The Qualification Season: A Focus on…Family

May 28, 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 Family.

The Current Market

2018 was another busy year for the family law market, with instructions generally tending to be on the increase for the vast majority of larger and more niche firms across the UK – particularly those instructions relating to High Net Worth (“HNW”) individual clients. The latter is not surprising, given the steady emergence of this specific type of work over the past four or five years.

With a few exceptions, the upper end of the family market is essentially split between large national firms operating top level teams or niche family practices (often based in Harrogate, Cheshire and York!).

Is this a good career option?

Family solicitors generally report enjoying steady, fulfilling careers.  The family market, particularly at the higher value end of the spectrum, is a fairly small market insofar as the number of firms working in the area and, consequently, family solicitors are generally known to their peers. However, given the increased focus on HNW clients and work in the past couple of years, a significant number of firms have attempted to capitalise on this trend – with varying degrees of success.

Overall, there is always a steady stream of family law roles so there are always good opportunities to move on to pastures new, as opposed to other, more niche areas.

September 2019 opportunities

Family law remains a very popular area and NQ positions are often swallowed up by internal trainee solicitors.  That said, we have seen a number of roles appear in recent years at a range of different law firms and are hopeful of seeing a good number of opportunities this year.


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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