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Salary Surveys

Legal Salary Survey 2017

added October 2016


2016 was an extremely busy year for legal recruitment in Dublin, and 2017 has largely continued in the same vein. Top tier Irish law firms have added staff both here and within their international operations, while international law firms continue to boost their presence in the Irish market. There has been increased demand for the services of legal candidates with an associated and steady rise in salaries. The immediate aftermath of Brexit sparked confusion with a number of Irish based Solicitors receiving counter-intuitive offers of work in London, however as the dust settled in the months after the June vote the trend of UK qualified Solicitors applying to be able to practice in this jurisdiction became clear. As noted, a number of high profile international law firms have added staff in the last number of months as a result of the uncertainty the referendum has caused and there are more than just rumours that others will establish operations in Ireland in the near future. We expect continued growth in the market in 2017 and a stable to positive outlook for salary growth. We also expect the flow of returning emigrants to continue as it has for the last number of years.

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The market continues to tighten for skilled legal secretaries. Salaries are continuing to move upwards with experienced secretaries now seeing starting salaries of €36-37k with figures of €40-45k becoming much more regular. Firms of all sizes broadly compete on salary, so candidates are increasingly swayed by benefits packages and flexibility in terms of working hours.

0-1 years experience €20-27k
1-2 years experience €25-35k
2-4 years experience €30-38k
Over 4 years experience €35-45k
The market has remained muted over the last 12 months, with a large divergence in terms of salaries on offer. The term “Paralegal” is, in many cases, taken as a byword for more junior, process driven roles. Legal Executives, who command much higher salaries, are still in demand in the areas of Property, Debt Recovery, Aviation and Litigation, however salaries have not seen the growth noticeable with other legal roles.

0-1 years experience €25-28k
1-3 years experience €28-32k
3-5 years experience €32-40k
Over 5 years experience €35-45k
There has been no slow down in recruitment following the marked increase since the introduction of the Companies Act 2014. The growth in demand as a result of expansion and an influx of new players into the market means there are acute shortages for Funds Company Secretaries with 3+ years’ PQE. Salaries are rising to try to attract the best candidates, but nevertheless vacancies are remaining unfilled for periods of up to 3 months.

ICSA Part Qualified
0-1 years experience €22-28k
1-2 years experience €26-40k
Over 2 years experience €35-50k

ICSA Fully Qualified
1-3 years €30-50k
3-5 years €45-70k
5-10 years €60-90k
Manager Level €75-95k
Head of Dept €85-115k
There remains strong demand for Solicitors, especially those with 3-5 years’ PQE. While the shortage of high calibre candidates is not as obvious as the Company Secretarial market, vacancies in popular areas such as Banking, Funds and Corporate are taking much longer than usual to fill. A demand from Top Tier firms for Solicitors with similar size firm experience is further reducing the pool of candidates available to fill some roles.

Big 6 Firms
Newly Qualified €55-65k
0-1 year PQE €60-70k
1-3 year's PQE €65-85k
3-5 year's PQE €80-110k
Over 5 Year's PQE €85-120k
Salaried Partner €110-200k

Mid Tier firms
Newly Qualified €40-50k
0-1 year PQE €45-55k
1-3 year's PQE €50-65k
3-5 year's PQE €60-80k
Over 5 Year's PQE €70-100k
Salaried Partner €90-175k

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