Charlotte Newton
Charlotte Newton

Articles From the Team

North West private practice legal salary review – 2022

From Charlotte Newton and Nicola O’ Hanlon

The North West’s two biggest cities have both seen significant salary increases this year, particularly for junior solicitors.


In Manchester city centre there are a wide variety of firms, from high street to international practices, and consequently a wide range of salaries. In 2022, we have seen salaries rise significantly.

The top-tier firms have increased their NQ salaries significantly this year to low-mid £60,000s. This has led some other international and national firms to follow suit.

This has created a big gap between the mid-market firms and the top-tier international practices with the large regional/national firms coming in at mid £40,000s to mid £50,000s. We have seen firms offering significant sign-on bonuses in order to win talent, where ordinarily they might not have done so.

The higher salaries do come with a greater expectation in terms of chargeable hours and therefore work/life balance.


2022 has seen significant wage growth at the national and international firms in Liverpool as competition for talent remains high. This is most visible at the junior level, although it does remain to be seen if the increases will be proportionate at mid and senior levels.

The large regional practices have moved to keep pace with the market and, although there is a sizable difference between the salary commanded at a top regional and an international firm, the wage rises at top tiers seem to have come with an increased expectation, and therefore the mid-market offering remains strong.

Flexibility comes as standard

Post-pandemic, hybrid working is now more of a feature than a benefit, with most firms offering at least two days at home. Firms are also more willing to consider part-time and flexible working. A four-day working week with a pro-rata salary is an increasingly common trend which also allows the mid-market to attract top talent within budget.

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