles and average salaries within the Legal sector, download a free copy of our 2021 Salary & Benefits Guide.

Are you looking for your next legal role? We have available roles in Private Practice or In-House and can offer you the best insights into the marketplace for your region and specialism. Speak to one of our specialist legal recruitment consultants today.