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Confidence is high in Ireland’s legal recruitment sector

The annual Irish Market Overview and Salary Survey 2016/17 has been published by Thomson Legal and the news is good for Irish lawyers

Those seeking newly-qualified (NQ) jobs can be particularly confident that the salaries on offer are at their highest point in a number of years, with salaries of up to €66,000 (over £55,000) being offered by top-tier firms.

Junior partners are also getting a good deal, with salaries averaging €150,000. It appears that there is a lot of competition domestically to recruit the best associate lawyers, with Irish lawyers seeking to return from cutting their cloth in London and those working for rival law firms in particular demand.

Thomson Legal’s survey also shows that there continues to be a healthy and diverse market for in-house lawyers. Whilst the financial services market continues to strive to reach its previous highs, there has been a big increase in in-house roles in technology, pharmaceuticals and social media.

The aftershocks of Brexit

The buoyancy of the technology, pharmaceuticals and social media markets is reflected in the revelation that almost three-quarters of the in-house legal teams surveyed stated that they planned to hire more lawyers over the course of the next year and over half felt that Brexit may even increase the number of in-house opportunities. This may be because private companies need additional support to cope with their strategies to deal with the legalities that Brexit is likely to bring.

Whilst the impact of Brexit remains uncertain, it is likely that many Irish lawyers working in the UK will be considering a return home and there is a possibility that UK-based law firms and companies may consider entering the Dublin market. An increase in the number of job-seekers to the market may therefore be offset, as new opportunities will potentially be created.

There are also opportunities for Irish lawyers to move in the opposite direction to London, especially if they have a strong transactional background in areas such as asset management, funds, finance and banking.

A resilient market

The legal jobs market in Ireland can currently be described as both resilient and confident. Whilst it will be interesting to see what the next 12 months bring, it is likely that the after-effects of Brexit will take longer to reveal themselves completely.

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