Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Lawyers and Accountants earn £80,000 a year, if not a lot more

In November 2019, during the winter election campaign, a BBC Question Time audience member informed the panel that he was a member of the working class and considered that £80,000 salary was not a lot of money and that it was a bit of a struggle surviving on this. He expressed incredulity, along with a significant portion of the audience, when Richard Burgon, a Labour MP, stated that he had been a solicitor before getting into parliament, and that his salary had been £40,000.
It is one of the oldest examples of fake news that exists in society today, and dates back many years. Solicitors & accountants are considered by the general population to earn a lot more money than the average wage. The big 4 firms in accountancy and the city law firms in London distort the figures somewhat and make headline news, detracting away from the reality for the majority of fee earners in both professions.
Our own consultants were astonished to hear this assertion because we work with solicitors in all parts of the profession, including the high street and at sole practitioner level, and we know that salary levels for 90% of solicitors are lower than £45k.
Similarly we also work with accountancy practices and undertake the recruitment of senior accountants. We know that exactly the same issue arises. At least 75% of accountants working in public practice do not earn more than £45,000 per year.
It is unfortunate that this perception exists because it does mean increasing numbers of people applying to enter the legal profession and the accountancy profession without actually knowing the true facts as to how hard it is to make a living out of accountancy or law, and that the vast majority of lawyers and accountants do not earn large amounts of money.
The next time somebody stands up on a mainstream political show and states that lawyers and accountants earn huge amounts of money, maybe, just maybe, somebody on the show can be well enough informed to correct the obvious fake news immediately, before they spread the myth even further. Its good news for the various universities offering LLB, ACCA and LPC courses, but I am not sure about the professions in general.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

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