Alex Carpenter, Associate Director, discusses the Scottish private practice market in 2023 and shares his predictions for 2024

From Alex Carpenter

Whilst 2022 was an unprecedented year across our industry and we’ve seen economic challenges, the legal market in Scotland has continued to flourish in 2023.

There have been a lot of notable and exciting changes in 2023: Brodies’ expansion into the Middle East, Freeths launching in Scotland, huge merger news with Morton Fraser/Macroberts and Wright Johnston Mackenzie/Irwin Mitchell and the continued investment and expansion into the Scottish market from the national and international firms, to name just a few.

Levelling up salaries

Over the last few years the legal market as a whole has seen huge salary increases, and Scotland has been no exception.

The Scottish market had historically meant lower salaries for the national and international firms with a presence there, but that gap has been well and truly closed, which further proves how the market is performing.

The Scottish legal market has continued to attract top-tier legal professionals, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The demand for experienced solicitors and legal counsel remains high, particularly in niche practice areas such as renewable energy, fintech, and intellectual property.

Resilience and determination

There has also been a noticeable trend toward set flexible work arrangements and a greater emphasis on work-life balance, as firms recognise the importance of supporting their employees’ well-being and productivity. The legal market in Scotland has undoubtedly faced its share of challenges, but the resilience and determination of its professionals have ensured a steady and promising trajectory for the industry.

The end of this year has shown us particularly positive signs as we head into 2024. Recruitment has remained a priority with firms and, with new opportunities and a high demand for solicitors, the trends look reassuring for January 2024.

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