The BCL insurance and residential conveyancing teams discuss the market in 2023 and share their predictions for the coming year

Joanna Marklove, Director, and Clara Rogers, Associate Director, provide an overview of the insurance market

From Joanna Marklove and Clara Rogers

2023 has been a roller coaster of a year for the insurance sector. We have seen Plexus, always one of the biggest players in the market, close its doors. This, along with BLM’s merger with Clyde and Co, led to major disruption in the market.

We have seen practices elsewhere get bigger after swallowing up teams from Plexus and, again, a movement of lawyers out of the insurance market into new areas. Again, this is a massive market shift within a small market section.

NQ salaries levelling out

Back in 2022 we saw that salaries were massively varied in the insurance arena, and experienced some instability due to this variation. However, 2023 finally saw some levelling out, and NQ salaries have finally moved generally across the board.

The biggest shift in NQ rates has been within the healthcare practices, with NQ rates at some firms now coming in at £50k. This area remains buoyant with the likes of Capsticks expanding their presence with a brand-new central Manchester office to house the healthcare team.

Newly qualified insurance (personal injury, clinical negligence, commercial insurance and professional indemnity) salaries now range between £40-55k in the regions and £50-70k in London. The market has remained fierce in 2023, with firms still pulling out all the stops to secure candidates and buy back has been massive, especially in the commercial insurance and healthcare space where the pool of candidates is small.

Sign-on bonuses which we saw for the first time really in 2022 have remained ever more popular as have condensed hours and home working.

Having the flexible approach when it comes to work life balance is still a massive pull and all firms seem to have a balance which is working well.

Our predications for 2024

Moving into 2024, we expect to see a lot more of the large loss teams growing, as will healthcare, which shows no signs of letting up. Salaries are likely now to remain stable and level out because, given the nature of fixed-fee work, there is only so much firms can do.

Katherine Scarff, Senior Associate, Lauren Tootell, Senior Associate and Carla Udall, Associate, provide an overview of the residential conveyancing market

From Katherine Scarff, Lauren Tootell and Carla Udall

The conveyancing market nationally has experienced ups and downs in recent months. From the pandemic and SDLT holidays, to economic challenges and large-scale interest rate increases, this has presented the sector with challenges and opportunities. Further Stamp Duty reforms, rising inflation and interest rates, and an uncertain market have, in turn, made candidates understandably nervous about making a move.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and 2024 looks to be more buoyant. This is good news for conveyancers who might be unsettled and thinking about taking on a new challenge in the New Year. Only time will tell.

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