News and Events

Salary Survey 2021 Results

  • Posted

Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you who contributed to our latest Salary Survey. We’re very conscious that this year’s survey has been carried out during an extended period of uncertainty, where many people’s focus and priority has been more on job security than financial reward.

The legal sector has proven to be very robust however, and despite the challenges the pandemic has created for us all, we continue to see many positive indicators that the impact on the sector has not been as significant as initially feared a year ago.


Inevitably, the impact on salary progression has been felt however, with many firms freezing or delaying salary reviews over this period and with some firms asking staff to take temporary reductions in salary or to work reduced hours.

The aim of the salary survey is to provide an accurate salary range for the different roles that make up the accounts teams of Law Firms across the country, taking in to account regional variances, firm size (Large = 50+ Partners, Medium = 15-49 Partners, and Small = less than 15 Partners), analysing where salary increases are on the rise/fall, which regions are seeing the highest levels of staff movement and reviewing how content employees are to remain with their current employer for the year ahead.

The overall percentage of respondents who received a pay increase during the previous 12 months dropped dramatically from 69% to 37%. Those working for Larger firms came out on top with just under half receiving an increase at 48%, with Medium firms at 42% and Small firms a long way behind at 24%

Surprisingly, the share of respondents receiving a financial bonus actually increased from last year’s survey, rising from 45% to 52% overall. We suspect this may have been in part down to a number of firms awarding financial bonuses to staff who’d taken temporary reductions in salary and also pandemic-related goodwill bonuses at firms who’ve out-performed expectations. Bonuses were once again more prevalent at Large firms at 62%, followed by Medium firms at 52% and Small firms at 38%

Hiring activity, when reviewed by firm size, remained relatively consistent with the trends of recent years. 13% of respondents from Large and Medium firms had joined their current employer within the last year. Small firms once again proved to be the most stable with only 4% of respondents being within the first year at their current firm.

Large firms look set to continue seeing the highest level of staff turnover as we look forward too, with 43% of employees at Large firms being open to a change of employer in the year ahead year, in comparison to 36% of employees at Medium firms and 33% at Small firms.

If you would like to discuss salary data for your specific location in a little more detail, please feel free to contact Richard Hooper at Balance Recruitment on