Get in touch

0345 375 1747

Your guide to legal professionals’ and lawyer salaries UK

The overall market value of the legal sector is estimated to be £20bn, with personal Injury, accident and medical negligence work accounting for much of this revenue. However, due to the crisis brought on by COVID-19, law firms and commercial legal branches have been compelled to adapt to the new economic pressures, changing the way they recruit, manage their workforce, and even their service offerings.


Many law firms and corporate legal departments have had to decrease their headcount and re-evaluated their hiring plans. Competition to attract the very best legal talent is fierce with many leading employers creating increasingly competitive salary and compensation packages to attract and retain top legal talent. However, high calibre legal talent is looking for more from their employers than ever before, which presents you with the ideal opportunity to enhance your company culture.


Top candidates are looking for:

  • Attractive bonus structures
  • Flexible working opportunities
  • Employers who are innovative
  • Forward-thinking technology and processes
  • An employer with good corporate social responsibility ideals


The Heat Recruitment Legal Salary Survey is your definitive guide to legal professional salaries across the UK. We hope you will find this information insightful as your look to attract the legal talent you need to ensure business growth.


We hope you will enjoy our Salary Survey, and if you would like us to provide further market analysis and create a bespoke hiring strategy and salary benchmarks for your upcoming strategic hires, please get in touch.

London Support Staff

London law firms will utilise Secretaries in different ways. More traditional firms may operate dictation pools or have Secretaries float in order to cover multiple fee earners or entire departments. Often Senior Lawyers and Partners with have a designated and trusted Secretary or PA who is integral to diary management and supporting them across their various non-fee earning functions in a business.

London Solicitors

Overall, solicitor salaries are on the rise with the largest gains reserved for solicitors with high billables or additional qualifications. Generally, NQ salaries have remained largely the same but areas such as family, employment and private client have seen an increase.

The average legal assistant salary is still on the rise, with corporate legal assistants continuing to show the best gains. Senior legal assistants with more than three years’ experience in their current firm show the highest salary increases.

Legal secretary salaries are holding strong in the current market and can vary based on tenure, company size and location. For a second year in a row it is good news for regional locations, with legal secretary salaries increasing as firms continue to grow their offering outside of London.


Paralegals have yet again seen salary gains in the past year, with increases of as much as 5%, particularly in London, Manchester, Bristol, and Birmingham. With the temporary change to stamp duty, paralegals with residential conveyancing experience are seeing above-average salary increases.

Salaries for legal executives who have completed their Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) qualification are on the rise, particularly those specialising in commercial property and residential conveyancing. This is proving to be a popular route to qualification, with many choosing to cross qualify as a Solicitor in the future.



Solicitor salaries continue to have a steady increase with the largest gains reserved for solicitors with high billables and transferable client bases. Whilst salaries have been steadily climbing, the practice areas that are boasting the biggest increases include employment, commercial and tax.


Traditionally, salaries for associate solicitors can have large ranges and this year is no different. Top 100 firms continue to set the pace when it comes to salary, with salaries continuing to rise in their regional offices.

The associates that oversee fee earners and support staff, again, show stronger base salaries than their counterparts without this experience.


With many firms continuing to turn healthy profits, partner salaries continue to follow suit with Magic Circle and international firms continuing to top the table on renumeration. Partner salaries outside of London are on the rise as more partners move to competitors and achieve substantial increases on their basic salary, bonuses, and additional benefits.

Download Report

Get the latest salary information to benchmark compensation for your team

Submit a vacancy

Discover the best talent within the legal profession