Legal jobs market sees growth of 8% in Q2 2017

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The latest Robert Walters South African Jobs Index has revealed that the number of advertised legal jobs has increased by 8% in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2016. 

Despite a challenging economic and political environment, not common to other regions within emerging markets, there has been an increase in demand for legal professionals in South Africa.

“Demand for law professionals has grown across a range of specialisations and levels of seniority. This has been evident within different areas in the banking sector such as financial services and insurance,” says Nicolas Rainer, Manager at Robert Walters - South Africa.

Demand for law professionals has grown across a range of specialisations and levels of seniority.This has been evident within different areas in the banking sector such as financial services and insurance

Regulatory pressures drives demand for legal professionals

Lawyers with banking & finance skills as well as commercial and corporate mergers & acquisition experience 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.

Firms are finding it difficult to retain professionals with this experience, as there is a short supply of candidates with these skill sets. The technical, legislative and varied nature of these positions has made it even more challenging area for employers to recruit into.  

As regulatory pressures continue, experts in the following specialisms are highly sought after:

  • Legal regulatory
  • Compliance
  • Governance

International law firms securing legal talent from local firms

The influx of International law firms to the South African market has transformed the private practice area particularly in Johannesburg where these firms are based.

Candidates from traditionally strong local firms have shown an appetite for an International brand, resulting in a transition into new roles. This is mainly due to better pay from international firms. There is also a strong pull for candidates to be internationally mobile, either through a secondment or international transfer.

"As result of this, local firms are now looking to hire replacements to cover law professionals moving into the bigger international brands. We anticipate local law firms to begin recruiting to fill these spaces as we move into the second half of the year", continious Nicolas Rainer, Manager at Robert Walters - South Africa.

About the South African job index

The Robert Walters Job Index tracks advertising volumes across leading job boards in South Africa across the accountancy and finance, banking and financial services, IT, sales, marketing across South Africa. The Index was launched in Q1 2013.

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