The lawyer profiles for which companies compete

The Global Compensation Study by Robert Walters exposes what are the main hiring and compensation trends this year for the legal sector. “Just as in 2020 the impact of Covid-19 on the legal employment market was perceived to a lesser extent than in other sectors, since 2021 there has been a systematic resumption of selection processes in legal firms and consultancies.”, declares Víctor Monreal, Senior Manager of the Tax & Legal Division at Robert Walters.

Especially active have been the movements in practices such as M&A and capital marketsbecause at first there were operations that were left on standby and that have now been reactivated, with the energy sector being the one that is registering the most activity”nuances Monreal.

Hiring Trends

We believe that 2022 is being a very active year in M&A operations. Above all, new professionals are being sought to continue strengthening the commercial-transactional area. On the other hand, if we experience a more acute economic decline, the hiring of lawyers specialized in restructuring will gain prominence, with a component closely linked to the management of companies in a situation of insolvency after the end of state aid “Monreal comments.

In this context, law firms are expected to strengthen the area of ​​labor practice both in litigation and in advising companies in personnel restructuring processes. This directly causes the professional profiles in which an increase in demand is expected to be:

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  1. Lawyer Specialized in M&A (Energy)
  2. Lawyer Specialized in Commercial – Transactional
  3. Lawyers Specialized in Restructuring

Set of knowledge and skills most in demand

According to the labor market survey conducted by Robert Walters for the 2022 Global Compensation Study, organizations in the legal field highlight the lack of soft skills required for the position (67%), the lack of technical qualifications (66%) and very high salary and benefit expectations (33%), as some of the obstacles encountered when attracting talent.

Directly related to this, in 2022 the trend of recent years is followed and professionals with three main features:

  • High degree of technical specialization, since the professional must have specialization and experience in very specific advice, especially in large firms.
  • High level of English, which is no longer a plus within the legal sector, since most operations have an international aspect.
  • And lastly, business skills. In other words, an experienced professional who has the ability to successfully create, develop and execute their own business plan and client portfolio is required. This competence will be essential, above all, to access the sociatura in law firms.

Pay Trends

During 2022, the salary trend of professionals in the legal sector in Spain will be very similar to that experienced during 2021, with a salary increase of between 3 and 6% in certain business areas and where some firm has carried out changes in their remuneration policies to be more competitive in the market. Likewise, those lawyers who sign for other firms could negotiate salaries between 12% and 15% higher than those they had in their previous company”, concludes Victor Monreal.

From the professionals side, the aforementioned survey on the labor market carried out by Robert Walters, reveals that the majority of legal profiles expect to receive a salary increase this yearand, although they do not have a confirmation from the company, they do expect to receive a bonus.

From the side of the organizations surveyed, 67% of the companies plan to grant a bonus to their middle managers, compared to 33% who plan grant a bonus to their managers. In the case of granting, this will be mostly between 1 and 5% of the professional’s fixed salary.

Finally, it is worth noting the figure of the partnerwhose salary range will be directly related in most cases to the volume of billing generated at the individual level.

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