West End Niche City Salary Survey 2012


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West End Niche City Salary Survey 2012

  1. 1. UK Private PracticeWest End/Niche City Firm Salary Survey 2012 taylorroot.com
  2. 2. West End /Niche City Firm Salary Survey 2012Summary2011 was characterised by cautious optimism amongst the West End and niche City law firms. Many firms had positivestories about exciting new clients and significant new business being brought in. There was, however still a considerableelement of nervousness about the risk of a double dip UK recession as concerns grew about the spectre of a Greek defaultand the breakdown of the Euro Zone.The appetite for growth remains fairly restrained at this stage but with the Olympics coming to town and a second Greekbailout secured, the outlook for 2012 is generally positive. After several years of salary stagnation, many firms are lookingto increase salaries for the second consecutive year. In addition, there appears to be more optimism about recruitment withthe second half of the year looking like it could very busy for most firms.ReviewGrowth across the West End and niche City market was slow but steady during 2011. Most firms preferred to focus onreplacing lawyers who had left, but were sometimes willing to look at key pieces of strategic recruitment where their budgetsallowed for it.There was disparity in the sizes of the West End and niche firms that we surveyed, but there was still an element ofconsistency in terms of recruitment, with over a third of firms recruiting between 3 – 5 solicitors over the course of 2011.Just under 30% of firms hired in excess of 5 solicitors and around 20% hired only 1 – 2 solicitors over the same period.Although there has been a wide range of sectors that firms have been recruiting into, unsurprisingly, in most cases there hastended to be a focus on the key historical areas of strength. The top five areas of recruitment for West End and niche firmsduring 2011 were corporate, commercial property, commercial litigation, employment and IP. Family and Private Client werenot far behind.It is worth comparing these responses to the larger City firms who have, in general, been busier than their West Endcounterparts. Although the appetite for recruitment is still nowhere near the levels that were reached during the heights of2007, there has been consistent recruitment across the board.PredictionsThe outlook for 2012 is generally positive. Although there appears to be a consensus that firms are not planning to completelyoverhaul the recruitment strategies quite yet, there is more confidence in the strength of the market, with more firms willingto recruit for growth purposes alone. Almost 65% of the firms surveyed anticipate recruiting between 3 – 5 solicitors overthe course of 2012 – an increase of 30% on the figures for 2011 and the clearest example yet of optimism starting to returnto the market. A further 20% of firms expect to hire at least 1 – 2 solicitors over the same period.Interestingly, there were some unexpected changes to the top five predicted areas of recruitment for West End and niche firmsduring 2012, with Banking and Private Client joining Commercial Property, Commercial Litigation and IP as the most likelyareas of recruitment. The return of Banking might be seen as a strong indicator of things slowly beginning to return to normal.taylorroot.com
  3. 3. West End /Niche City Firm Salary Survey 2012Salary & benefitsFor the second consecutive year, salaries have increased at most of the firms surveyed. On average, the salary increases havebeen between 3% - 5%. This is an indication that not only is confidence beginning to return to the market, but also that firmsare keen to ensure that they do not get left behind by their competitors.Some firms are now starting to move away from ‘bandings’ and are focusing on a meritocratic approach that allows them moreflexibility depending on the strengths of a particular lawyer. We anticipate that this practice will become more commonplaceover the next couple of years. West End Niche City NQ £40,000 - £55,000 £45,000 - £60,000 1 £44,000 - £60,000 £50,000 - £65,000 2 £46,000 - £65,000 £55,000 - £70,000 3 £48,000 - £70,000 £65,000 - £75,000 4 £50,000 - £75,000 £70,000 - £80,000 5 £52,500 - £77,500 £75,000 - £85,000 6 £55,000 - £80,000 £80,000 - £95,000 7 £60,000 - £85,000 £85,000 - £100,000 Junior Partner £75,000 - £115,000 £110,000 - £150,000 Assistants/associates recruited in the last 12 months Assistants/associates envisage recruiting in the next 12 months 0 14% of respondents 0 14% of respondents 1-2 22% 1-2 22% 3-5 36% 3-5 64% 6-10 22% 6-10 0% 11+ 6% 11+ 0% Holiday entitlement offered to new joiners Benefits offered to new joiners? 26-28 days 15% Pension contribution 86% 23-25 days 85% Private Health Insurance 86% Permanent Health Insurance 50% Life insurance 100% Discounted Gym Membership 29% Season Ticket Loan 100%ConclusionSo far, 2012 has started in the same way that 2011 ended. Although the enduring sentiment is that we are not completelyout of the woods, there are enough green shoots for firms to feel a sense of optimism that the year is going to allow them tocontinue their positive performances of 2011.taylorroot.com
  4. 4. For more information please contact a member of our team on +44 (0)20 7415 2828Nick Smetana Louise Carlton Gemma HamsharSenior Consultant Consultant Consultantnicksmetana@taylorroot.com louisecarlton@taylorroot.com gemmahamshar@taylorroot.comEstablished in the 1980s, Taylor Root is now widely recognised as being one of the world’s leading legalrecruiters. Operating out of offices in the UK, Dubai, Asia and Australia, we are ideally placed to assistlaw firms, banks and companies with their legal recruitment on an international basis. Taylor Root hasa strong track record in the recruitment of: Heads of Legal and legal advisers; law firm associates andpartners; contract/locum lawyers; paralegals; company secretaries and compliance professionals.Taylor Root is a member of The SR Group. The SR Group is a specialist recruitment consultancy dedicatedto raising standards in the business environments that we serve. The sectors we cover include tax, legal,human resources, marketing, professional support and executive search, dealing with a substantialnumber of the world’s leading professional partnerships, multi-national corporations and internationalbanking groups as well as small to medium sized developing organisations. London Dubai Hong Kong 95 Queen Victoria Street Suite 614, Liberty House DIFC 1918 Hutchinson House London EC4V 4HN PO Box 506739 10 Harcourt Road , Central, Hong Kong T: +44 (0)20 7415 2828 T: +9714 448 7770 T: +852 2973 6333 Singapore Melbourne Sydney Level 21 Prudential Tower Level 2, Rialto North Tower Level 12, 25 Bligh Street 30 Cecil Street 525 Collins Street Sydney Singapore 049712 Melbourne, VIC 3000 NSW 2000 T: +65 6420 0500 T: +61 (0)3 8610 8400 T: +61 (0)2 9236 9000 Taylor Root is a member of The SR Group taylorroot.com