LEGAL MARKET OVERVIEW
& SALARY SURVEY
2023/24 IRELAND MARKET OVERVIEW
INTERNATIONAL FIRM EXPANSION
The Irish private practice market has experienced significant change over the last few years with a substantial number of new law firm entrants generating a positive and permanent impact in Ireland. The ongoing expansion plans of UK and international law firms moving into Ireland has been unprecedented along with their high-level of investment in recruitment. In 2023/24 we expect to see further growth notably with additional US law firms setting up a base in Ireland. New firms have been spending big to attract high-calibre lawyers, notably at Partner level, from established competitors to grow their market presence and headcount at an accelerated rate. We anticipate a wholesale increased level of recruitment in 2023/24 from all the commercial firms in Ireland.
The Covid 19 pandemic saw many London-based Irish lawyers take advantage of remote-working policies and make the decision to return home to Ireland. While many of these lawyers enjoyed a City salary while being based in Ireland, the push to a hybrid-model in London has encouraged many Irish returners to seek domestic roles and a desire to be permanently based in Ireland. The pandemic has also accelerated the thinking of many Irish lawyers in London and overseas with mid to long term plans, to return home and this will be balanced by an increase in Irish lawyers being attracted to
move to London and overseas.
Many international law firms and companies have been setting up in Dublin to take advantage of Brexit and to ensure that they have an efficient strategic presence in Europe. Following the pandemic, Ireland is on track to being the fastest growing economy in the Block and we anticipate seeing further growth in industry, notably in the life science, technology and media sectors. Ireland continues to prove to be attractive destination for international business.
SALARY & BENEFITS
With an increasing cost of living in Ireland, remuneration for lawyers remains a top priority for lawyers when considering a career move. Law firms recognise that hiring the best talent from their competitors requires not only financial incentive but also an attractive brand/culture, career progression and commitment to hybrid/ flexible working practices.
CURRENT AREAS IN DEMAND
Projects & Renewables
Pharma & Life Science
Technology & Social Media
The private practice market in Ireland has gone through an unprecedented change, largely due to the establishment of new law firms predominately from the UK and overseas. These new firms have adopted aggressive recruitment tactics, successfully attracting high-profile Partners and their teams.
Ireland now has a much broader and more diverse private practice market, that presents different options for lawyers looking to move that are now wider than simply which is the highest payer. Irish firms now have to pay attention to developing collaborative cultures and transparent career progression to remain attractive and to retain the best talent.
Recruiting and retaining mid-level Associates remains significantly challenging with many Irish firms increasing their strategies to looking to attract returners from London and overseas. In particular, lawyers with experience in key demand areas include: banking & finance, funds, corporate, dispute resolution and technology. Brexit has also created a rise in the demand lawyers with expertise in public law,
regulatory and compliance.
Dublin remains the key legal centre in Ireland for the private practice market however, an increasing number of domestic firms have been strengthening their presence in other parts of Ireland including Galway and Cork as well as strengthening ties in Northern Ireland.
Irish lawyers are looking for a new job in 2023/24
Irish lawyers expecting a pay rise in 2023/24
Irish lawyers value flexible working arrangements
Increase in Ireland lawyers considering a move to London
In-House lawyers looking to move in next 12 months
In-House lawyers who feel fairly rewarded financially
In-House lawyers happy with current flexible working
increase predicted in companies setting up in Ireland in 2023/24
The in-house market is Ireland returned with significant growth following the Covid 19 Pandemic over the last 12 months. Currently, the Irish in-house market offers plentiful options for lawyers at all levels seeking an alternative to a private practice career.
With a substantial number of US and European businesses setting up in Ireland over the last decade, Dublin boasts an impressive and diverse range of high-profile sectors notably including: technology, social media and life science/pharmaceutical. In-house legal teams within these sectors continue to grow at an expansive pace offering a range of in-house opportunities for ambitious lawyers.
When moving in-house, lawyers will still be attracted to brand profiles and the opportunity to work for one employer as opposed to multiple clients. From an in-house perspective, Brexit has created opportunities within competition, compliance and regulatory to meet the demand of the additional overseas organisations looking to set up and grow their presence in Ireland in 2023/24.
While the effects of Brexit have been over-shadowed by the pandemic and remains unclear, we would expect to see further organisations looking to set up in Ireland in 2023/24.
“In 2023/24 an expansive private practice and a diverse in-house market will present
unprecedented career options for ambitious Irish lawyers”.
SALARY FIGURES- IRELAND 2023/24
|1 YEAR PQE||€65,000||€80,000|
|2 YEAR PQE||€70,000||€85,000|
|3 YEAR PQE||€80,000||€93,000|
|4 YEAR PQE||€90,000||€97,000|
|5 YEAR PQE||€95,000||€110,000|
|6 YEAR PQE||€100,000||€150,000|
|7 YEAR PQE||€120,000||€175,000+|
|JUNIOR LEGAL COUNSEL||€90,000||€125,000|
|SENIOR LEGAL COUNSEL||€115,000||€150,000|
|HEAD OF LEGAL||€135,000||€175,000+|
Please note our salary survey figures are indicative and are intended to be used for guidance only. Salary figures are based on our existing specialist market knowledge gained in the Scottish market. The above figures are based on salary only and do not include bonus or benefits. For the purpose of this salary, figures are based on positions within commercial law firms and large commercial organisations. Regional salaries and those within smaller law firms and companies will differ. Market commentary is based on discussions with our client and candidate population. Should you wish to have a private and confidential discussion on salaries, packages and market conditions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THOMSON LEGAL
Thomson Legal was founded by David Thomson, a veteran and leading expert in the legal recruitment market in Scotland. Having worked internationally and with a network of Scottish and global clients, the aim of Thomson Legal is to help candidates with their career moves both domestically and internationally. Thomson Legal is regarded as an innovative, market-leading legal consultancy by clients and candidates alike.