The Qualification Season: A Focus on… Construction

April 15, 2019

As part of The Qualification Season, a series of blogs by CapeClarke aimed at trainee solicitors looking to qualify in September 2019, 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 next area of law for discussion is Construction.

The Current Market

In respect of non-contentious construction work, departments are incredibly busy due to the continued buoyancy of the commercial property market. You only need to look at the skyline across Manchester and Leeds to see the scale of construction and development projects currently being undertaken.  Whether supporting and part of a wider real estate group, or a standalone department, non-contentious construction remains a busy and expanding area.

The contentious construction market has been busy for the past few years with the top law firms working on European and, in some cases, international matters. Once the preserve of London firms, increasingly more and more construction litigation teams in the region are getting involved in international arbitration work.  With the commercial margins for construction projects being so tight, managing, avoiding and resolving the contractual and legal issues is so important to a project’s ultimate success.

Throughout 2018 we have been looking for construction lawyers at all levels for our clients.

Is this a good career option? 

Both areas represent a fairly stable career to move into, although in terms of transactional work, it is driven by the success of the commercial property and residential development market.  With new housebuilding rates down against government targets this is an area that will continue to grow, with an increase in legal work and disputes off the back of that. Finding a role that affords you a split of transactional and litigation will probably serve you best in terms of your long-term career in Construction Law.

September 2019 opportunities: 

There were a couple of external NQ opportunities within construction in 2018. This is a popular area with internal trainees, but we still expect to see a few NQ roles across the regions be that contentious, advisory or a mix of both.


If you have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact one of our dedicated consultants on 0113 2385965 or 0161 3000750.

CapeClarke is a leading niche legal recruitment consultancy operating across Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and London. Please feel free to check out our priority legal vacancies by clicking here.  Please note these legal vacancies are only a small selection of those we have been instructed on, so please get in touch if you do not see a role which looks suitable.

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