The Qualification Season 2014: Corporate

February 26, 2014

As part of “The Qualification Season” – seminars and a series of blogs by CapeClarke aimed at trainee solicitors looking to qualify in September 2014 – we will give a brief overview of the market conditions affecting many of the core legal disciplines that trainee solicitors look to qualify into.

The first area of law for discussion is Corporate.

The Current Market: The corporate market (along with Commercial Property) was one of the biggest casualties of the recession and it has spent the last 5 years recovering.  For years, corporate transactions were not moving beyond due diligence and clients were not viewing deals as being financially viable.  Private equity transactions dropped off a cliff as dis equity capital market work!  There were some redundancies, 4 day working weeks and unoccupied private equity and M&A specialists.

That was then, this is now! The corporate market is still in a period of recovery, but corporate departments across the region have been much, much busier in the last 3 years, with renewed (or enhanced) confidence in the market or opportunistic businesses seeking to take advantage of the recovering market.  Those firms who operate in the private equity markets have really undergone a revival.

Is this a good career option? It may come as a surprise, but corporate is actually a good area to qualify into, particularly if you work at a strong transactional practice – during the better times, you will be hugely busy and as a result of trainees not really gearing up to qualify into corporate in recent years, you will find yourself highly sought after once you have a year or so of PQE under your belt!

September 2014 opportunities: There will be numerous opportunities this year (and probably for the next couple of years) to qualify into corporate and they will also afford the opportunity to NQs in smaller or mid-tier firms to make the step up to the larger practices – corporate divisions cannot be as picky as they used to be so that has allowed, particularly junior, solicitors to transform their careers.  What a difference a couple of years makes – if you were a trainee solicitor 3 or 4 years ago and were hoping to qualify into corporate, you were in for a bit of a shock, with very few departments wanting to expand.  We have already had the heads up on a number of opportunities at the NQ level for September qualifiers.

 

If you would like to discuss this blog, have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact Terry Cape or Chris Clarke on 0113 2385965.

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