Joanna Marklove, Director, discusses the Insurance & Residential Conveyancing private practice market in 2022 and market predictions for 2023...

From Joanna Marklove


In London and the regional markets we have seen sizeable rises in salaries for newly qualified solicitors in 2022. This comes off the back of hefty increases last year.

With such a breadth of firms across the country, ranging from boutique and high street practices to nationals and internationals, salaries can vary massively in the insurance arena. After the rise in salaries towards the middle of the year, things settled as expected, as it would have been unsustainable for firms to continue increasing salaries at the same rate as in 2021.

Newly qualified insurance (personal injury, clinical negligence, commercial insurance & professional indemnity) salaries range between 35-52k in the regions and 45-70k in London. The market has been fierce in 2022 with firms pulling out all the stops to secure candidates. Some firms have gone above and beyond their bandings to secure the best legal talent in the market, and sign on bonuses have been offered by firms that wouldn’t have done so previously.

This has been particularly noticeable in the indemnity and large loss market, where the competition to secure lawyers specialising in these areas of law is considerable. With less candidates available and an increase of work in these areas the result has often been very difficult recruitment processes. Buy back of candidates at the latter stage of the recruitment process has also been a massive challenge witnessed by many hiring this year.

We’ve seen regional firms following suit on salaries, especially with indemnity and large loss roles. These candidates are hard to come by and there is a lot of work in the market, which means that these candidates are frequently counter offered by their firms when they look to leave.

Many firms are still encouraging a mixture of home and office working. There are also firms out there offering fully remote working, or the opportunity to work in an office location closer to home whilst being part of a team predominantly located further afield, so flexibility is here to stay, it seems. This has been a very important change in the market and it remains a priority for a lot of lawyers.

Residential Property

The shift in salaries seen in insurance and other practice areas hasn’t necessarily been seen in the Residential Property arena, save for in some of the larger and international firms in London. Salaries for newly qualified candidates sit at around £40,000.00 and this is fairly consistent across the country, with only a small spike seen in London.

The first 3 quarters of the year were very busy but over the last few months the market has slowed due to economic factors. Volume conveyancing firms have been affected by the market slowing down more than their traditional high street and national/international counterparts, and firms working with investor clients and high-net-worth individuals remain very busy.

There are those fearing a property crash at the moment, but if you compare the values and number of completions for the past 6 years you will see that we are actually returning to what was normal prior to the pandemic. Additionally, the information we have at the moment points towards home-buyers seeing sub-4% interest rates from as early as January which is really reassuring as this will boost house purchases again. We expect to see a boost in the market in early 2023.

Connect with BCL's Insurance & Residential Conveyancing team:

Also read BCL's 2022 regional salary round-ups here.