By all accounts, London is bustling with recruitment activity on all fronts. As specialist legal recruitment experts, our view is slightly one sided however within the legal field we deal with permanent and locum/ temp and contract opportunities across all disciplines of law. So as a consequence of lawyers being in demand, are we seeing a rise in salaries on offer?
Solicitor salaries are on the rise in London, on average £5000 over the past year (http://www.thelawyer.com/analysis/the-lawyer-management/management-news/uk-lawyer-salaries-on-the-rise-but-bonuses-fall-by-5-per-cent/3016531.article however this does not apply to all areas of law.
Our London office which opened its doors in February 2013 (http://www.bcllegal.com/the-brief/bcl-legal-news/bcl-legal-eyes-further-expansion-and-london-market-with-new-city-office-opening) has seen a steady flow of insurance litigation roles over the past 12 months but what we haven’t seen is a steady increase in salaries on offer, in fact in some areas of insurance litigation salaries have taken a sharp decrease.
It is around this time of year that many law firms are undertaking salary reviews and so invariably we are approached to give advice on pay scales across the board. Insurance litigation (by this I mean defendant personal injury, defendant professional indemnity and property damage/liability) is a bit of a complex one. For example, on the one hand you have newly qualified’s being paid up to £50000 for a defendant personal injury solicitor role and on the other you have the same level of solicitor being paid £28000. Yes, £28000 for a defendant personal injury solicitor position in the City.
Now, the justification for salary levels within the insurance litigation sector is all about the work that is to be handled by the individual, its no longer solely about PQE. Salary bands have become alarmingly wide and varied from firm to firm, influenced by the fee structure in place with the insurer client. London, specifically for insurance litigation, is no longer automatically paying 30% more than any other city in the UK.