The Qualification Season: A Focus on… Regulatory

April 27, 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 Regulatory.

The Current Market

This is an area which is extremely diverse and hard to bring together under just the one heading. A lot depends on the focus of the wider firm, e.g. finance-focused practices will likely have a Regulatory offering that covers FCA compliance, whereas a healthcare firm will have a Regulatory practice involved in professional disciplinary, inquests and mental capacity cases etc. Therefore, the work can be quite radically different.

For most firms, Regulatory is predominantly going to be relating to Environment, Health & Safety and other Regulatory defence work, advising client companies being investigated and/or prosecuted for breaches of health & safety, environment law, fire safety, product safety, food safety, road safety and related legislation.

It is usually a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters and can involve relatively frequent travel as there is often a need to attend clients on-site following a significant event.

Is this a good career option? 

Particularly in Manchester (but also in Leeds) there are a good number of firms who have sizeable Regulatory teams, although it tends to be the larger commercial firms who have dedicated departments. At smaller firms, the work would typically be serviced by the commercial litigation team.

The work can be extremely interesting and rewarding, and quite often will involve other departments. On the non-contentious side you might be, for example, involved in corporate and real estate deals where you are responsible for dealing with the environmental aspects of an acquisition or disposal of a business or property.

September 2019 opportunities

Regulatory does tend to be a popular area for trainees, as such there aren’t large volumes of roles that are recruited externally. That said there were a couple of NQ roles in environmental teams and wider regulatory H&S in 2018.


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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