How is the war for junior lawyers impacting in-house salaries?

Author Sarah Ingwersen
November 11, 2021

Throughout 2021, Taylor Root has witnessed the strongest recovery in the in-house legal recruitment market ever experienced, which has impacted significantly on candidate supply and demand, as well as on recruitment processes.

Recently, I commented in The Times about the war for hiring junior to mid-level lawyers and how it is impacting salaries. Such demand for junior-to-mid PQE levels across all sectors has driven up base salaries as companies compete for a small pool of millennial candidates, who are aware of the scarcity of their skill set and are using this to their full advantage.

Lawyers are commanding between 10-20% pay increases to move role, compared to pre-pandemic levels of 5-10%. Furthermore, private practice salaries at this level have continued to soar disproportionately to level of experience, with newly qualified salaries starting at c.£100,000 for Magic Circle firms and c.£140,000 for US firms. 

Commercial and technology lawyers are (as always) in strong demand and short supply, and often have numerous options both in-house and in private practice.

Salary isn’t the only factor which is attracting junior-to-mid level lawyers; working for well-known brands, company culture and flexible working are also key drivers to move jobs. 

For further information about salaries and market insights, download and read our recently published UK & Ireland In-House Market & Salary Report – 2021-22, which provides a comprehensive breakdown of salaries for each sector within banking & financial services and corporate & commercial, broken down into PQE level, including junior-to-mid PQE levels in the UK & Ireland. 

If you require any bespoke salary advice or benchmarking for you or your team at junior-to-mid level or any level, please do get in touch

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