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London Legal Recruitment - are jobs better paid?

London Legal Recruitment - are the streets paved with gold? Are legal jobs better paid?

We get a lot of solicitors registering with us for work in London, who come from provincial market towns or smaller sized cities, and one of the things they always expect to find is that the streets are paved with gold, and their salary is going to double.

This can be particularly so in the high street firms, where people expect to find NQ residential conveyancing posts paying £40,000, or crime positions without police station accreditation at £30,000 pa. It is often quite shattering when they discover that there are a lot of solicitors and legal executives working for a lot less than that!

I have been in legal recruitment in London for over 15 years, and it has to be said that on the whole salaries are not far off the rest of the UK. The only difference tends to be at partnership level or senior associate. NQ's can pick up good money, but this is usually because they are working at a good firm with quality work, and the caseload pays accordingly.

Certain areas of London pay better than others - eg; West London and Central London seem to offer reasonable salaries, whereas North and East London firms often tend to be lower unless they are struggling to recruit.

Central London firms pay extremely well if they are performing well themselves. South East London, South West London and Middlesex are generally a rule unto themselves - there are a lot of solicitors residing in these areas, but not that many posts in the South London areas. Middlesex really depends, but when it comes to salaries they can be some of the lowest in the UK.

The comments above do not apply to City and commercial law firms, who are a law unto themselves. A very large bubble interlinked with bankers, large accountancy firms and finance houses...

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online UK legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at


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