The Qualification Season: A Focus on… Restructuring and Insolvency

April 22, 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 Restructuring and Insolvency.

The Current Market 

Insolvency teams are generally not as busy as they were in 2015-2017. The big-ticket restructuring work is still bearing fruit though, which tends to be the battleground for the top tier firms in Leeds and Manchester. Firms within the top tier are sourcing less and less work from bank panels these days and more from their corporate client base.

With challenging market conditions for various sectors, in particular retail and hospitality, there is a fair amount of potential work out there for firms. However, this hasn’t yet translated into a significant increase in roles within the area. Subject to the fallout from Brexit we predict there will be expansion to these teams across 2019/20.

Is this a good career option? 

You hear of insolvency generally being busy and, as a safe and steady career option, it is a good discipline to think about.  That said, insolvency teams are generally very finely balanced, keeping solicitors busy but not really requiring much growth and requirements generally only arise when someone leaves.

It does represent a good learning ground for those wishing to move in-house later in their careers. Insolvency lawyers have long been regarded as very commercial, this being an attribute that the in-house world values hugely.

With most firms the work is almost quasi-Corporate, looking at ways to restructure and turnaround businesses rather than resorting to Insolvency and Administration. However, this is sometimes the only option.

September 2019 opportunities 

Looking at the trends of previous years it’s unlikely there will be a huge number of NQ roles this coming September, however this could change depending on the landscape post-Brexit.


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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