Lawyer salary hikes fall below national average, says survey

Lawyers’ salaries are rising at a slower rate than the national average, according to detailed analysis of Office of National Statistics (ONS) by recruiter Randstad Financial & Professional.

Lawyers’ and solicitors’ salaries have risen by an average of 8.1per cent in the last five years, while paralegals and executive assistants have seen their wage decrease by 8.6 per cent since 2006. Nevertheless, outside the profession salaries have risen by 11.4 per cent over the same period.

The research also shows that jobseekers in the legal profession are now more concerned with job security than hefty remuneration packages, with 40% of people prioritising long-term job security over salary, the research suggests.

Managing director of Randstad Financial and Professional Tara Ricks said firms had begun to reduce graduate intakes to keep entry level pay static, while experienced lawyers were still in demand.

She said: “It’s tempting to think that salary rises in financial and professional services have been hit across the board since the last boom as companies look to keep costs down.

“But actually it’s been more like the board game snakes and ladders. Even within specific areas like law and accountancy, different roles have seen salary inflation at a completely different pace.”

Last month, Slaughter and May announced a cut to its bonuses for associates, trainees and support staff, citing market uncertainty for the decision (31 October 2012).

Meanwhile, a number of firms have launched redundancy consultations in recent weeks, including Pannone (12 November 2012), Lawrence Graham (9 November 2012) and Pinsent Masons (8 November 2012).