Business Support Market Insights Q2 2017

Business Support Market Insights Q2 2017

Published on 4th April 2017

The beginning of the year saw some interesting changes in the legal business support recruitment market and we expect the legal sector to continue to evolve through 2017.

Fee-earner recruitment remains a key focus law firms of all sizes and this will of course impact business support teams.
Automation and process improvement is another area that many firms are focusing on and business support professionals will need to update their skill sets to adapt to these changes.

Skills in Demand 

With a number of restructures on the support side recently, experienced PA/EAs are currently in high demand.

Several law firms have redefined their PA/Secretarial roles and a high proportion of document work has been moved to dedicated Document Production teams. Some of these DP teams have also been outsourced.

Many firms are currently reviewing the support that PAs and Secretaries are providing to their partners and fee earners with the aim of ensuring that the lawyers are maximising their fee earning time.

Mergers and Acquisitions 

2017 has had a busy and challenging start with the collapse of one of London’s long-standing law firms and the imminent merger of 3 high profile firms to create a new ‘super firm’ and several others running in the background.

Predictions for the Coming Quarter

With the market remaining steady, competition to recruit the best talent will remain high. To encourage staff retention, several firms have been implementing clearly defined career paths for their Secretarial / PA staff. This is encouraging as clear career progression for business support staff is one area that had been lacking in previous years.

Business Support Salaries
Q2 2017

Legal sector

Job title

Permanent salary
per annum (£)
Contract rate per hour (£)
(based on 35 hour week)

PA Manager

48K - 75K

29 - 46

PA Team Leader

38K - 48K

23 - 28

PA Coordinator 

38K - 44K

23 - 27

Executive Assistant to Managing Partner

42K - 50K

25 - 30

Senior PA to Senior Partner / Management Team

39K - 46K

24 - 28

Personal Assistant

31K - 35K

19 - 21

Legal PA to Partner

32K - 40K

19 - 25

Legal Float Secretary

34K - 38K

20 - 23

Legal Secretary to Associate

32K - 36K

17 - 20

Legal Secretary (6-12 months' experience)

22K - 28K

13 - 17

Trainee Legal Secretary

18K - 23K

11 - 14

Administrator / Admin Assistant

18K - 26K

9 - 16

Team Secretary / Assistant

25K - 30K

17 - 21

Daytime Document Production Manager / Supervisor

38K - 46K

23 - 28

Document Production Operator

33K - 38K

20 - 23

Weekend Document Production Operator

38K - 42K (pro rata)

23 - 25

Evening Document Production Operator*

35K - 38K

21 - 25

FOH Leadership

30K - 40K

18 -24

Receptionist / Switchboard Operator

24K - 30K

14 - 18

Facilities Assistant

22K - 27K

13 - 16

Post Room Assistant

18K - 24K

11 - 14

Reprographics Assistant

22K - 27K

13 - 16


*Discretionary enhancement for twilight/unsociable hours


Practice Sector

Job title

Permanent Salary
per annum (£)                   
Contract rate per hour (£)
(based on 35 hour week)

Office Manager

35K - 45K

21 - 27

Executive Assistant

36K - 40K

22 - 24

Senior PA

34K - 36K

20 - 22

PA                                                                                                                 

32K - 34K                                           

19 - 20

Secretary / Team Secretary

26K - 31K

16 - 19

Team Administrator / Administrator                          

22K - 25K

13 - 15

Receptionist

23K - 26K

14 - 16

Switchboard operator

22K - 26K

13 - 16

 

Notes on salary table:

*Discretionary enhancement for twilight/unsociable hours
1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.