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2024 Salary Predictions

2024 Salary Predictions

Recruitment is always a pretty accurate barometer of subtle changes in economic confidence as the first tap most organisations reach for when things are on the way up or on the way down is the one controlling the amount they’re spending on new staff.

The world is complicated right now, much more complicated than this recruiter can accurately decipher to help foretell what’s coming down the tracks in 2024 but, already compared to 2023, the early indications are positive.

Last year was all about uncertainty and, despite war being an overarching threat to us all, it was the rapid increase in interest rates and global economic uncertainty that turned off the taps in terms of individuals taking risks and law firms continuing their never-ending quest for transactional lawyers.  Whilst recruitment carries on whatever the weather (insolvency lawyers were the hot ticket in town last year), 2023 was slow, much slower in fact than during the pandemic when we were all expecting to be growing our own vegetables by the end of it.

In contrast to last year, 2024 has opened with a good deal more positivity and, albeit it will take a while to fully refill the bath, taps are being turned back on across Australia.  We have seen a notable increase in the demand for corporate/M&A and banking lawyers, often seen as the cornerstones of “everything is ok”.  February saw a return to the market of two Australian top-tier firms who largely sat out the whole of 2024 as they retreated completely from hiring new staff.  Although the traffic is slow for now, we’re again hearing consistent reports of Australian lawyers securing jobs in London.  Inboxes are hard to keep up with, candidates are emerging from hibernation and, with talk of interests falling again, it seems highly likely the runaway train is about to run away, again.

It’s too early to really predict what’s coming but, as barometers, recruiters tend to see the first signs of trouble as well as the first signs of recovery and there is a growing rumble being heard across the market.  As we see every time the market returns from a period of uncertainty, it returns fast, and it returns hot.  So far, 2024 is shaping up to be the year that lights the fires again.

Download our 2024 Salary Guide here.

Matt Harris

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