Articles From the Team

Yorkshire private practice legal salary review – 2022

From Juliet Lawson

As with the rest of the country, it’s been an interesting time to be a qualified or trainee solicitor in the Yorkshire marketplace.

The big news in the market has been the incremental increases in NQ salaries which have resulted in a small narrowing of the gap between London and regional salaries.

More root and branch salary reviews across most firms have also levelled up the salaries across higher PQE levels. However, some firms have been more successful than others in this endeavour, and we are seeing some disgruntled three, four and five years’ PQE solicitors seemingly earning little more than their NQ counterparts at the same firms.

Top tier NQ salaries in the region are now around £61,000 to £65,000. Most of the second-tier nationals can’t fully compete with this but we are seeing a handful get into the high £50,000s.

This was always going to create a tough ride for the established regionals, but we have seen some really healthy increases there as well.

This will appeal to those who want to maintain a balance between a decent amount of downtime, good quality work and still a pretty healthy starting salary akin to what the likes of DLA were paying only last year. Food for thought!

Conveyancing eases, insolvency bounces back

More generally in the market, we still have an enormous number of live roles across most practice disciplines. We are seeing some of the huge urgency dropping out of some sectors of the market, such as residential conveyancing, and to a smaller degree some of the transactional areas such as core real estate and corporate, but there are still an awful lot of opportunities out there.

Firms are now slightly more able to wait for the right person to come along rather than needing to recruit right now even if that means a retrain. We still have a significant number of live roles that have remained unfilled for some time, because the candidate market remains very tight.

Employment law has been relatively quiet over the last six months, but we are starting to see a resurgence of insolvency and restructuring roles coming to market.

Obviously there is some anxiety about the economy at the moment. I think the general consensus from global economy specialists seems to be that, whatever happens, lawyers are still going to be very busy across most disciplines – there’s an awful lot of post-Brexit legal work yet to be done and, if the pound remains weak, we are a very attractive proposition for overseas investment. I’m sure there are other examples to back up this viewpoint.

The bottom line is that we are still instructed on more opportunities than at any time in the last 20 years, which has to be a good thing for our sector.

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