Lawyers’ salaries have stagnated across the UK and there was a 4.8% increase in lawyers seeking new positions in 2020, according to research. 

In its latest annual salary guide for the legal expertise industry, Idex Consulting revealed the salary stagnation in 2020 across nearly all legal sectors across both the UK and Middle East.

Fewer than 29% jobs were registered in the past year and redundancies and market uncertainty meant an increase in candidates looking for positions. 

Salary increases are expected to remain flat at 2.5% (lower than pre-pandemic levels), inflation is expected to rise to 1.2% and a quarter of companies were predicting salary freezes, according to Idex Consulting CEO Matt Green. 

Its executive director Jonathan Turner said firms are now “banking on a sharp recovery after an inevitable shock, but firms should be ‘bold’ and must not give in to fear”.

He said: “Employee engagement and culture in a semi-virtual world is becoming a key battleground for the retention and attraction of high performing talent.”

Unsurprisingly, the report predicts a high demand for firms to digitally up-skill their workforce this year. 

Turner commented: “Law students lying in wait to become fully fledged lawyers won’t have the battle of trying to change and adapt old behaviours, systems, traditional ways of working – instead they will likely be part of a new culture that can affect radical and positive change in the profession. 

“Social distancing and remote working has created a new dynamic in the workplace.”