The Qualification Season: A Focus on… Projects

March 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 Projects.

The Current Market

The better Projects teams in Leeds and Manchester have been very busy in recent years and there has certainly been some movement at the junior and mid-levels.  With real developments and ambitious national plans, certain firms are really targeting the energy, infrastructure and transport sectors and looking to grow over the coming years.  International firms dominate the projects market with firms such as Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons working on the some of the best projects work in the UK.

Is this a good career option? 

Projects work is the preserve of the top-tier, with one or two notable exceptions, and so come with the large transactional work and top-tier packages.  On the other hand, solicitors can carry out a lot of work preparing tenders and business development without being able to record chargeable hours.  This is another area where there has been a real shortage of solicitors and so the ability to move law firms is traditionally a lot easier than other transactional disciplines.  Projects work is often described as mixing the good bits of corporate and commercial, so anyone thinking about those areas should consider a move into projects work.  As has been proven in recent years, Projects teams move with the times finding new sectors to build upon.

September 2019 opportunities

We would expect to see a number of NQ positions arise internally to give support to the hard-working mid-level associate. Projects teams are currently in a confident mood and last year we saw interest in quality NQs.


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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