The Qualification Season: A Focus on… Pensions

May 1, 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 Pensions.

The Current Market

As you will no doubt be aware, the pensions landscape has been in a state of flux over the past few years. As a result of new pensions freedoms and de-risking, law firms are having to respond to emerging client needs.

Is this a good career option? 

As the above is currently ongoing, law firms have differing views on the future of their pensions teams. In 2016 we reported that the pensions industry will start to split over the coming years, with the larger law firms growing their teams, offering more diverse and technical work to a wider client base. Conversely the smaller firms could end up without pensions teams altogether, as they won’t be able to source the wide client base required to survive in this new landscape. We have actually started to witness this in the last couple of years – we have seen a good number of pensions roles in the larger firms, with the smaller firms reluctant to recruit.

However, so few pensions lawyers enter the market that, when one does, even if there are no active roles at that time, firms will still be interested and, should the time be right, create specific roles.  As a pensions lawyer, you will always be in demand!

It is a technically challenging area of law though so will typically appeal to those with the strongest black letter law skills.

September 2019 opportunities

As per the above, we expect there to be a few external NQ roles within the larger law firms and not so many within the smaller firms.


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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