The Qualification Season: A Focus on… Corporate Tax

May 21, 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 Corporate Tax.

The Current Market

Corporate tax is one of the fundamental issues affecting businesses of all sizes and there are constant changes to the taxation system, regardless of which political party is in power.

You would expect a full service commercial law firm to provide a corporate tax service to its clients.  Unfortunately, in the North, that is not the case.  More so than pensions (as the other real niche discipline on the list), there are only a very small number of firms in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield who host a corporate tax team.  The mid-tier tend to avoid the area and will refer that aspect of work out to a firm with a dedicated tax department.

Is this a good career option?

Corporate tax presents a strong, stable career as there is always a need for tax solicitors and they are often well rewarded by law firms.  It is a very technical area and regarded as particularly specialist.  As there are not many firms who have specialist corporate tax teams, the opportunity to move will be limited, but when a role does arise (and in 2015 for example, a number of roles arose in quick succession), there is nowhere near the competition you might expect in a more general discipline.

Similar to pensions it is a technically demanding area of law and will therefore likely appeal to those who have a very analytical and exacting approach, with strong black letter law skills.

September 2019 opportunities

Although there were no live NQ corporate tax vacancies across Manchester and Leeds in 2018, there is an ongoing requirement with a top tier firm which looks likely to still be there in September. Such is the nature of the area, and the scarcity of individuals who are looking to work in tax, the firms who do this work are always open to hearing about lawyers interested in getting into this area. The key is proactivity.


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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