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In-House Legal Hiring UK Market Update (H1 2023)

The UK In-House Legal hiring market experienced a less-active first half of the year compared to the previous H2 year. Several firms delaying their hiring decisions due to economic instability and the recent events in the global financial services landscape including the merger of UBS and Credit Suisse as well as the collapse of SVB.

Challenges in securing hiring budgets and approvals resulted in protracted hiring processes for those seeking to expand their teams. General Counsels (GCs) / Heads of Legal teams had to find alternative solutions to this, either by relying more on external counsel, redistributing the work between team members, or bringing on short term interim legal cover.

However, there has been a notable turnaround in the past 6-8 weeks, with hiring processes gaining momentum, a growth in appetite to hire across the board and at least a 25% increase in new search mandates over this period. We foresee this positive upward trend continuing into the second half of 2023. 


Candidates looking to move jobs expected a minimum increase of 15-20% on their current salary. This was to remain in line with the rising cost of living and the resulting salary inflation.

In 2022, bonuses for most financial services organisations were paid around March/April, consistent with ranges tracked in previous years. Although compensation packages are a major consideration when attracting talent or changing jobs, we have seen an increased emphasis on other factors which equally hold weight in the decision-making process.

Market Themes

There were several common themes which will undoubtedly continue into the second half of this year:

  1. Increased focus on legal operations: Legal operations have gained prominence, with firms optimising their processes, managing budgets effectively, and leveraging technology to streamline legal functions. For example, financial services firms promoted internal lawyers to lead these efforts.

  2. Flexible work arrangements: Candidates continue to highly value flexible work arrangements, with hybrid working policies of 2-3 days in the office being popular among most firms in the City of London.

  3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives: Firms prioritise DEI initiatives and actively implement strategies to enhance representation for underrepresented groups within their organisations.

When it comes to finding the right legal professionals for your team or exploring new career opportunities, partnering with our specialist legal headhunters at Danos Associates can be a game-changer. With our deep understanding of the In-House Legal market and extensive industry connections, we offer unparalleled expertise and a personalised approach to match talent with opportunities.

By working with us, you gain access to a vast network of top-tier legal candidates and exclusive job openings. Our dedicated team will guide you through the hiring process or career transition, providing valuable insights, market intelligence, and expert advice every step of the way.

Recently filled roles include:

  • Investment Manager – Lead Commercial Lawyer.
  • Investment Bank – Derivatives and Structured Products Lawyer.
  • Real Estate Investment Manager – Funds Lawyer.
  • Financial Markets Exchange – Regulatory Lawyer.

Experience the benefits of working with a trusted legal headhunter by contacting Danos Associates today to elevate your In-House Legal recruitment or career prospects. And if you are currently looking to hire talented legal professionals or explore new opportunities, don’t hesitate to reach out to Maame for valuable insights and assistance in navigating the legal hiring market.

Contact Maame today to discuss your hiring needs or explore exciting career prospects.

Maame Eshun, Associate Director, Head of EMEA In-House Legal, Danos Associates
+44 (0) 20 3908 4809