2017 Legal Salary Guide

2017 Legal Salary Guide

Kiara Daly 01.01.2017

The continued drive for talent in the large law firms is the most striking aspect of the legal recruitment over the past 12 months.

There is also no sign of slowdown on the number of in-house legal positions opening up in various sectors. One of key factors affecting recruitment in legal is the growth of in-house legal teams. As a greater number of lawyers are moving in-house, this creates openings in private practice. This is compounded with general economic growth to put further pressure on practices to source the right talent to service the increased workload.

Legal Salary Guide in House

RoleYears' ExperienceDublin
Cork
Limerick
Waterford
Head of Legal5+100 - 300k100k - 275k100k - 250k90k - 200k
Senior Lawyer5+80k - 150k80k - 140k70k - 120k65k - 100k
Lawyer1 - 345k - 80k45k - 65k42k - 60k38k - 48k
3 - 580k - 100k65k - 90k60k - 85k48k - 70k
Newly Qualified Solicitor0 - 145k - 70k42k - 60k40k - 50k35k - 45k
Junior Company Secretary1 - 240k - 55k40k - 50k40k - 45k30k - 40k
Company Secretary2 - 450k - 70k45k - 60k45k - 55k35k - 45k

Legal Salary Guide in Private Practice

RoleYears' ExperienceDublin
Cork
Limerick
Waterford
Solicitor1 - 345k - 80k42k - 60k37k - 50k35k - 45k
3 - 565k - 90k60k - 75k50k - 70k45k - 65k
5+90k - 120k75k - 120k70k - 100k65k - 90k
Newly Qualified Solicitor0 - 140k - 65k35k - 45k35k - 45k32k - 42k
Company Secretary1 - 240k - 55k40k - 50k40k - 45k30k - 40k
2 - 455k - 70k50k - 55k45k - 50k40k - 50k

 

Commentary on Legal Roles and Remuneration in Ireland for 2017

Practices will not compromise on service levels and so, despite the shortage of talent, only those candidates with the right experience will be considered. This results in certain roles remaining unfilled for longer periods than desired.

In private practice there are ongoing openings in corporate, commercial property and banking. Funds teams continue to welcome new talent and aviation is also a key growth area in many large firms.

In industry, solicitors with commercial contracts experience are key for technology companies and in financial services funds experience is sought after. Lawyers with aircraft leasing experience are also highly sought after by companies in that space.

In terms of the ratio of male vs females in the legal market, the balance shifted towards female for the first time in 2014 with just over 50% of those holding practising certificates being women. Ireland was the first country in the world to find the balance in favour of females. As of the end of 2015 this was over 51%.  

14% of solicitors are now working in-house. If you add in those working in the public sector this comes to almost 20%. It is worth noting that 63% of solicitors working in-house roles are female.

We are seeing a return of some legal professionals who may have spent time working in the UK and elsewhere. This has not yet increased dramatically but it is something we expect will increase particularly in areas of legal affected by Brexit such as financial services and competition law.

As for solicitors moving abroad, offshore locations like the Caribbean, Channel Islands and the Middle East provide strong opportunities for those with the correct PQE levels and qualifications.

Legal and Compliance is a growing area for companies as regulatory frameworks are becoming more complex, this includes sectors outside of financial services. Where traditionally we have seen compliance professionals moving into these roles, many US led companies prefer to hire compliance professionals who are qualified as lawyers. For this reason we have seen openings for lawyers in compliance teams within pharma, tech and financial services.

Flexible working is not very common for solicitors. Some solicitors do have arrangements such as working from home or part time however generally this is an arrangement that is reached through tenure rather than from the outset. 

Salaries will level out as the post-recession increase in the firms is leveling out, this dictates how the rest of the market will react. As always in areas where there are less candidates companies will continue pay a premium, where the budget allows.

Areas in which training and further qualifications are becoming valued more and more are data protection, compliance and company secretarial. For other areas hands on experience is most relevant.

Legal (Office Support) Salary Guide

RoleYears'
Experience
Dublin
Cork
Limerick
Waterford
Legal Secretary / Legal Personal Assistant
(Small to Medium Practice)
0 - 323k - 28k23k - 28k23k - 27k20k - 24k
3 - 528k - 35k28k - 35k27k - 32k26k - 30k
5+35k - 42k35k - 40k33k - 40k30k - 35k
Legal Secretary / Legal Personal Assistant
(Large Practice)
0 - 325k - 32k24k - 29k23k - 28k22k - 26k
3 - 532k - 38k29k - 36k29k - 36k25k - 30k
5+38k - 48k36k - 42k36k - 42k36k - 42k
Legal Executive0 - 325k - 30k23k - 29k22k - 26k22k - 26k
3 - 530k - 40k29k - 38k26k - 35k26k - 35k
5+40k - 48k38k - 46k35k - 45k35k - 45k
Paralegal0 - 325k - 30k24k - 28k21k - 26k21k - 26k
3 - 530k - 40k28k - 38k26k - 35k26k - 36k
5+40k - 48k38k - 48k35k - 40k36k - 48k
Legal Contracts Manager0 - 330k - 35k30k - 35k28k - 32k28k - 32k
3 - 535k - 40k35k - 40k30k - 35k30k - 35k
5+40k - 50k40k - 50k35k - 40k35k - 40k
Legal Contracts Administrator0 - 325k - 28k23k - 28k22k - 26k22k - 26k
3 - 528k - 32k28k - 32k26k - 32k26k - 32k
5+32k - 38k32k - 38k30k - 36k30k - 36k
Trainee Company Secretary0 - 325k - 28k22k - 25k22k - 25k22k - 25k
3 - 5n/an/an/an/a
5+n/an/an/an/a
Graduate Company Secretary0 - 328k - 35k25k - 35k25k - 30k25k - 30k
3 - 5n/an/an/an/a
5+n/an/an/an/a

Legal (Office Support) Contract Rates

*Figures shown reflect base salaries quoted in hourly rates

RoleYears'
Experience
Dublin
Cork
Limerick
Waterford
Legal Secretary / Legal Personal Assistant
(Small to Medium Practice)
0 - 312 - 1512 - 1410 - 1210 - 12
3 - 515 - 1714 - 1612 - 1512 - 15
5+17 - 2016 - 1815 - 1715 - 17
Legal Secretary / Legal Personal Assistant
(Large Practice)
0 - 313 - 1613 - 1511 - 1211 - 12
3 - 516 - 1815 - 1713 - 1513 - 15
5+18 - 2217 - 2115 - 2015 - 20
Legal Executive0 - 313 - 1713 - 1613 - 1513 - 15
3 - 517 - 2216 - 2015 - 1815 - 18
5+22 - 2620 - 2518 - 2218 - 22
Paralegal0 - 313 - 1713 - 1613 - 1513 - 15
3 - 517 - 2216 - 2115 - 1915 - 19
5+22 - 2621 - 2519 - 2319 - 23
Legal Contracts Manager0 - 317 - 1915 - 1814 - 1614 - 16
3 - 519 - 2218 - 2016 - 1816 - 18
5+22 - 2820 - 2518 - 2018 - 20
Legal Contracts Administrator0 - 313 - 1512 - 1511 - 1411 - 14
3 - 515 - 1815 - 1714 - 1614 - 16
5+18 - 2117 - 2015 - 1815 - 18
Trainee Company Secretary0 - 313 - 1612 - 1411 - 1311 - 13
3 - 5n/an/an/an/a
5+n/an/an/an/a
Graduate Company Secretary0 - 316 - 914 - 1713 - 1513 - 15
3 - 5n/an/an/an/a
5+n/an/an/an/a
Kiara Daly's picture
Business Lead | Legal Recruitment
kdaly@morganmckinley.ie