The Qualification Season: Corporate

February 23, 2012

As part of The Qualification Season – a series of blogs by CapeClarke aimed at trainee solicitors looking to qualify in September 2012 – 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 Corporate.

The Current Market: The corporate market (along with Commercial Property) was one of the biggest casualties of the recession and it has spent the last 3 years recovering.  For years, corporate transactions were not moving beyond due diligence and clients were not viewing deals as being financially viable.  There were some redundancies, 4 day working weeks and unoccupied private equity specialists.

That was then, this is now! The corporate market is still not booming like it was pre-2008, but corporate departments across the region have been a much, much busier in the last 12-18 months, with renewed (or enhanced) confidence in the market or opportunistic businesses seeking to take advantage of the recovering market.

Is this a good career option? It may come as a surprise, but corporate is actually a pretty good area to qualify into, particularly if you work at a strong transactional practice – during the better times, you will be hugely busy and as a result of trainees not really gearing up to qualify into corporate in recent years, you may find yourself highly sought after!  That said, as we have seen, it is one of the first departments to be hit in a recession.

September 2012 opportunities: If you were a trainee solicitor 2 or 3 years ago and were hoping to qualify into corporate, you were in for a bit of a shock, with very few departments wanting to expand.  We are expecting it to be much better this year, but the success of departments over the next six months is vital to the number of NQ opportunities they have, especially in terms of external vacancies.

What to do next? This is only a very brief overview of this area of law. For a more detailed discussion of the state of the legal market and your own career options, please contact either Terry Cape or Chris Clarke on 0113 2385965.


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