in Careers Advice, Salary Reviews

Salary Levels for Lawyers

One of the most common calls we get from solicitors, trainee solicitors, barristers and legal executives is “how much money should I be looking for?” Quite understandable, considering most lawyers do not work simply to help their clients, but to pay the mortgage!

Most lawyers work in offices where each fee earner does not know the salary being paid to other fee earners in the same office, and again it is hard to know what is a fair wage.

We know that there are salary reviews across the web, with a number of recruitment consultants producing lists of wages for each region. We recognise the worth of these tables, but would also say that it is next to impossible to predict wages in each area as it really does vary according to which firm you are working for (size, types of law – ie; high street, commercial – regional heavyweight, commercial – niche, commercial – mixed), LAA funded work, privately funded work and the quality of clients all play a factor).

A quick example is in North London; what should a residential conveyancing solicitor with 2 years PQE (post-qualification experience) be earning? This could range from £22k up to £38k, depending on the firm, the solicitor’s age, the type and quality of conveyancing being undertaken and whether the solicitor has any following.

If you would like a salary review, simply email us at and we will respond within 24 hours (normally 30 minutes during office hours) with as much information as possible. Please let us have a) size of firm b) type of firm c) current billing levels (if possible) and a few details about your career aspirations.

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment also publish salary reviews, and these can be found at

Further in depth advice can be found at and

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at