Legal salary trends in Ireland


The Robert Walters Global Salary Survey for 2017 contains recruitment market updates, hiring advice and benchmarks salaries across our global markets. Here we discuss the outlook for the legal sector in Ireland.

Increased demand for legal professionals

In 2016, the private practice sector experienced growth within corporate, funds, banking and property, with the strongest demand evident at the one to five year post-qualification level. There was a notable increase in experienced hires from senior associate to partner level as firms continued to attract new business and build up their teams. Demand for company secretaries increased, particularly for those with one to four years’ experience, due to the Companies Bill 2016, which also caused salary increases at this level. There was also a surge of demand within the area of listings and registrations due to the increase in funds being listed.

Hiring managers will need to turn processes around quickly and offer attractive packages in order to secure preferred candidates.

Laura Tierney, Senior Consultant of Legal for Robert Walters Ireland said: “There was continued demand for in-house lawyers with commercial law expertise within the technology, pharma and telecommunications sectors. In 2016, knowledge and interest in data protection/privacy law was a key requirement from most hiring managers and professionals in Ireland with this specific experience remain in very short supply, an issue we expect to see continue throughout 2017.”

The majority of hiring was seen at the one to five year post qualification level, with a number of head of function opportunities available due to replacement hiring and newly-created roles resulting from new business acquisition. We also saw an increase in qualified Irish solicitors based in the UK expressing interest in returning to Ireland post-Brexit.

Remuneration packages expected to increase

Salaries increased within private practice at junior to mid-levels as firms competed to retain top talent. We expect this to continue in 2017 with a renewed focus on benefits packages, which have traditionally not included healthcare or pension. In a competitive market with counter-offer and multiple offer situations, hiring managers will need to turn processes around quickly and offer attractive packages in order to secure preferred candidates.

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